Cargo testing has come into the limelight in the road transportation industry in the last few years due to the enactment of regulations such as Directive 2014/47/EU.
A poorly secured load may not only lead to penalties due to a failure to comply with regulations, but also to accidents and significant economic costs.
This is why performing a cargo securement test is nowadays the best method to guarantee an incident-free, successful distribution cycle.
Cargo securement: tips to ensure stability during the transportation of your goods
In order to ensure a successful load securement, it is important to follow certain guidelines, which are mostly given by the European Best Practices Guidelines on Cargo Securing for Road Transport.
In short, these are some of the basic cargo securement guidelines:
Generally, in order to guarantee the cargo securement, one should ensure that the type of vehicle is adequate.
Depending on the goods that are being transported and their characteristics, the presence of side, front and rear doors will be more or less adequate.
Likewise, the use of ledges, stanchions or lashing points inside the vehicle to secure the load should be considered.
The packaging is one of the most important aspects when ensuring the load securement. Packages that allow for a simple and safe shipping & handling are usually called tertiary packaging.
This packaging may consist of pallets, sheets between cargo layers, edge protectors, web lashing, stretch films or boxes.
In order to select an adequate protecting packaging it is necessary to study the type of product that is being transported and the distribution cycle that it will follow.
Performing a cargo securement test to verify the package’s resistance to transport hazards will also be essential.
The different types of securement elements
There are different lashing systems that ensure that the load will remain fixed inside the truck.
Freight straps, chains or steel cables are used to guarantee the load securement. It is also possible to increase the friction between the load and the platform for securement by means of anti-slip coatings, mats or sheets.
Likewise, blocking bars, filler materials and nets & covers, among other materials, can also be used to secure transported goods.
It is therefore necessary to determine which material is adequate to provide stability to the cargo to be transported.
Securing method recommendations
The purpose of securing a load is to prevent the freight from moving during transportation as a result of the vehicle’s acceleration.
There are different securement techniques: locking, blocking, direct lashing and top-over lashing.
Among other recommendations (listed in chapter 5.7 of the aforementioned European guidelines), when selecting a securement method, it is vital to verify certain points:
- The chosen method must guarantee that all cargo units will remain fixed inside the vehicle. If necessary, they may be grouped into a bundle.
- It is necessary to keep in mind that, when inertia forces are produced, the cargo will be subject to a larger contact force, which may compromise it. Edge protectors can prevent this type of problem in certain cases.
- It is possible to combine several lashing methods to ensure the load securement.
- If cargo is stacked for transportation, the packaging resistance to compression forces should be known, among other information.
Cargo testing: the best option to secure your goods
Cargo testing allows you to predict the ability of a given method to secure the goods before starting the distribution cycle.
This will allow you to determine how suitable the chosen procedure is to guarantee the load securement, and make any necessary changes before the goods set off on the road.
Article 13, annex V of Directive 2014/47/EU outlines the methods to perform cargo inspections and verify its securement.
It specifies that any transport that travels through European Union territories may be subject to roadside inspections with the purpose of verifying whether the cargo is correctly secured.
During the cargo inspection, the inspector may access the vehicle for a visual inspection and request the driver to provide any other necessary information to ensure that the cargo is properly secured, including test reports or load distribution diagrams.
Before travelling on the road, it is therefore vital to know the regulation and perform cargo tests.
Advantages of performing cargo securement tests
Cargo testing will offer at least 3 advantages:
- Improve the cargo securement, guaranteeing that the goods will arrive intact at the destination. Cargo securement tests will allow you to foresee any possible damages that may occur during transportation before leaving for the road.
- Comply with regulations and avoid penalties during cargo inspections. European laws require the performance of the EUMOS 40509 cargo testing method through the use of cargo securement equipment.
- Optimize your packaging and securement method, adapting them to real situations that take place during transportation. This will prevent unnecessary costs due to over-packaging, in addition to unforeseen circumstances that compromise the load securement.
At Safe Load we have developed a free guide (download here) to perform the EUMOS 40509 method step by step and comply with European regulations.
Do you have any more questions regarding the performance of cargo tests and remaining compliant with the regulations?
Get in touch with us; we will study your case and offer you a personalized solution.