Further interesting contributions were on the agenda on day two of the 5th Eumos Symposium in Vienna, starting with Dr Stefan Ebner of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber who held a presentation on “Responsibilities of the industry and the carrier in cargo securing”. He summarised the varied presentations of the previous day, which all looked at the topic of cargo securing from different perspectives. Cargo securing entails various factors which all need to be considered – human effort, infrastructures, vehicle technology and international exchange being the main points. Global standards must be created, and expert knowledge must be gathered about unanswered questions in practical and theoretical matters. Amid lacking communication and cooperation on international terrain, Eumos is one of the few contact points which can help to improve the situation effectively.
Technical roadside inspections see the day-to-day issues within a practical context. The most common infractions are for example faults with the vehicle brakes. But weight can also be a deciding factor when it comes to accidents. For this reason, facilities that measure weight are already being employed on the roadside – with no sanctions being imposed for excess weight. When faults are determined during inspections, the main issue is however that several persons can be responsible: the authorised officer, the driver or the registered keeper. If there is no agreement about who is responsible for loading, the truck driver is not acting as an employee of the carrier, but rather as an accessory of the loading agent. A contractual agreement is thus advisable, however, in the case of doubt, the loading agent is usually deemed the guilty party.
Finally, Dr Ebner provides some practical tips for ensuring correct cargo securing: First, stable and staggered cargo units must be formed. In order to prevent the cargo falling apart or slipping, loading gaps must be avoided. Next, cargo securing through means such as stable pallets and anti-slip mats is addressed. “If the force is not sufficient, enclose the cargo”, Dr Ebner adds. Extreme lashing down can often damage the goods.
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