There is legislation to ensure that transporters pay special attention to the loading of their vehicles and how loads are transported on our public roads. This legislation is referred to as the Consignor/ Consignee legislation.
The main objective of the legislation is to provide guidance and enforce the process through which consignors and consignees manage the transportation of goods on public roads.
- It ensures that loads are safely loaded.
- It ensures the safe distribution of loads.
- It protects our public roads from the perils and damage caused by overloading.
- It places the onus of preventing overloading back onto the transporters of goods.
It is important to understand who the different parties are in the freight transport process:
A consignor is a person who is sending the shipment to be delivered by land of more than 500 tons of goods in one month by road. This also applies to a consignor who uses an operator of a vehicle, either directly or through an agent, to transport these goods.
The consignee is the person who is intended to receive the goods of more than 500 tons in a month and who actually receives these goods once they have been transported by road.
What does the legislation require from the Consignor and the Consignee of loads?
- The legislation stipulates that a consignor or consignee of goods cannot send or accept goods where the transported goods have not been correctly loaded before transportation.
- The consignor must receive a written submission about the payload.
- It is also the consignor’s responsibility to ensure that the transport vehicle is loaded correctly.
- The consignor must establish the accurate mass or axle unit of the transport vehicle to make sure that these are not overloaded.
- It is the responsibility of the consignor to keep a record of the load mass of all goods transported.
- The legislation requires the consignor or consignee of the goods to be fully insured for damages should an accident occur.
Steps that may be required from those transporting loads
- Install/ use weighbridges to measure axles and axle units
- Issue the correct documents showing the masses of every load
- Most consignors only check the total vehicle mass, however, they will now have to address load distribution as well
- Axle mass overloads will now be treated the same way as vehicle overloads.