Recommendations to Support Health & Safety in Road Freight Transport re; COVID-19 at loading and unloading sites/facilities

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DFG 320s, fährt auf Laderampe; DFG 320s, drives on loading ramp

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and the European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics & Customs Service (CLECAT) are reaching out to drivers, road hauliers, logistics service providers, consignors, and consignees to work together to diminish the impact of COVID-19 at loading and unloading sites, follow the recommendations outlined below and use common sense to protect themselves and others.

To alleviate the unprecedented crisis situation in the road transport sector, the European associations representing shippers, freight forwarders, and express carriers call on the Member States to support truck drivers, currently exposed to extremely difficult circumstances. Drivers are indispensable in overcoming the COVID-19 outbreak by ensuring the continuous supply of critical food, medical and industrial supplies that
keep countries and society operational. They, therefore, deserve much needed protection and adequate facilities in order to do their job. Moreover, trustworthy communication between the parties is essential. It should, therefore, be ensured that at least the basic facilities and minimum conditions for drivers at loading and unloading sites are available.
The associations welcome the newly published European Commission’s practical recommendations for drivers and transport undertakings on the need to respect specific hygiene, social distancing, and other health and safety rules at loading and unloading locations in the wake of COVID-19.
In line with the Commission’s guidelines and the Danish industry recommendations, ESC and CLECAT encourage the supply chain partners to ensure the availability and accessibility of the necessary basic facilities for the drivers at loading and unloading sites, as well as respectful cooperation and better coordination between the parties.
Accordingly, the specific recommendations on handling goods at loading and unloading sites, designed for both consignors and consignees, as well as drivers and hauliers, are
outlined below.

RECOMMENDATIONS
CONSIGNOR / CONSIGNEE

  • Be respectful in your communication towards the driver.
  • Create standardised procedures for loading and unloading trucks. Inform your logistics partners and own staff accordingly.
  • Prepare instructions for the arriving drivers and make sure that there is personnel to receive them.
  • Prepare barriers indicating the boundary line between internal and external persons.
  • Make sure there is enough hand disinfection at exits and entrances for internal and external persons.
  • Clean loading equipment regularly. Ramp personnel should wear protective equipment (masks and gloves), if available
  • Designate a place for handling documents. When using electronic tools, the receiver should wear gloves and/or use his/her own tool for receipt. Seek alternatives which would not involve any human contact, if possible.
  • Open up or put up temporary sanitary/washing facilities for the drivers of your logistics partner.
  • Define clear rules on access to your premises and on keeping appropriate minimum distance, according to national rules. Indicate these visibly.
  • Instruct drivers waiting for goods to stay in their vehicles. If there are many loading ramps, ensure sufficient space between the vehicles.
  • Observe the health and safety regulations of the national and local governments for infection protection.

DRIVER/HAULIER

  • Be respectful in your communication towards the consignor / consignee.
  • Clean the driver’s cabin frequently.
  • Disinfect hands or wash them with soap when entering and leaving the driver’s cabin.
  • Keep appropriate minimum distance, according to national rules, and avoid contact with other persons when possible.
  • If available, use personal protective gear, such as gloves and a face mask, while outside the driver’s cabin. Read carefully the manual of the protective gear for proper use.
  • Keep yourself informed on the customer’s instructions before entering their premises.
  • Stay in the driver’s cabin whenever possible while at the customer’s premises.
  • Hand over freight documents at the place designated by the consigner / consignee.
  • When using electronic tools, the receiver should wear gloves and/or use his/her own tool for receipt.
  • Observe the health and safety regulations of the national and local governments for infection protection.