Is the hazardous cargo market about to change?
Hazardous cargo does not include just explosives, petrol and industrial gasses. Just ask any producer of household cleaning products or cosmetics. Few people know that according to the ADR treaty hazardous materials include nail polish, house plant fertilizers, car detailing products as well as disinfectant gels and sprays. Even fewer people wonder how the current extraordinary situation might affect availability of labour necessary for the transport of hazardous goods.
VCHD Cargo keeps on top of changing rules for the transport of hazardous cargo and has been a specialist in ADR cargo services for years. The company has its own fleet of 160 vehicles all of which have standard equipment for hazardous cargo transport and 80% of its transport capacity is used for hazardous products.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has affect ADR transport, too – all new training and mandatory regular training has been suspended until further notice. The ADR treaty clearly defines who is allowed to transport hazardous goods – “employees of hazardous cargo transport companies whose job responsibilities include hazardous cargo transport. These individuals must be properly trained in hazardous cargo regulations appropriately to their level of responsibility and job description.”
Due to recent measures to combat the novel coronavirus, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe decided to extend the validity of ADR driver cards (24 states agreed as of April 1). The validity of all driver training certificates that expire between March 1, 2020 and November 1, 2020 will be extended until November 30, 2020 and it will be possible to extend them further upon the completion of renewal training. However, VCHD Cargo expects to see a lack of ADR-approved drivers in the market in the near future. All VCHD Cargo drivers hold ADR certificates, are regularly trained and have years of experience with the transport and handling of such sensitive cargo. “At this point, our company’s priority is to retain our current specialists,” says VCHD Cargo, a.s. chairman Ing. Petr Kozel, adding that “on the other hand, we expect a potential increase in demand for hazardous cargo transport services once the COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted.”