What does ADR mean in logistics?
ADR stands for Accord Dangereux Routier, a European agreement concerning the transportation of dangerous goods by road. The treaty came into effect in 1968 and is adjusted every two years to accommodate the latest changes in the logistics and transportation industry.
Moving dangerous goods by road is governed by international regulations and is strictly policed by most European countries. Each country that complies with ADR implements specific safety measures through its national legislation.
What this means on the Exchange
The crucial part of the Agreement for our members are Annexes A and B, which says that any dangerous goods transported by road can cross international borders freely if the goods, vehicles and drivers comply with:
- the conditions laid down in Annex A regarding packaging and labelling of the goods in question; and
- the conditions laid down in Annex B regarding the construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle carrying the goods in question.
*Annexes A and B are regularly amended, the latest revision coming into force on 1 January 2021.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- What do I need to know before I post ADR loads?
- Dos and don'ts when posting ADR loads
- What training do I need to carry ADR loads?
- Dos and don'ts for carrying ADR loads
- What do I do if I believe an ADR load is being posted incorrectly or carried illegally?
What do I need to know before I post ADR loads?
"All persons whose duties concern the carriage of dangerous goods by road shall have received training in the requirements governing the carriage of such goods..." [ADR 8.2.3]
Everyone involved in dangerous goods transport – both load posters and drivers – needs to be trained at least to a minimum level in Dangerous Goods Awareness Training (DGAT). Companies engaged in carrying, packing, filling, loading, and unloading dangerous goods by road, rail, or inland waterways may have to appoint a 'dangerous goods' safety adviser (DGSA) to comply with ADR.
When posting an ADR load, you have to provide the following information at a minimum so that ADR qualified drivers can advise accurately on whether they can complete the load:
- UN Number: the four-digit numbers that identify hazardous materials.
- Packing Group: Dangerous goods are assigned into three packing groups (also known as UN Packing Group) by the degree of danger they present.
- Quantity: The number of dangerous goods that need transporting.
Dos and Don'ts when posting ADR Loads
- Ensure you have adequate training in ADR at a minimum to deal with ADR Loads. Dangerous Goods Awareness Training is the minimum level for all persons "whose duties concern the carriage of dangerous goods by road".
- Get as much information as possible from the customer about the Consignment. As a minimum, get the following details about the materials:
- Establish whether the load requires a full ADR driver or if it can be carried out under one of the main ADR Exemptions, such as Small Loads or Limited Quantities
- Establish whether there are any additional requirements, such as a Temperature Controlled Vehicle for certain classes of dangerous goods.
- Post your load as an 'ADR' load, with the relevant info about the dangerous goods in the notes section, together with any additional requirements, so your potential subcontractors know what they are bidding on and don't need to contact you to check.
- Ensure your chosen subcontractor is qualified for the job by checking they have uploaded evidence of their training (Dangerous Goods Awareness Training record or a Full ADR Photocard licence) to the CX Documents area (and that it is 'in date').
- Be ready to help with any additional support the driver needs – such as sourcing a copy of a Dangerous Goods Note from the Customer if required.
- Fail to ask your customer about the basic details of the Dangerous Goods to be transported.
- Post an ADR load without being aware of the details regarding the dangerous goods and then book the job without having discussed the ADR with the subcontractor.
- Be tempted to disguise an ADR load as a non-ADR load to get a better price. You are breaking the law.
What training do I need to carry ADR loads?
A driver who carries dangerous goods needs to have completed a higher level of vocational training, known as an ADR Licence. The ADR Licence involves formal examinations and produces a photocard which must always be on your person while in charge of a vehicle carrying dangerous goods. You will need to provide Transport Exchange Group with your ADR License permitting you to advertise ADR as a specialist service. You will not have visibility of ADR loads until this is verified.
Dos and Don'ts for carrying ADR loads
- Complete the necessary Dangerous Goods Awareness Training (for loads covered by the main ADR Exemptions) before bidding on ADR loads or hold a Full ADR Vocational Licence (for 'Full' ADR). You will need evidence of your training must be uploaded to the Courier Exchange Documents.
- Look for ADR information on the load telling you precisely what Dangerous Goods you will be transporting. Look out for special transport requirements or ask the CX member posting the load to supply you with this information.
- Be sure that you or your transport operation meet the requirements for completing the job before you bid.
- A consignor can ask you to produce training evidence at any time, so always have it on you.
- Accept an ADR Load without being in full receipt of all the necessary information about the Dangerous Goods.
- Be tempted to bid on or accept a load you don't have the adequate training for or are ill-equipped or insured to carry out.
What do I do if I believe an ADR load is being posted incorrectly or carried illegally?
If you believe an ADR load has been posted improperly or is being carried out illegally, we encourage you to contact us immediately. Transport Exchange Group can offer further guidance on posting ADR loads correctly and can act against members carrying the goods without the appropriate training/insurances.
If we believe a member has knowingly posted an improper ADR load to avoid paying the appropriate rate, we may take further action to suspend or revoke the account.
To report this kind of activity, please raise a support ticket via this link.
ADR is a complex subject, and this article exists to inform our members on the basics of posting and carrying ADR loads. We encourage all members carrying dangerous loads to be knowledgeable and trained by professionals in ADR transportation. You can find more information on ADR at the following websites: