Security of loads on vehicles is a matter of public safety, and is therefore subject to government regulation and a body of industry practice. Regulations on vehicle loads are set and enforced by the provinces in Canada and the states in the U.S.
Since 1994 there has been active and close collaboration between representatives of governments and industry in Canada and the United States in pursuit of developing and implementing uniform regulatory requirements for securement of cargo on highway transport vehicles. This collaboration takes place twice annually – once in the U.S. in the spring and once in Canada in the fall – at the North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum.
At the forum, stakeholders gather to discuss cargo securement regulations in pursuit of developing and implementing uniform regulatory requirements for the securement of cargo on or within commercial motor vehicles throughout North America.
Even though the U.S. federal responsibility for inter-state commerce has resulted in a large measure of regulatory uniformity, there are still differences in requirements, interpretation and enforcement that create problems for enforcement officers and commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Canada’s National Safety Code required an updated standard on load securement, and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) was charged with developing it. The task force produced a framework for the standard and identified a number of areas for research. Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) prepared a draft research proposal from extensive consultation with staff and industry, and circulated it widely for review throughout North America. A technical committee, convened from government agencies and industry associations representing trailer and equipment manufacturers shippers and carriers, considered the review comments and finalized the research proposal.
It was approved as a project by CCMTA at the end of 1993, funding was secured, and a management committee was formed to steer the research. The goal was broadened from a Canadian standard to a single uniform North America wide standard when the project received technical support and funding from governments and industry in the United States.