Bangladesh: Cargo Limit Recommendations Inside Camps


The use of overloaded and oversized trucks in camp areas is a recurring problem and the rising frequency of related accidents impacts the safety of refugees, deteriorates road conditions, and worsens traffic fluidity. To minimize these practices, the humanitarian community is required to jointly improve monitoring of cargo deliveries in the camps and ensure that activities are supported by a safe logistics operation.

The payload restrictions for heavy vehicles implemented by the Armed Forces Division (AFD) aims to address two major problems:

Safety risks resulting from traffic accidents caused by overloaded vehicles, including fatal cases;

Road deterioration due to the use of heavy vehicles on roads with limited weight bearing capacity.

Since June 2018, the agreed vehicle size recommendation for trucks entering the camps is restricted to 5 mt during dry seasons and 3 mt during wet seasons to preserve road conditions and ensure vehicles are properly dimensioned to safely move through the narrow road network in the camps.

Moreover, poor maintenance of vehicles and aggressive driving (often resulting from attempts to save time and increase frequency of deliveries) further add to the safety risks of the operation. In support of sectors operating in the camps and the AFD seeking to inforce the maximum payload recommendation, this document aims to provide recommendations on the movement of cargo in camp areas and the management of suppliers/transporters to ensure safe traffic when delivering humanitarian assistance in the camps.

General Recommendations

All trucks moving goods should carry a supporting waybill and challans listing the load, consignee and consignor. Organisations are required to declare the total weight of the cargo in the waybill.

2. Storekeepers/warehouse teams should properly supervise the loading process to ensure the correct quantity is loaded. Organisations have full control over how much cargo is loaded into the trucks.

3. When receiving consignments directly from suppliers, organisations are advised to include the payload restrictions in their procurement documentation (e.g. purchase orders, contracts) stating the lot sizes that should be delivered per truck in order to respect the payload limits in the camps.

4. A delivery schedule should be used, anticipating the total payload and delivery cycles required in order to ensure the fleet utilised is appropriately dimensioned for the task.

5. The vehicles should be in good condition and regularly maintained, clearly able to handle the cargo being loaded without risk of breakdown. Organisations are recommended to monitor that vehicles are in good condition, are regularly maintained, and to refuse the use of vehicles that are not able to operate safely. Particularly, organisations are advised to verify tire and brake conditions.

6. Drivers should be constantly instructed to not speed within the camps and to be cautious when crossing densely populated areas, such as markets.

7. Drivers should be experienced, possess a valid licence, and be able to safely drive cargo vehicles in highly congested areas.

8. If larger vehicles are used to gain scale in long-distance transport (e.g. from Chittagong to Cox's Bazar), the cargo should be transloaded to smaller vehicles before proceeding to the camps. Transloading can occur within warehouses outside the camps or at Logistics Sector hubs.

Source: World Food Programme