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Cooperation for safer transportation of hazardous goods

By getting transport companies to share information, the HITS research project wants to make the transportation of hazardous goods safer. This could lead to more efficient action in the event of accidents and better city planning.

HITS started in 2014 and is being conducted within Security Arena at Lindholmen Science Park in a broad collaboration with the business, academia and public sector. The aim is to generate a common view in the transport industry of how to share information about the transportation of hazardous goods. The project was initiated by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which works to prevent and limit accidents and unauthorized handling of hazardous goods.

Brita Skärdin works at the MSB unit for hazardous substances, and she feels that the project is an important complement to legislation in the field.

“MSB has participated for a long time in the international effort to prepare joint legislation for hazardous goods but it is a difficult task that takes time. The exciting aspect of this project is that you have a different angle of approach. Here, we examine the conditions for transport companies and the driving forces that could encourage them to voluntarily share information,” says Brita.

“Another important dimension is protecting the cargo from deliberate sabotage or attack. Although we want the information to be accessible to the authorities and parties concerned, we must also ensure that no unauthorized individuals are able to find out the location of hazardous goods. This security aspect must not be risked at any cost,” she emphasizes.

The project will also examine the opportunities to make it easier for authorities to inspect consignments of hazardous goods. Gunilla Rydberg at Sjöland & Thyselius is working on the project and looking at the type of information required by authorities in the event of different types of accidents. 

“By providing the authorities with adequate information about sender, recipient and contents in the consignments, more effective supervision can be conducted, for example, and incorrect consignments can be stopped. If the emergency services gain access to the information, their services in the event of accidents will be more efficient. Information about the transport flow could also be valuable to municipalities for urban development and risk assessments,” says Gunilla.

However, demanding information through regulation and standardization processes appears to be difficult. One possible solution that is being examined by the project is connecting reporting via mobile platforms to the eco-labeling of consignments. There is a request from buyers and sellers of transport and certification would therefore be able to generate a competitive edge for the transport companies that are transparent about their handling processes.

“The incentive for transport buyers and sellers, executors and others to participate is key to generating access to satisfactory decision documentation and changing the industry. Mobile information technology will provide us with the opportunity to improve transparency in the industry,” says Magnus Andersson, Project Manager and Researcher at Lund Institute of Technology.

HITS is an abbreviation of Harmonized Intelligent Transport System Support for the transportation of hazardous goods. The participants in the project include Gothenburg University, Intereast Transport AB, Lund Institute of Technology, Saab AB, Sjöland & Thyselius Communications, the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises, Cybercom AB, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, AkzoNobel, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, as well as Security Arena at Lindholmen Science Park.

What are hazardous goods?
Hazardous goods constitute a collective name for substances and objects with such hazardous properties that they may cause damage to people, the environment or property if they are not handled correctly during transportation.

For more information, please contact:

Ola Stensby, Project Manager, Security Arena, Lindholmen Science Park, +46 (0)31-764 70 27, ola.stensby@lindholmen.se

Kristian Lundberg, Business Development, Saab AB, kristian.lundberg@saabgroup.com

Magnus Andersson, Project Manager and Researcher, Lund Institute of Technology, magnus.andersson@plog.lth.se