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PH national standards for safe, sustainable road freight transport released

The Philippine Bureau of Standards (PBS) has crafted guidelines and recommendations that land fleet operators and freight forwarders may adopt for reliable, safe, cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable road freight transport operations.

The Philippine National Standard on Road Freight Transport, issued as PNS 2135:2018, was developed by the Technical Committee on Logistics and approved by BPS, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

PNS 2135:2018 intends to support the trucking sector by spearheading the creation of standards that will define efficiency in the road freight sector and uphold green logistics across all individual players as an approach to improve overall efficiency.

“As business and trade improve, the freight transport industry has a good potential to further expand but it needs to level up its operations to be truly competitive and efficient,” PNS 2135:2018 noted.

It said the cooperation of each player “is a must to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fuel consumption, road deterioration, and accidents.”

Applicable to all types of fleet operators and/or freight forwarders regardless of their size, type and activities, the PNS on road freight transport provides the fundamentals of an integrated logistics system, and standards on organizational and personnel management.

It supplies standards for fleet management such as safe loading, load optimization, vehicle maintenance and inspection, security and safety measures, transportation planning, optimization and monitoring, route identification, and scheduling and tracking system, among others.

The PNS lists indicators and targets on how to measure performance of road freight activities and initiatives to enhance road freight transport operations.

It also identifies laws and regulations covering road freight operations, such as the Anti-Overloading Law.

Truck companies incur major costs from the energy consumption of their vehicles and maintenance activities, according to PNS 2135:2018.

A 2018 survey by German development Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) noted truck companies spend around a third of total operating costs on fuel costs and up to 20% on maintenance costs for their fleets.

The high costs of energy consumption and maintenance works can be attributed to the use of old and second-hand trucks. DTI’s National Logistics Masterplan Program (NLMP) estimates that as much as 80% to 90% of the current truck population of the Philippines is more than 15 years in age.

“Truck operators prefer second-hand imported trucks because they are less costly to acquire. Not only are old, poorly-maintained trucks more expensive to use over time but they are also less reliable, prone to accident, and cause more air pollution,” according to PNS 2135:2018.

Another issue contributing to lower energy efficiency, PNS said, is overloading. In 2010, the “Study on Master Plan of High Standard Highway” by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Department of Public Works and Highways revealed that about 16% of trucks are overloaded, causing early deterioration of roads.

PNS 2135:2018 was prepared through the proposal of the DTI’s Competitiveness Bureau in support of the NLMP, and in consultation with some private sector members.

PBS is the national standards body that develops, promulgates, implements, and promotes standardization activities in the Philippines. It formulates Philippine national standards or adopts relevant international or foreign standards to help industries produce quality products or services and raise productivity. – Roumina Pablo


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