Cargo securement

​The Highway Safety Code contains provisions that apply to all road vehicles (heavy and light) concerning the securement of cargo. The aim of such legislative and regulatory standards is to ensure that any cargo or items transported by road vehicle are correctly and firmly secured, ensuring the vehicle’s stability. These standards furthermore prevent goods from falling off and colliding with other vehicles or hitting other road users.

Heavy vehicles transport many different types and forms of cargo—most often bulky and heavy—thus representing a higher risk on the road. This is why the Cargo Securement ​Standards Regulation includes provisions regarding securement that apply to heavy vehicles.

Normative framework

Québec’s Cargo Securement S​t​andards Regulation governs the securing of cargo carried by a heavy vehicle (or combination of road vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 4,500 kg or more) by adopting the provisions of Standard 10 of the National Safety Code for Motor Carriers.

In basic terms, cargo securement consists of:

  • properly distributing cargo on or within a vehicle;
  • holding cargo against the platforms and walls of the vehicle using appropriate means (proper load distribution, blocking devices, tiedowns and securement systems, etc.);
  • preventing cargo from shifting or falling during transport.

Field of scope

Section 471 of the Highway Safety Code applies to all vehicles transporting goods. It states that cargo must be secured so that it cannot:

  • move on or within the vehicle;
  • detach from the vehicle;
  • block the vehicle’s lights;
  • reduce the driver’s field of vision;
  • compromise the vehicle’s stability.

The Cargo Securement Standards Regulation applies to owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles. It also applies to personnel involved in logistics and shipping of goods. It applies to public highways, as defined in the Highway Safety Code.

This regulation does not govern the securement of cargo transported by farm motor vehicles or farm trailers within the meaning of the Regulation respecting road vehicle registration (chapter C-24.2, r. 29) if all these conditions are met:

  • the warning sign required by section 274 of the Highway Safety Code is attached to the rear of the vehicle;
  • the vehicle travels at a speed of less than 40 km/h; and
  • the cargo is contained against the structure of the vehicle and the structure is strong enough to prevent any horizontal movement, or the cargo is secured to prevent such movement.

The vehicles governed by the regulation are those governed by the Act respecting owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles; i.e. heavy vehicles or a combination of road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or more.

General information

The Cargo Securement Standards Regulation is harmonized with all other Canadian jurisdictions as it incorporates the provisions of Standard 10 of the National Safety Code for Motor Carriers. This standard was developed jointly between the various Canadian jurisdictions. It establishes the general securement requirements as well as specific requirements for certain types of cargo, such as:

  • logs;
  • dressed lumber;
  • metal coils;
  • paper rolls;
  • concrete pipes;
  • roll-on/roll-off and intermodal containers;
  • light and heavy vehicles;
  • flattened or crushed light vehicles;
  • boulders;
  • bulk cargo.

Securement systems must be compliant with the provisions of Standard 10. However, a system may be considered equivalent to those prescribed if the operator establishes that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The system is designed to withstand the forces applied to cargo when the vehicle is subject to 0.8 g deceleration (braking), 0.5 g deceleration in a rearward direction, and 0.5 g centrifugal acceleration in either sideways direction.
  • The cargo securement system provides a downward force equal to at least 20% of the weight of an article of cargo if the article is not fully contained within the structure of the vehicle.
  • The load on a component of a cargo securement system that reacts to a force referred to in the paragraphs above shall not exceed the working load limit of the component.

Efforts have been made to harmonize Québec’s regulations with those of other North American jurisdictions. However, some differences may still exist. Owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles must therefore check the rules that apply to securing cargo before driving in other Canadian provinces or in the United States.

Since January 1, 2011, the working load limit (WLL) of all devices (chains, wire rope, synthetic webbing, etc.) used to secure cargo to a vehicle driven in Québec must be marked on the device by the manufacturer.

Specifically with regard to chains, the regulation stipulates that the WLL mark on at least one of the chain’s links must be legible regardless of its degree of wear. This measure will ensure the compliance of all tiedowns based on, among other things, the weight of the transported cargo. Furthermore, in Québec and other Canadian jurisdictions, any additional identification applied to a chain due to the original marking becoming illegible will be officially recognized only if it is applied by a chain manufacturer.


A new publication about the regulation governing the securement of cargo carried by heavy vehicles is now available: the Cargo securement guide. This guide includes examples and practical explanations for owners, operators, drivers, shippers, and other stakeholders concerned by cargo securement in order to help them comply with the regulation.

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