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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #10-0257 ([Thompson Hine LLP] [Mr. Jason Tutrone])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Thompson Hine LLP

Individual Name: Mr. Jason Tutrone

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 24, 2011




Mr. Jason Tutrone

Law Clerk

Thompson Hine LLP

1920 N Street NW, Suite 800

Washington, D.C. 20036

Ref. No.: 10-0257

Dear Mr. Tutrone:

This is in response to your December 3, 2010, email requesting clarification of requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to functions performed at a cross-docking facility. According to your letter, packages of hazardous materials travel from the offeror location to a final destination by way of private carriage. Packages are transported from the offerors" facility to a cross-docking facility in full compliance with the HMR. Each package is appropriately marked and labeled and is accompanied by a shipping paper with a shipper"s certification. Employees at the cross-docking facility unload packages from incoming trailers, route packages to appropriate outbound trailers, and subsequently load those packages onto the appropriate outbound trailer. In addition, cross-docking facility employees consolidate the shipping papers for the hazardous material packages contained in each outbound trailer and then create a new shipping paper listing each of the non-hazardous materials contained on the outbound trailer. Your questions have been paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Do cross-docking facility employees perform a pre-transportation function by loading hazardous material onto outbound trailers?

A1. Yes. For a private motor carrier, transportation of a hazardous material in commerce begins when a motor vehicle driver takes possession of a hazardous material for the purpose of transporting it (see § 171.1(c)). Provided the driver is not present when the cross-docking facility employees load, block and brace the hazardous material in the transport vehicle they are subject to pre-transportation requirements (see § 171.1(b)(12)).

Q2. Have the cross-dock employees fulfilled the shipping paper requirements by consolidating the shipping papers prepared by the original offeror instead of creating a new shipping paper?

A2. Yes. For the purpose of consolidating multiple hazardous materials shipments offered by different shippers, either a single shipping paper describing the consolidated shipment, or individual shipping papers containing the required descriptions may be used to satisfy the shipping paper requirements. Hazardous materials shipping papers must be clearly distinguished by tabbing or by having them appear first, if they are carried with other papers of any kind.

Q3. Are the shipping papers developed by the original offeror suitable for all movements between the origin and the final destination shown on the shipping paper?

A3. Yes. Provided the shipping papers are completed and maintained in accordance with the appropriate HMR provisions and are still active (i.e., the shipment has not reached its intended destination as shown on the shipping papers). For example, as provided by § 177.817(e), when the driver is at the vehicle's controls, the shipping paper shall be: within his immediate reach while he is restrained by the lap belt; and either readily visible to a person entering the driver's compartment or in a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Q4. If additional certification is necessary by the cross-docking facility, can cross-docking facilities apply additional signatures to the shipping documents?

A4. Yes. The HMR does not prohibit a carrier from applying additional signatures to a shipping paper.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you need additional assistance, please contact the Standards and Rulemaking Division.


Ben Supko

Chief, Standards Development Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.1, 177.817

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
177.817 Shipping papers