New rules for loading and unloading already in place

On September 11, the new rules for loading and unloading operations in road transport came into effect. Decree-Law No. 57/2021 establishes the conditions for current contracts of this type of category.

The root cause for these revisions is a change in the maximum waiting times for each operation, which is now of two hours. Briefly, the new contracts will have as essential rules:


  • The maximum waiting time for each loading and unloading operation is of 2 hours. This time does not include the operation itself;


  • Scheduling must be made 24 hours in advance for national transport or on the preceding working day – in the transport of dangerous goods. Between Portugal and Spain, the minimum time is considered to be 48 hours and for other international transport, 72 hours;


  • It is up to the sender or recipient of the transport to ensure that all procedures are carried out to ensure compliance with this maximum time of 2 hours. This includes all administrative and customs tasks associated with each contract;


  • In case of non-compliance, the carrier will – at present – ​​be entitled to compensation, which may go up to the limit of 10 hours. After this time – if the stoppage is still not the responsibility of the carrier – the remaining hours or fractions are counted, plus 25% until the end of this stoppage. The same legislation also states that the right to this claim for indemnity expires at the end of one year after the completion of the loading/unloading operation;


  • Loading and unloading is not the responsibility of the drivers, but of the personnel able to do so and with the appropriate handling equipment;


These measures arise from the analysis of the waiting times which, according to the Government, “continue to be excessive, being detrimental to the national economy and business productivity.”
If you need to transport goods by road, please contact Extra Transportes. Our team specialized in this industry can guide you on the best existing solutions! Count on us.