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Hazmat Routing

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In the Routing APIs, you can select hazardous materials route options using the hazMat, HazMatType, and HazMatTypes parameters in North America; as well as the tunnelCategory or TunnelCategories parameters in Europe.

Depending on the values you select for those parameters, the routing algorithm will generate legal and safe routes by avoiding or favoring certain types of roads. The charts below describe the impact on routing based on the hazmat type and road category.

  • favor = routing will prefer these segments

  • no change = routing will not be altered in any way

  • avoid = routing will go around these segments whenever possible

  • discourage = a lesser degree of avoidance, used when a state or road authority allows hazmat only at certain times of day, with prior notification, by permit, or in limited quantities, and for tunnels not otherwise classified

Hazmat route options and road categories

Hazmat Routing CategoryGeneralCausticExplosivesFlammableInhalantsRadioactiveDetailed Route ReportHazmat Map Legend
Noneno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeNone
DesignatedfavorfavorfavorfavorfavorfavorDesig/Pref/Alt
ProhibitedavoidavoidavoidavoidavoidavoidProhibitedProhibited
RestricteddiscouragediscouragediscouragediscouragediscouragediscourageRestrictedRestricted
Explosive Designatedno changeno changefavorno changeno changeno changeDesig Expl
Inhalant Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changefavorno changeDesig Inhal
Explosive & Inhalant Designatedno changeno changefavorno changefavorno changeDesig/Pref/Alt
Tunnel & RestricteddiscouragediscourageavoidavoidavoidavoidRestricted TunnelRestricted
Caustic, Explosive, Flammable & Radioactive Prohibitedno changeavoidavoidavoidno changeavoidMany Cmds Prohib.Some Cmds Prohib
Explosive Restrictedno changeno changediscourageno changeno changeno changeExplosive RestrictedRestricted
Explosive & Flammable Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidavoidno changeno changeExpl. & Flam. Prohib.Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changefavorDesig Rad
Radioactive Prohibited, Explosive Restrictedno changeno changediscourageno changeno changeavoidRad. Prohib., Expl. Restr.Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Prohibitedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeavoidRadioactive ProhibitedSome Cmds Prohib
Escort Neededno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeEscortNone
Explosives, Inhalant & Radioactive Designatedno changeno changefavorno changefavorfavorDesig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Designatedno changeno changefavorno changeno changefavorDesig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidno changeno changeavoidRad. & Expl. Prohib.Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive & Explosive Restrictedno changeno changediscourageno changeno changediscourageRad. & Expl. Restr.Restricted

Additional hazmat categories in Europe

In addition to the HazMatType or HazMatTypes parameters, ADR hazmat tunnel restriction codes can be set for routing in Europe with the tunnelCategory or tunnelCategories parameters.

Hazmat Routing CategoryEU Harmful to WaterNoneEU Tunnel B, C, D, EEU Tunnel C, D, EEU Tunnel D, EEU Tunnel E
Noneno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Prohibitedavoidno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Restrictedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Harmful to Water Prohibitedavoidno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Explosive Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Inhalant Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Explosive & Inhalant Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Tunnel & Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidavoidavoidavoid
Tunnel & Restrictedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Tunnel & Large Explosive, Inhalant, and Flammable Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidavoidavoidno change
Tunnel & Large Explosive and Inhalant Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidavoidno changeno change
Caustic, Explosive, Flammable & Radioactive Prohibitedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Explosive Restrictedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Tunnel & Very Large Explosive Prohibitedno changeno changeavoidno changeno changeno change
Explosive & Flammable Prohibitedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive Prohibited, Explosive Restrictedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive Prohibitedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Escort Neededno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Explosive and Flammable & Harmful to Water Prohibitedavoidno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Explosives, Inhalant & Radioactive Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive & Explosive Designatedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive & Explosive Prohibitedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change
Radioactive & Explosive Restrictedno changeno changeno changeno changeno changeno change

U.S. DOT hazmat classes

The table below shows the wording used for setting the hazMat, HazMatType, and HazMatTypes parameters. (Parameter settings are bolded.) It is derived from industry-standard placarded descriptions of hazardous materials, corresponds to the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazmat classifications.

    Class 1: Explosives – Explosive  

    Class 2: Compressed Gases               

                2.1: Flammable Gas – Flammable               

                2.2: Non-Flammable Compressed Gas – Other                

                2.3: Poisonous Gas – Inhalant  

    Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquid – Flammable  

    Class 4: Flammable Solids               

                4.1: Flammable Solid – Flammable               

                4.2: Spontaneously Combustible Material – Flammable                

                4.3: Dangerous When Wet Material – Flammable  

    Class 5: Oxidizers – Other  

    Class 6: Poisons               

                6.1: (part) Inhalation Hazard – Inhalant               

                6.1: (balance) – Other               

                6.2: Infectious Substance (Etiologic agent) [“Biohazard”] – Other  

    Class 7: Radioactive Materials – Radioactive  

    Class 8: Caustic Liquids – Caustic

    Class 9: Miscellaneous – Other  


Determining the hazmat setting

Hazmat regulations for a particular tunnel on a route should be checked if there is any doubt about which materials are permitted. Regulations may change over time and might not be included in the version of the PC*MILER database that you are currently using. The shipper of hazardous materials is legally responsible for determining the U.S. DOT Hazmat Class for their shipment and communicating that class to the carrier in their shipping papers. 

Last updated March 31, 2022.
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