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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 - North America

Applies to U.S. and Canada

Hazmat Routing Category General Caustic Explosives Flammable Inhalants Radioactive Detailed Route Report Hazmat Map Legend
None no change no change no change no change no change no change None
Designated favor favor favor favor favor favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Prohibited avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid Prohibited Prohibited
Restricted discourage discourage discourage discourage discourage discourage Restricted Restricted
Explosive Designated no change no change favor no change no change no change Desig Expl
Inhalant Designated no change no change no change no change favor no change Desig Inhal
Explosive & Inhalant Designated no change no change favor no change favor no change Desig/Pref/Alt
Tunnel & Prohibited avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid Prohibited Tunnel Prohibited
Tunnel & Restricted discourage discourage avoid avoid avoid avoid Restricted Tunnel Restricted
Caustic, Explosive, Flammable & Radioactive Prohibited no change avoid avoid avoid no change avoid Many Cmds Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change no change Explosive Restricted Restricted
Explosive & Flammable Prohibited no change no change avoid avoid no change no change Expl. & Flam. Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Designated no change no change no change no change no change favor Desig Rad
Radioactive Prohibited, Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change avoid Rad. Prohib., Expl. Restr. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change avoid Radioactive Prohibited Some Cmds Prohib
Escort Needed no change no change no change no change no change no change Escort None
Explosives, Inhalant & Radioactive Designated no change no change favor no change favor favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Designated no change no change favor no change no change favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Prohibited no change no change avoid no change no change avoid Rad. & Expl. Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive & Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change discourage Rad. & Expl. Restr. Restricted

Hazmat route options and road categories - Outside of North America

Applies to Africa (AF), Asia (AS), Europe (EU), Middle East (ME), Oceania (OC), and South America (SA) – unless otherwise noted

Hazmat Routing Category General Caustic Explosives Flammable Inhalants Radioactive Detailed Route Report Hazmat Map Legend
None no change no change no change no change no change no change None
Designated favor favor favor favor favor favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Prohibited avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid Prohibited Prohibited
Restricted discourage discourage discourage discourage discourage discourage Restricted Restricted
Harmful to Water Prohibited (AF and EU only) no change no change no change no change no change no change Harmful to Water Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Explosive Designated no change no change favor no change no change no change Desig Expl
Inhalant Designated no change no change no change no change favor no change Desig Inhal
Explosive & Inhalant Designated no change no change favor no change favor no change Desig/Pref/Alt
Tunnel & Prohibited avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid Prohibited Tunnel Prohibited
Tunnel & Restricted discourage discourage avoid avoid avoid avoid Restricted Tunnel Restricted
Tunnel & Large Explosive, Inhalant, and Flammable Prohibited (EU only) no change no change no change no change no change no change Many Cmds Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Tunnel & Large Explosive and Inhalant Prohibited (EU and ME only) no change no change no change no change no change no change Expl. & Inhal. Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Caustic, Explosive, Flammable & Radioactive Prohibited no change avoid avoid avoid no change avoid Many Cmds Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change no change Explosive Restricted Restricted
Tunnel & Very Large Explosive Prohibited (EU only) no change no change no change no change no change no change Explosive Restricted Some Cmds Prohib
Explosive & Flammable Prohibited (AS, EU, and SA only) no change no change avoid avoid no change no change Expl. & Flam. Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Designated no change no change no change no change no change favor Desig Rad
Radioactive Prohibited, Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change avoid Rad. Prohib., Expl. Restr. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change avoid Radioactive Prohibited Some Cmds Prohib
Escort Needed no change no change no change no change no change no change Escort None
Explosive and Flammable & Harmful to Water Prohibited (EU Only) no change no change avoid avoid no change no change Many Cmds Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Explosives, Inhalant & Radioactive Designated no change no change favor no change favor favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Designated no change no change favor no change no change favor Desig/Pref/Alt
Radioactive & Explosive Prohibited no change no change avoid no change no change avoid Rad. & Expl. Prohib. Some Cmds Prohib
Radioactive & Explosive Restricted no change no change discourage no change no change discourage Rad. & Expl. Restr. Restricted

Tunnel 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 Category EU Harmful to Water None EU Tunnel B, C, D, E EU Tunnel C, D, E EU Tunnel D, E EU Tunnel E
None no change no change no change no change no change no change
Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Prohibited avoid no change no change no change no change no change
Restricted no change no change no change no change no change no change
Harmful to Water Prohibited avoid no change no change no change no change no change
Explosive Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Inhalant Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Explosive & Inhalant Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Tunnel & Prohibited no change no change avoid avoid avoid avoid
Tunnel & Restricted no change no change no change no change no change no change
Tunnel & Large Explosive, Inhalant, and Flammable Prohibited no change no change avoid avoid avoid no change
Tunnel & Large Explosive and Inhalant Prohibited no change no change avoid avoid no change no change
Caustic, Explosive, Flammable & Radioactive Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change no change
Explosive Restricted no change no change no change no change no change no change
Tunnel & Very Large Explosive Prohibited no change no change avoid no change no change no change
Explosive & Flammable Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive Prohibited, Explosive Restricted no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change no change
Escort Needed no change no change no change no change no change no change
Explosive and Flammable & Harmful to Water Prohibited avoid no change no change no change no change no change
Explosives, Inhalant & Radioactive Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive & Explosive Designated no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive & Explosive Prohibited no change no change no change no change no change no change
Radioactive & Explosive Restricted no change no change no change no change no change no 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 May 30, 2023.
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