HPH to weigh boxes at most of its terminals

HPH to weigh boxes at most of its terminals

The HPH terminal in Balboa, Panama near the Panama Canal.

Hutchison Port Holdings said the majority of terminals in its global network will offer container-weighing services to help supply chain stakeholders comply with the amendment to the SOLAS convention that requires all containers to have a verified gross mass before they are loaded onto a vessel.

HPH said its network of ports will be ready for full compliance with the newly-amended convention when it takes global effect on July 1.

“The provision of container-weighing services through different cost-effective means will be offered by the majority of HPH container terminals, depending on local needs and commercial arrangements,” the Hong Kong-headquartered company said in a statement.

“The actual enforcement of SOLAS compliance will be the prerogative of the local authorities, and the terminal operators will work under the conditions that are established.”

The company aligned its processes and guidelines with the challenges posed by the new regulation and enhanced its systems across business units to better implement the new policy, the company said. As a result it will weigh all export containers entering its terminals from both land and sea, with or without VGM.  

“We fully support this regulation as safety is a priority in our operations. We are committed to helping our customers comply with this regulation and are collaborating with the shipping community and local authorities to ensure a seamless transition and full compliance before the enforcement date,” said group managing director, Eric Ip.

The amendment requires that every packed export container have its weight verified before it is loaded onto a vessel. Shippers must provide VGM information to both the carrier and container terminal operator prior to the cargo being loaded onto a vessel.

HPH has operations in 48 ports across 25 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia and handled just under 84 million twenty-foot-equivalent units in 2015.

Earlier APM Terminals said it will provide container weighing services at 29 locations across its global network to ensure a smooth transition as shippers adjust to the new rule.

The Maersk group’s port arm plans to offer similar services at more of its 72 terminals to enable shippers to comply with the amendment to the convention.

“It is crucial that these regulations are met in a way that does not create congestion bottlenecks that ultimately impose additional risk and cost for all stakeholders,” said APM Terminals head of global operations, Jack Craig.

The company said it is reviewing operational procedures and processes to ensure VGM compliance throughout its global network.

It plans to provide VGM data management capabilities in most of its terminals by accepting the VGM via electronic data interchange for transmission to terminal operating systems from ocean carriers prior to vessel load planning.

Contact Turloch Mooney at turloch.mooney@ihs.com and follow him on Twitter: @TurlochMooney.

A version of this story originally appeared on IHS Fairplay, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS.