Container Weights

View Our IMO Container Weight Mandate Q&A here

Effective July 1, 2016, any shipping container leaving from any port in the world must be accompanied by a shipping document signed either electronically or in hard copy by the shipper on the bill of lading listing the verified gross mass of a container in order to be loaded onto a ship. The container weight mandate from the International Maritime Organization under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention comes after misdeclared weights contributed to maritime casualties such as the breakup and subsequent beaching of the MSC Napoli on the southern U.K. coast in 2007 and the partial capsizing a feeder ship in the Spanish port of Algeciras in June, 2015.

The weighing must be done in one of two approved ways, called Method 1 and Method 2, on scales calibrated and certified to the national standards of the country where the weighing was performed. Many of finer points of the new regulation have not yet been finalized, such as enforcement, and what happens to a container that arrives at a port without the necessary documentation or if the VGM (verified gross mass) declaration for a container turns out to be false or incorrect.

JOC.com is dedicated to providing shippers, carriers, forwarders, ports and others with extensive, authoritative coverage of what will be the one of the largest challenges facing the container shipping industry globally in 2016. See this extensive, continuously updated Q&A covering the range of issues that shippers, carriers, 3PLs and terminals need to be aware of as the implementation date approaches.

INFOGRAPHIC: How to meet the container weight mandate

 

 

News & Analysis

20 Oct 2017
More than a year after the SOLAS requirement for container weight verification, APM Terminals' Praful Waghela, global product manager for VGM services, examines the mandate's additional safety benefits and the work being done to move from compliance to accuracy.
30 Sep 2017
BoxTech contains information on containers moving on one-third of the global fleet. Secretary General Douglas Owen details the vision behind development and potential future uses for the data. 
13 Sep 2017
Two of the world’s largest shipping container operators now contribute information to the database, which has more than 1,000 users.
23 Jun 2017
It has been a year since the International Maritime Organization rolled out new rules for container weight verification across the globe.
13 Jun 2017
A year after the implementation of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirement, the once hot-button fears about the regulation have disappeared, but doubts on the accuracy of declarations linger.
01 Dec 2016
Indian shippers and stakeholders have a further four-month grace period to be fully compliant with the Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, verified gross mass mandate.

Commentary

U.S. marine terminals’ last-minute rallying around existing container weighing services, global operators’ weighing services for those exporting outside the U.S. and a regulatory grace period made the rollout of International Maritime Organization's SOLAS akin to the much-feared but innocuous Y2K. 

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