Container Weights

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

 

 

03 May 2016
“The rails have taken a hands-off attitude when it comes to SOLAS, which, after all, is a maritime issue,” Larry Gross, a senior transportation analyst at FTR Associates, told JOC.com Tuesday.
29 Apr 2016
Japan’s government has officially introduced a much-anticipated system designed to ensure the smooth implementation of the International Maritime Organization's SOLAS container weight rule from July 1 and reduced the fines for non-compliance.
29 Apr 2016
The U.S. Coast Guard Thursday gave its stamp of approval to two alternative methods for obtaining certified container weights to comply with new international regulations.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights China
29 Apr 2016
Long-awaited guidelines on how China will implement the SOLAS container weight rule have been released.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
28 Apr 2016
Indian maritime authorities and other stakeholders will meet to deal with "still-unresolved" commercial and operational complexities tied to the July 1 implementation of new container weight rules set by the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS convention.
28 Apr 2016
The Port of Houston has announced how it will handle the SOLAS verified gross mass rule.
28 Apr 2016
The Port of Charleston and its CEO James Newsome are emerging as mavericks in the increasingly heated debate over a global container weight rule.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
26 Apr 2016
Russia is developing a plan to certify container weighing scales so exporters can meet the International Maritime Organization’s verified gross mass rule with less than 70 days before it takes effect.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
26 Apr 2016
The cutoff time for a shipper submitting the verified gross mass information to a carrier will likely be before the general cutoff time being currently applied, according to a CargoSmart study on the new SOLAS rule that will be implemented from July 1.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights APL
25 Apr 2016
U.S. agriculture exporters’ push for a so-called “rational” method to a new container-weighing rule suffered a blow after APL said in a guidance to shippers that it wouldn't allow customers to provide the weight of goods and packaging to the container line, which would then add that figure to the tare weight of the container.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
25 Apr 2016
Less than 100 days before the container weight rule takes effect, a fight is brewing over whether terminal operators in Brazil should charge for inputting verified gross mass declarations as part of the new SOLAS container weight rule.
25 Apr 2016
The Port of Charleston says it is in the final stages of tests to see whether the port can provide in-terminal container weighing services for shippers to comply with the new International Maritime Organization container weight rule that goes into effect this July.
22 Apr 2016
The majority of shippers and logistics providers in a CargoSmart survey had no plans to comply with the new container weight rule that will be in effect from July 1, and Drewry found that none of 20 NVOs the analyst met during an April tender process were ready to comply.
21 Apr 2016
Federal Maritime Chairman Mario Cordero expects the U.S. container shipping industry to be prepared for the SOLAS container weight rule that takes effect July 1.
21 Apr 2016
DP World will offer container weighing services across its global portfolio when the new International Maritime Organization ruling is enforced from July 1, and is the first terminal operator to make such a widespread commitment.
20 Apr 2016
A major U.S. exporter on Thursday urged Congress to send the Coast Guard back to international authorities and request clarification on a new and controversial container weight rule in order to avoid severe port congestion. The Tyson Fresh Meats executive said the rulemaking process was kept under wraps and made without input from shippers.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
20 Apr 2016
European shippers, freight forwarders, port authorities and terminal operators have made a joint appeal to their national governments for a coordinated implementation of an international regulation requiring all containers to be weighed before they are loaded onto ships.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
20 Apr 2016
Hong Kong has become the latest jurisdiction to set a tolerance level between the verified gross mass of a container declared by a shipper and its actual weight under the new IMO container weighing rule, which comes into effect on July 1.
14 Apr 2016
Failure to comply with the new container weighing safety regulations in the United Kingdom will be a criminal offence, punishable by a heavy fine or a prison term, according to a UK law firm.
13 Apr 2016
DP World is installing scales at its British Columbia and Dominican Republic terminals and plans to charge a $245 fee for containers the company must weigh to ensure compliance with new international rules requiring certification of weights.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
13 Apr 2016
U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner Richard Lidinsky, Jr. said that U.S. shippers didn’t have enough of a voice in the creation of the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS container weight rule and criticized the World Shipping Council for “hijacking” the rulemaking.
13 Apr 2016
DP World Southampton will fit container-weighing equipment to its entire straddle carrier fleet to support the weighing service that the terminal will offer shippers from July 1, when the new SOLAS regulation will be enforced.
12 Apr 2016
The Port of Oakland has joined its Southern California peers and other U.S. ports in refusing to offer container weighing services for shippers, making it their responsibility to find other means to ensure compliance with the SOLAS container weight verification rule that takes effect on Jul. 1, 2016.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
12 Apr 2016
CargoSmart has joined global shipping platform Inttra to offer shippers an online container weight submission solution to help the industry comply with an amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea convention.
11 Apr 2016
Shippers will have to pay more to ship their products around the world when the International Maritime Organization’s new container weight verification requirements take effect on July 1.
08 Apr 2016
The Federal Maritime Commission is trying to facilitate industry discussion of the new container-weight rules set to take effect July 1, FMC Commissioner William Doyle said.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
07 Apr 2016
Agriculture shippers are asking Congress to determine whether the U.S. government can revise or downright revoke a new international container weight rule, ahead of a congressional hearing on the controversial regulation next week.
06 Apr 2016
The Virginia Port Authority has said that to comply with the SOLAS container weight rule it won’t accept containers without a verified gross mass declaration, joining the 13 terminals at the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex in not offering weighing services to shippers.
06 Apr 2016
The U.S. Congress will look into the impact the global SOLAS container weight rule will have on exporters next week, the latest sign of how some shippers’ frustration with the rule is mounting ahead of the July 1 deadline.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
05 Apr 2016
Ship brokers have joined the chorus of concern over the impact of a regulation requiring shippers to verify the weight of a container before it is loaded on board a ship that comes into effect on July 1.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
05 Apr 2016
If recent trends are an indication, U.S. importers have little reason to be concerned the verified gross mass declarations of containers will be checked by the U.S. Coast guard when the SOLAS container weight rule takes effect July 1.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
04 Apr 2016
Criticism and confusion from U.S. shippers, particularly U.S. exporters, greeted the Friday announcement by the 13 terminals at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex that they will not offer weighing services to support implementation of a global container weight rule.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
04 Apr 2016
Meeting the new International Maritime Organization requirements under the Safety of Life at Sea amendment that all containers be weighed before loading for shipment could increase the cost of ocean freight transport by more than 10 percent, according to a new report.
02 Apr 2016
Terminal operators in Los Angeles-Long Beach do not have the infrastructure that would allow them to weigh containers before they are loaded onto ships, so shippers will have to make other arrangements for obtaining the required verified gross mass of the containers before a July 1 international deadline takes effect, the terminals stated late Friday through a spokesperson.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
30 Mar 2016
Shippers that use forwarders to move full-container-load boxes will not escape responsibility to comply with global container weight rules even if they are not officially the “shipper” under the carrier’s bill of lading.

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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