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

 

 

30 Mar 2016
Mediterranean Shipping Co. said it will use Inttra’s eVGM software to receive shippers’ submissions of verified gross mass, which will be required July 1 under the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea amendment.
29 Mar 2016
The president of an association representing container terminal operators is confident that Brazil will be ready for the Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, Verified Gross Mass rule and has established a Special Technical Group to resolve any final concerns.
24 Mar 2016
China is the world’s leading generator of export containers, but its national guidelines on industry compliance with the SOLAS container weight rule remain “a work in progress”, according to Hong Kong-listed carrier OOCL.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
23 Mar 2016
There are now less than 100 days before a new international container weight rule goes into effect and the rollout is taking shape in very different ways in each of the 162 participating nations, with some governments giving clear guidelines while others haven’t provided any direction at all to date.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
21 Mar 2016
Ocean carriers are telling exporters that even though they are required to provide a single, certified weight for containers that includes the weight of the container itself, exporters are not legally responsible for verifying the weight of the container.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
21 Mar 2016
Compliance with the new container weight verification rule that will be imposed on July 1 is beginning to crystallize around two key points for shippers: What is the carrier cut-off time for submission of the Verified Gross Mass, and will boxes without the VGM be stopped at the gate?
17 Mar 2016
Shippers seeking to avoid supply chain disruption on July 1 when a new container weight rule takes effect need to be mindful of one key fact irrespective of what they may or may not be hearing from government enforcement agencies: No matter what country a ship is departing from, container carriers cannot load a container for which it has not received a verified gross mass declaration from the shipper.
17 Mar 2016
APM Terminals is working to determine which of its 72 terminals are suitable for offering container-weighing services so that shippers and carriers can be assured they are in compliance with the verified gross mass amendment to SOLAS, which takes effect July 1.
15 Mar 2016
The U.S. Coast Guard shrugged off suggestions that the rollout of a controversial new container weight regulation is mired in confusion and concern at a congressional hearing Tuesday.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
14 Mar 2016
A group of 49 shippers associations and supply chain stakeholders is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to leave unchanged the existing processes for finding and transmitting cargo weight information.
10 Mar 2016
Inttra, the ocean shipping e-marketplace, this week unveiled a demo of a new online platform aimed at allowing shippers to submit the verified gross mass — as required by the SOLAS container weight mandate that takes effect July 1 — just as seamlessly as they submit shipping instructions.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
10 Mar 2016
Following lengthy consultation with various stakeholders, India has drawn up its first draft of guidelines for the July 1 implementation of new container weight rules set by the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, convention.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
09 Mar 2016
European cargo terminal operators have once again said their national governments are not doing enough to clarify regulations requiring all containers to be weighed before they are loaded onto ships.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
04 Mar 2016
A group of U.S. agricultural exporters has endorsed a Coast Guard’s admiral’s view that compliance with international container-weighing rules should be handled as a “business practice” instead of through regulatory enforcement.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
03 Mar 2016
The head of the International Maritime Organization has urged all players in the global supply chain to communicate with each other to ensure a successful implementation of the container weight verification regulation that comes into force July 1.
01 Mar 2016
Transportation intermediaries are likely to play an important role in verifying container weights for international shippers and shipping lines, a UPS Supply Chain Solutions executive said at the 16th Annual TPM Conference here Tuesday.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
01 Mar 2016
The SOLAS guidelines on container weight verification that will be implemented from July 1 are not mandatory, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas told a packed TPM Conference here Tuesday.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
29 Feb 2016
A working group made up of major non-vessel-operating common carriers is urging the International Maritime Organization to issue status updates of how the 162 contracting states to the SOLAS convention will implement the container weight mandate.
29 Feb 2016
Conflicting and constantly changing information on new container weight regulations requiring shippers to provide the verified gross mass of all export containers points to a chaotic rollout of the rule when enforcement begins on July 1.
BNSF Railway
26 Feb 2016
As the deadline for the International Maritime Organization’s controversial new container weight rule nears, it’s still unclear whether railroads will accept containers without their verified gross mass documentation.
26 Feb 2016
U.S. exporters are being told to resist some guidance from carriers on how to meet the SOLAS container weight mandate, with the Agriculture Transportation Coalition saying the notifications from liners are “contradictory” to the Coast Guard’s hands-off stance on the rule.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
26 Feb 2016
Start thinking differently, potentially a lot differently, about how to comply with the new container weight rule that enters force July 1.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weights
23 Feb 2016
World forwarding body FIATA added its weighty voice to the growing discussion over container weight verification, calling for container lines to better communicate how they expect to receive the verified gross mass data.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
19 Feb 2016
The International Maritime Organization’s controversial container weight mandate could exacerbate the U.S. truck driver shortage and crimp supply chains far inland from U.S. ports.
19 Feb 2016
Hapag-Lloyd warned shippers Friday that it will not load their containers if they are not accompanied by a verified gross mass under the international container weight mandate that comes into effect in July.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
18 Feb 2016
The U.S. Coast Guard Thursday said it will not consider delaying the International Maritime Organization’s controversial new container weight rule and the agency cannot, and will not, hold shippers responsible for not providing container weight documentation to carriers.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
18 Feb 2016
There’s little chance that Canada will ask the International Maritime Organization to delay the SOLAS container weight mandate or even give shippers a “soft start” when the rule takes effect July 1, said Bob Ballantyne, president of the Freight Management Association of Canada.
17 Feb 2016
As the industry prepares for the controversial new verified weight rules that go into effect this July, the Port of Charleston is the first U.S. port to say it is willing and game to provide in-terminal weighing services for containers if allowed to do so by the U.S. Coast Guard.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
17 Feb 2016
Brazil seems to have most things in place for the new Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, container weight mandate of the International Maritime Organization, according to several terminal managers and trade and maritime commentators in the South American country.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
16 Feb 2016
Russia plans to later this month ask the International Maritime Organization to delay the container weight mandate by one year to July 1, 2017, even as it continues to prepare for the global rule. Any country that is a signatory to the Safety of Life at Sea convention, under which the verified gross mass mandate draws authority, may delay implementation as long as they formally request an extension from the IMO before the July 1 implementation.
SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
11 Feb 2016
The United States and any other country that is party to SOLAS can delay implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s controversial container weight rule by up to a year, a fact bound to increase pressure on the U.S. Coast Guard to extend the deadline past July 1 to avoid potential trade disruption.
SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
11 Feb 2016
Fitch Ratings is warning that the new International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea container weight mandate is poised to slow cargo throughput at U.S. ports as carriers, shippers and terminal operators grapple with rule set to take effect July. 1.
SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
11 Feb 2016
The Port of Felixstowe will offer a container weighing service to ensure UK shippers are able to comply with the new SOLAS container weight regulation that will be enforced from July 1, and to avoid potential export disruption.
SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
10 Feb 2016
In an indication of the range of issues that remain to be resolved in the U.S. before the SOLAS container weight rule takes effect in July, a public meeting of U.S. federal agencies, carriers, terminals and shippers (and media) will meet later this month in Washington under the auspices of the Federal Maritime Commission.
SOLAS VGM IMO container weight
10 Feb 2016
Maritime NZ, New Zealand’s maritime authority, is seeking stakeholder comments until March 11 on draft guidelines for compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea verified gross mass amendment.

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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