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

 

 

02 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.
04 Nov 2016
A New Zealand company has launched a relatively small, portable scale designed to enable shippers to weigh a container atop a chassis, saying it will help shippers comply with new global container weight rules.
The rollout of the Safety of Life at Sea verified gross mass mandate in India has seen clashes between shippers, terminal operators, and regulators.
03 Oct 2016
India’s Directorate General of Shipping has extended its grace period for shippers to be fully compliant with the Safety of Life at Sea verified gross mass mandate.
03 Oct 2016
Maritime authorities around the world are expected to more vigorously scrutinize shipments to ensure their compliance with the International Maritime Organization's Safety of Life at Sea container weight mandate.
29 Sep 2016
Concerns still remain on the holdouts, IT issues, and accuracy of declarations related to SOLAS container weight rule.
07 Sep 2016
Shippers using the DP World terminal at Cochin forced the terminal to abandon its efforts to charge them for SOLAS verified gross mass, or VGM, compliance.
Shippers and the Directorate of General of Shipping are unhappy with how some container terminals have been handling container weighing to comply with SOLAS.
29 Aug 2016
India’s maritime administrator is showing no sign of backing down from its previous diktat barring container terminal operators from offering container weighing services on-site for a fee.
15 Aug 2016
Private terminal operators in India, especially those at major public ports, are extremely peeved that they have been shut out of the process tied to providing the verified gross mass, or VGM, of export containers to shippers.
01 Aug 2016
Reports of unjustified surcharges have been on the rise following the introduction of a new mandatory container weight verification rule that took effect last month, according to the Global Shippers Forum.
19 Jul 2016
Terminals in India's busiest port are facing heat over allegations of unnecessary container weighing to meet SOLAS.
12 Jul 2016
Shippers using India’s top port are furious with new fees related to the collection and transmission of verified gross mass data.
06 Jul 2016
Kuehne + Nagel is reporting serious problems with SOLAS in China.
05 Jul 2016
Russian container terminals and exporters didn’t experience any disruption tied to the new SOLAS container weight rule.
05 Jul 2016
APM Terminals joined those in the industry reporting little disruption from the SOLAS rule.
04 Jul 2016
Japan’s implementation of the SOLAS container weight rule appears to have gotten off to a smooth start.
01 Jul 2016
Shippers using South America's busiest containe port dodged two bullets.
01 Jul 2016
Officials also credited industry organizations’ communication about the new rules and regulatory approval of a common approach by major container lines and six ports.
01 Jul 2016
Shipper frustration over what they see as dubious charges from some terminals, liners and forwarders is intensifying.
01 Jul 2016
There are no reports of disruption at Europe’s three largest container ports Friday as the SOLAS rule took effect.
01 Jul 2016
It was “business as usual” at container terminals in India's major port complexes on Friday.
30 Jun 2016
A nervous container business is bracing for the new VGM regulations.
30 Jun 2016
Cargo agents in China are being squeezed from both sides as box weighing charges fall in their laps.
28 Jun 2016
How containers moving to on-dock ramps will be weighed is still being worked out just days before the rule takes effect Friday.
28 Jun 2016
The not-so-unexpected announcement from the Danish container line was made just as ports, marine terminals and container lines are coming closer to creating a system that will use pre-existing weighing processes to alleviate the burden on U.S. exporters.
28 Jun 2016
India’s Directorate General of Shipping has issued a supplementary decree allowing shippers more time to comply with requirements laid down in its final ordinance issued May 11.
28 Jun 2016
There is no justification for forwarders to charge a container weight processing fee, complains a shipper group in Hong Kong.
27 Jun 2016
The new rule’s rollout is just days away, but guidance from operating ports, carriers, terminal operators and nation states has been variable and prone to change.
27 Jun 2016
All six terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey will offer weighing services to shippers that don’t provide verified gross mass declarations needed to meet the SOLAS rule.
24 Jun 2016
The Port Newark Container Terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey has revised its policy on how it will meet verified gross mass requirements.
24 Jun 2016
The South Korean carrier is the first container line to make such an announcement and the news has given rise to suggestions that other carriers may soon take a similar approach to the International Maritime Organization’s new rule.

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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