On average, a total of 1,679 containers are lost at sea each year. (Avg. 2008-2014)
Prior to the new weight verification law, wrongly declared container weights were a recurring case. Shippers have been required to accurately declare their containers’ weights, but there were no clear penalties established when they don’t. Unfortunately, the consequences happen in a form of an accident, when already casualties have occurred and damages were incurred.
The SOLAS amendment aims to eradicate these avoidable accidents. Data from investigations on major maritime disasters, such as the MV Deneb in 2011, the MSC Napoli in 2007, and the Annabella in 2007, all concluded that the root cause were incorrectly distributed load on the vessels.
Key Benefits from the SOLAS VGM Law
Accurate Stowage Plans based on Correct and On-time Data
This is the root problem that the legislation primarily solves. With the ship master and port receiving accurate container weights, they can then ensure that:
The ship is stable
Hull strength is not exceeded
Stack weights are properly distributed
Lashing arrangements are effective
Vessel is efficient and fuel consumption is reduced
Overall voyage is safe
Decreased (or Zero) Lost Cargo
Incidents where containers fall off of vessels will now decrease, or even disappear.
Improved Logistics and Transport Communications
The container weight verification law implicitly serves as a solution to improve the communication between the shipper and the carrier.
Financial and Effiency Benefits
The mandatory compliance ulitmately entails measurable savings from reduced accidents, associated damages and losses and decreased expenses for rectification.Improvements in efficiency will be experienced across the entire logistics chain. Container weight issues are identified while the container is still on the site of packing, thereby avoiding congesting busy ports and infrastructure further.
Improvements in efficiency will be experienced across the entire logistics chain. Container weight issues are identified while the container is still on the site of packing, thereby avoiding congesting busy ports and infrastructure further.
Decreased (or Zero) Damage to Shipping and Handling Equipment and Containers
Longer-lasting containers and shipping handling equipment.
For manufacturers: improved inventory and quantity management
The amendments provide international consistency on the container weighing process, allowing manufacturers, shippers, and carriers more advantages with on-call data of each weighed container.
Decreased (or Zero) Accidents: Overall Increased Safety
Numerous near misses, injuries, and even fatalities are reported annually because of improperly packed and declared weights. Accidents due to improperly declared weights not only can potentially occur during the ship loading process, but throughout the journey from the shipper to the vessel.
By requiring shippers to get their containers’ weight verified, it improves the safety on all modes of transport even before the container starts its journey.
To review, the two methods that the IMO/SOLAS offered to obtain the verified gross mass (VGM) of a container are:
Method 1, where the shipper (or a third party duly appointed by the shipper) is required to have the packed CTU weighed prior to ship loading.
Method 2, where the shipper (or a third party duly appointed by the shipper) to weigh all itemized cargo and dunnage (pallets, strapping) individually, and add their total weight to the container’s tare weight (as indicated on the door of the container).
The approved amendments to the IMO/SOLAS container weight verification law requires all shippers to secure (and send in advance) the verified gross mass of containers they send to the port. As this is a mandatory requirement, failure to comply denies unverified containers to be loaded onto the vessel.
It is valuable to appreciate the benefits of complying instead of troubling over the disruptions it may cause to operations. Many solutions are available to shippers, such as an on-demand mobile container weighing service that can come to the shipper’s packing site to weigh their containers and deliver a weight certificate in minutes on-site.
Compliance with Container Weight Verification Doesn’t Have to Disrupt Your Operations.
Conweigh is the Mobile Container Weighing Service that is On-demand, On-site, and On-time.
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