With three days of terminal operations completed under the new Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) regulations, export cargo loading has proceeded without incident at the facilities within APM Terminals (APMT’s) Global Terminal Network.
In 2014, the International Maritime organization (IMO), the agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating international seaborne trade, approved amendments to the SOLAS Convention which as of July 1, 2016 requires verification and documentation of export containers before they can be loaded onto vessels.
The purpose of the VGM regulations is to assure safety of the vessel, as well as dockworkers and other cargo handlers by preventing overweight or otherwise misrepresented containers from jeopardising shipments or container movements.
VGM Generation services at 46 locations across the APMT portfolio have been phased in since mid-June, 2016 with thousands of containers already weighed for export loading.
John Trenchard, Head of Inland and End User Services at APMT, said: “We encourage shippers to consider our VGM Generation services, as they offer an additional option to shippers and minimal disruption to trade flow.”
All of APMT’s gate operations are operating normally, with vessel schedule integrity remaining unaffected by the new VGM compliance.
In more than 70 locations around the globe, APMT provides a range of services, including VGM Data Management, VGM Verification and VGM Generation.
Stock levels of containers are being monitored to ensure efficient operations can be maintained for containers previously accepted at facilities and currently awaiting VGM documentation.
Jack Craig, VP of Operations at APMT, said: “APMT is committed to assisting our customers to comply with the new SOLAS VGM regulation with as little impact to the supply chain as possible.”
While the majority of VGM data is being transmitted through EDI, there are still some areas where manual processing process is required during this early implementation phase.