APMT in Global Container Weighing Plan


With just 50 days until SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) comes into force APM Terminals (APMT) is taking the lead to ensure a smooth transition into the new regulatory environment by providing container weighing services at its 29 locations.

Under international law from July 1, 2016 shippers are required to provide a verified gross mass (VGM) for every container before it can be loaded with the shipping line.

In 2014, the International Maritime organization (IMO), the agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating international seaborne trade, approved amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) which will require verification and documentation of loaded containers before they can be loaded onto vessels.

This can be accomplished by either weighing the loaded container with calibrated and certified equipment, or weighing the cargo prior to loading and adding it to the tare weight of the empty container.

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.

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Jack Craig, Head of Global Operations at APMT, said: “Our first priority remains to ensure safe and efficient operations for the supply chain; it is crucial that these regulations are met in a way which does not create congestion bottlenecks that ultimately impose additional risk and cost for all stakeholders.”

APMT teams are in dialogue with local regulatory authorities who are providing increasing clarity on national rules governing how to ensure compliance.

Operational procedures and processes are being reviewed to ensure VGM Process Compliance throughout the APMT Global Terminal Network. 

APMT is planning to provide ‘VGM Data Management’ capabilities in most facilities through accepting electronic data interchange (EDI) transmissions of VGM information into terminal operating systems from the shipping lines prior to vessel load planning.

Technical Paper: Container Weighing Explained

Export containers which are received at APMT facilities with a valid VGM will be accepted as per current local operational procedures.

Those export containers which arrive at APMT facilities without a valid VGM will be generally accepted, but as they are ineligible to load on a vessel, may be segregated and subject to additional re-handling and storage requirements.

Initially, APMT will provide VGM Generation Services to supply chain partners at 29 locations globally.

APMT aims to add further locations where VGM support services can be offered.

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