In a bid to ensure British businesses continue trading when the container weighing legislation comes into effect on July, 1, 2016, DP World London Gateway and Southampton will be investing in a comprehensive container weighing solution for UK exporters in order to determine the verified gross mass (VGM) of a container before it is loaded onto ships.
The regulation will become mandatory for all International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states on July 1, 2016
The IMO amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations require shippers of goods to obtain the VGM of packed containers.
The objective of the regulation is to prevent serious accidents at sea where a ship’s stability is compromised by wrongly declared cargo weight.
Ganesh Raj, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for DP World Europe and Russia, said: “From our contacts with UK exporters, freight forwarders and shipping lines it is clear that the industry in general is finding it challenging to be ready to provide the VGM of containers.
“And without alternative solutions provided by our container terminals, this could become a significant logistics barrier for UK exports and world trade generally.
“DP World’s vision is to lead the future of global trade and has therefore decided to invest in equipment in the UK which will offer an efficient solution for this new mandatory regulation.”
Following extensive consultations with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, both DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton expect to implement scalable solutions to weigh containers shortly after arrival in the port and provide the VGM.
The weights determined will be used for the stowage on the container ships and ensure that users of DP World container terminals in the UK do not need to provide the VGM for their export containers but will be able to use the weight provided by DP World for this purpose.
It will still be possible for shippers to provide a certified VGM through electronic messaging prior to arrival at the port if preferred.