DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton will be offering a comprehensive weighing service for UK exporters to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each container so that UK businesses can be compliant with new legislation from the July 1, 2016, which requires a laden export container to be weighed prior to being loaded onto a ship.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted an amendment to the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations to require that shippers of goods obtain the VGM of packed containers and communicate it to the ocean carriers sufficiently in advance of the ship stow planning.
The regulation will become mandatory for all IMO member states and ocean carriers and container terminal operators will be legally obliged to ensure that containers without a VGM are not loaded on to a ship.
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.”
After extensive consultations with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, both DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton will implement scalable solutions to weigh containers shortly after arrival in the port and provide the VGM.
The weights determined in this way will be used for the stowage on the container ships and ensures 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.
This was due to the entire process being too convoluted and requiring VGM approval from multiple departments, which could turn out to be time-consuming.
Watch part 1 of contianer weighing explained: