The Oakland MTO Agreement (OAKMTOA) has stated that all three member terminals at the Port of Oakland are incapable of providing verified gross mass (VGM) weighing services that adhere to the SOLAS guidelines scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2016.
The guidelines, which are amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), require shippers to notify ocean carriers of the weight of containers before they are loaded onto a ship.
The collective announcement by the member terminals was based on the lack of terminal infrastructure necessary to obtain VGMs using the methods specified within the guideline’s amendments.
Individual member terminals will establish and communicate their own policies for handling VGM procedures at their terminals.
Technical Paper: Container Weighing Explained
The Oakland MTO Agreement is filed with the Federal Maritime Commission, and comprises the three marine terminal operators serving the Port of Oakland.
PTI recently published an infographic which explains the process for VGM declarations, however, with less than three months before the regulation deadline, ports and terminals globally are still concerned with how to effectively implement the rule.
The ports of LA and Long Beach recently announced that they do not have the appropriate infrastructure to weigh containers.
There is also the uncertainty with regards to the methods used to weigh containers, with the weighbridges required for method one either being in short supply or in poor condition.
However, despite these issues, Strainstall has recently released a portable container weighing system that aims to provide a weighing service as a solution to the ports and terminals who do not offer their own.