Construction has been completed on weighbridges at the Port of Liverpool to help cargo owners comply with the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) international regulations on container weights.
The multi-lane, in-process capability involved considerable work to install multiple dynamic axle weighbridges at the terminal AutoGates.
It is linked with the terminal operating system and is able to automatically provide a verified gross mass (VGM) record for the container.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set the date of July 1, 2016 as the deadline for when the cargo declarant must provide a VGM before any laden container can be loaded onto a vessel.
Similar arrangements will be in place at Peel Ports’ other container terminals in Dublin and Greenock (Glasgow).
David Huck, Port Director at the Port of Liverpool, said: “This is arguably the biggest challenge to face the container shipping industry and the right approach for cargo owners and shipping lines remains a hotly disputed topic, even this close to the deadline.
“While ports have no obligation under the regulations, we have chosen to invest significantly in a solution to support the entire logistics community, which will help to reduce costs, risks and delays for our customers.”
The weighbridges and the processes to ensure compliance with the regulations have been discussed extensively and agreed with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) as the relevant UK regulator.
All HGV vehicles carrying containers into the terminal will be required to register a Mass in Running Order (MIRO) prior to arriving at the terminal. MIRO is a weight recording requirement for commercial goods vehicles and trailers in the UK.
Any laden containers that enter the container terminal without a VGM, or have a declared VGM that is outside of the guidance tolerance, will have one electronically generated.
At the in-gate the vehicle will pass slowly over the weighbridge where the system will determine the axle weights and therefore the total gross weight of the vehicle.
The declared MIRO will then be applied to determine the VGM of the laden export container. The VGM will be updated at in-gate to the ‘Port Community System’.
The infrastructure container weighing surcharge and container weighing charge will be automatically processed via the port community system platform operated by Maritime Cargo Processing (MCP D8) in the UK, following in-gating and weighing of the container at the AutoGates.
Real-time updates to the terminal operating system and thus dynamic grounding of laden export containers will ensure no in-process delays to cargo transit whilst ensuring cargo declarations are compliant with legislation and the supporting EDI messages are updated.
Fact File: Peel Ports is one of the UK’s largest port groups, owning and operating seven of the UK and Ireland’s most important ports. It handles 70 million tonnes of cargo every year and is headquartered in Liverpool, employing around 1200 staff. Peel Ports is part of the Peel Group, one of the UK’s foremost privately-owned investment enterprises