Whitepaper: Container Weighing Explained
There are now less than six months remaining before the implementation of the amended Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules requiring that any container to be loaded onto a vessel to which these regulations apply, must have its gross mass determined in advance through weighing – there are no exceptions. While the onus is upon the shipper to fulfil this obligation, the most practical location at which weighing can take place is at the ports and terminals, where lifting is a part of the existing cargo handling process. Two years ago in a previous white paper Strainstall set out the technology options, costs and opportunities for container verified gross mass (VGM) determination, as a contribution to the debate on the impending regulation. With the rules now confirmed and just months remaining before the 1 July 2016 deadline for compliance, we now offer our views on the options for fast, cost-effective and accurate compliance.
THE BACKGROUND: THE 2016 SOLAS AMENDMENT
In developing the new 2016 SOLAS amendment on container VGM determination, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has kept things simple. From 1 July 2016 onwards, in order to protect the safety of ships, workers both on board and ashore involved in the handling of cargoes, and overall safety at sea, the verified gross mass of any packed container must be declared prior to stowage on board the vessel. This is not an optional requirement or an indication of best practice, but rather a legal obligation for all vessels affected by SOLAS regulations visiting any port in any IMO member state...