Get Ready for SOLAS!

Why is this a concern?  Misstatement of weights through estimations has been determined to be a large contributor to some devastating consequences with loss of life and cargo.  Since containers with heavier weights need to be strategically placed on the vessel, verifying weight is a large concern.  If heavy containers are loaded on top, weather conditions could cause the following devastation as it did for MOL in 2008.

How does it affect you?  Starting July 1 2016, containers will not be accepted on board vessels without VGM.  Steamship lines have began implementing cutoff requirements for VGM to be filed.  To comply with SOLAS VGM requirements, there are two choices:

1. Obtain VGM by weighing the packed container and subtracting the road vehicle where applicable (chassis/trailer/cab).
2. Obtain VGM by weighing the individual pieces and adding dunnage and container tare weight.

How is proper weight obtained?  Cargo must be weighed on equipment that meets national certification and calibration requirements.  Supply Chain Shipping will be fully compliant with this requirement.  To maximize efficiency, shippers will now be required to prepare a Verified Gross Mass Form (“VGM Form”) that is to be returned on or before the document cut-off time requirement, as instructed by steamship line requirements. 

It is important to emphasize, the shipper will be responsible for weight accuracy and verified gross mass.  If the shipper provides any untimely and/or inaccurate information, the shipper will be liable and responsible to Supply Chain Shipping and/or carrier for any fines, penalties, delays, or additional costs of any kind (e.g. demurrage, detention, storage, etc.), damages or losses resulting thereof.

If you need assistance in obtaining VGM, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.  For more information on SOLAS please refer to IMO’s Guidelines on SOLAS.

Jim Ward
Supply Chain Shipping, LLC

SCS BlogVanessa Frye