European Shippers Council (ESC) considers the call for stricter IMO regulations concerning the weight of containers prior to loading superfluous
According to the European Shippers Council (ESC) extra regulation of container weights will not solve the safety issues in container transport, is superfluous and hardly feasible.
ESC’s concern is that the discussion is becoming entirely focused on a relatively small risk factor instead of taking a more comprehensive look at the whole process of shipping containers.
The focus instead should be upon looking at other important matters such as procedures for lashing, ship maintenance and stowage.
The European shippers also expressed their doubts that IMO is the right institution for regulating container safety issues in itself. ESC’s representative said that they are working together with labour unions and other parties in the maritime industry to get the voluntary UNECE / ILO guidelines for container stuffing updated as soon as possible. According to ESC it is this institution that should take the lead in improving the quality of container stuffing and possibly prescribe legislation on the issue. Poor stuffing is a problem for all modes of transport, not solely the maritime industry.
ESC points out that IMO’s SOLAS regulations already contain a requirement that shippers should declare the weight of their containers correctly. Adding another one to it will not solve the issue of misdeclared weights, they believe.
ESC says it admits that misdeclaration of weights needs their attention but oppose the idea that it is the biggest threat to the safety of workers in the supply chain.