DP World’s British container terminals are to offer container weighing services for UK exporters to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each container ahead of new legislation coming into effect from the July 1, 2016.
Both DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton will “implement scalable solutions” to weigh containers shortly after arrival in the port and provide the VGM, the company said in a statement, following extensive consultations with the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted an amendment to the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations to require that shippers of goods obtain the VGM of packed containers and communicate it to the ocean carriers sufficiently in advance of the ship stow planning.
The regulation becomes mandatory for all IMO member states on 1 July 2016, when ocean carriers and container terminal operators will be legally obliged to ensure that containers without a VGM are not loaded on to a ship. The objective of the regulation is to prevent serious accidents at sea where a ship’s stability is compromised by wrongly declared cargo weight.
Ganesh Raj, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for DP World Europe & Russia said, “From our contacts with UK exporters, freight forwarders and shipping lines it is clear that the industry in general is finding it challenging to be ready to provide the VGM of containers and without alternative solutions provided by our container terminals, this could become a significant logistics barrier for UK exports and world trade generally.”
Raj added: “DP World’s vision is to lead the future of global trade and has therefore decided to invest in equipment in the UK which will offer an efficient solution for this new mandatory regulation.”
The weights determined will be used for the stowage on the container ships and ensure that users of DP World container terminals in the UK do not need to provide the VGM for their export containers but will be able to use the weight provided by DP World for this purpose.