Construction is complete on weighbridges at the port of Liverpool to help cargo owners comply with the new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) 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, 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 investment we are making in the infrastructure is a further sign of our commitment to providing an industry-leading service.”
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 MIRO prior to arriving at the terminal. (MIRO is Mass in Running Order - 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.