How to tackle container weight verification

On the 1 July the new SOLAS container verified gross mass (VGM) regulations became mandatory. To assist with this new requirement, Strainstall, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, launched a white paper to assist those affected by the new rules in carting a pathway to compliance, clarifying the technical and commercial options and presenting a cost-effective, robust and accurate solution.

Strainstall has published a white paper outlining the pitfalls, options and opportunities of compliance for the world’s ports, terminals and cargo handling industries.

As the paper sets-out, while the shipper is ultimately responsible for VGM declaration, ports and terminals are the natural environment for container VGM solutions to be implemented, as packed containers are processed as part of normal operations.

Though the shipper is responsible for declaring the packed container weight, a failure to do so will be disruptive and costly to operations, while the provision of this service by the ports and terminals will provide a very clear opportunity to provide an additional added value commercial service.

The paper describes a range of viable solutions that are available for cost-effective retrofit integration on existing assets, including the full range of container handling equipment, from reach stackers, RTGs and straddle carriers.

While the precise nature of VGM equipment and certification requirements are still to be fully defined and may well vary between jurisdictions, the paper describes Strainstall’s accuracy-led approach, focused on what the company believes to be the most likely worst case scenario for implementation. This provides the opportunity for those port and terminal operators who wish to do so, to gain a level of first mover advantage.

"In talking to port and terminal operators it is clear that they are keen to assist shippers to achieve compliance with the new SOLAS regulations.

In publishing this white paper our aim is to clarify the technical and commercial options available, and present recommendations as to how, despite the regulatory uncertainties over certification and accuracy requirements, we can assist port and terminal operators to plan now for a cost-effective, robust and accurate solution, enabling them to offer a weighing service to their customers ahead of the implementation of these new regulations."

Strainstall Managing Director