As part of the Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has mandated that all containers specify a certified Verified Gross Mass (VGM) weight starting July 1st, 2016. The VGM consists of the weight of the cargo plus the tare weight of the container. If you are a shipper you and your company will now be responsible for providing the VGM to the ocean carrier prior to loading of the full container on a vessel.
Why is this now being implemented? The initiative by the IMO is to prevent accidents from occurring as a result of overweight containers and improper vessel loading. Accurate weights will allow for better planning of how to best distribute weight on the ship. Protecting all vessel and terminal operators, as well as cargo, is paramount to the initiative.
This requirement applies to ALL exports, not just recyclable commodities. While this is a global requirement, local conditions may impact reporting requirements.
As a recycling company – all material which we ship either domestically or to a foreign country via an export vessel – is sold by weight. Each trailer or export container is weighed empty when it arrives at our site. This provides us with the “tare”, or empty weight. It is then loaded, and weighed again once full. This provides the “gross”, or fully loaded weight. We are then able to calculate the net weight – which is the weight of the product shipped.
This new SOLAS regulation will not result in a significant change in our operation – as the weights we ship are readily available and can be easily provided – much as they are now.
This regulation WILL affect those companies, organizations, and carriers that export product – and do not sell the material by weight. Each of these companies will now need to locate a certified scale – to weigh their product and provide the shipping lines with an accurate weight – for each and every export container they ship.
This could create a business opportunity for organizations that possess a certified scale – as each carrier will need to access, weigh, and obtain a scale ticket, or their material shipment will be refused at the port.
Miller Recycling is located in Mansfield, MA. We can provide you with certified scale services. Contact us to discuss your shipping container and logistical needs.