Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More UK Deep Water Ports Declare Availability of Services to Weigh Freight Containers

Help for Unprepared Shippers to Comply with New SOLAS Regulations
Shipping News Feature
UK – Further to our detailed analysis of the new Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) Regulations which come into force on the 1st July, more of the country’s deep water ports have revealed their plans for assisting shippers in the weighing of containers, a mandatory requirement for all box freight consignments from that date. Lack of a verified container weight document will mean goods cannot be shipped so, after the Port of Felixstowe revealed it will have a system in place for containers arriving unweighed, rival port operator DP World has made a similar declaration.

DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton say they will both be offering a comprehensive weighing service for UK exporters to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each container. After extensive consultations with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, both ports will implement scalable solutions to weigh containers shortly after arrival in the port and provide the VGM. The weights determined in this way will be used for the stowage on the container ships and ensures 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.

Obviously any of the ports will presumably charge for this service so it will still be possible for shippers to provide a certified VGM through electronic messaging prior to arrival at the port if preferred. Ganesh Raj, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for DP World Europe & Russia observed:

“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. 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.”

Photo: The MSC New York berthed at the DP World Southampton container terminal.