lTWO major port operators in the UK, DP World and Hutchison Ports, are to provide facilities for shippers to weigh containers at the terminal in order to help shippers comply with new rules on the verification of the gross mass of containers, which come into effect in July.
The new rules call for all containers to be weighed before they can be loaded onto a vessel and for that verified weight to be provided to both the terminal and the carrier.
Two methods are available to shippers. Method one allows for the entire packed container to be weighed, while method two allows for the mass to be calculated by adding together the verified weight of the goods, with all dunnage and packing materials and the tare weight of the container to provide a final weight.
There remains, however, much confusion among shippers as to what needs to be done for the VGM to meet requirements and terminl operators are now beginning to offer method one as a means of solving this.
“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,” said DP World Europe and Russia managing director Ganesh Raj.
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 weights will be used for the stowage on the container ships and ensure that port users do not need to provide the VGM for their export containers but will be able to use the weight provided by DP World for instead.
Meanwhile, Hutchison Ports’ terminal at Felixstowe has also confirmed it will offer container weighing services to ensure shippers can comply with the new regulations.
Port of Felixstowe chief operating officer Stephen Abraham said the port had met with many customers and that it was clear there was still “a lot of uncertainty” about the new rules.
The rules have the potential to cause significant disruption to export supply chains,” Mr Abraham said. “To help avoid this, we have decided to provide a service where export containers can be weighed at the port before being loaded.”