Approximately 20% of containers at any given time are declared in error, and upwards of two-thirds of all cargo claims may be attributed to these declared errors and poor container packing. From 2006 to 2011 alone, an estimated $12.8 million dollars in losses stemmed from these errors of cargo weight.
This is the reason the Maritime Safety Committee approved amendments to SOLAS, mandating the verification of container weight prior to shipping. Effective July 1, 2016, containers must have verified weight documents if they are to be loaded onto a ship. It’s believed too few shippers and government agencies are ready for the major rules, and all the details are not yet clear.
There are options to meet the regulations:
- The first is to weigh a container on a truck as it passes over a weigh station, subtracting the weight of the truck, chassis and fuel to determine the weight of the loaded container.
- The second is to weigh each item going into a container and add the sum of all the goods loaded to the tare weight of the container.
The necessary documentation must be provided to the terminal and carrier along with the container, or it will not be loaded on the ship.
Here is a handy chart of the options from JOC:
->We will be updating our news/blog with more information on the SOLAS mandate.