05 Juni 2016

[050616.EN.BIZ] UPS Warns Shippers Of Delays When Box VGM Weigh-in Rule Applies July 1

ATLANTA 's United Parcel Service (UPS) has warned shippers to expect delays and congestion portside when the International Maritime Organisation's new container weight rule goes into effect July 1.

UPS expressed frustration, not only with the patchwork of guidance policies from individual nations, but from individual terminal operators as well - specifically criticising marine terminals that intend to turn away any containers not accompanied by verified gross mass papers.

"We are expecting some delays at terminals," said UPS ocean freight marketing manager Carlos Guzman.

Mr Guzman and other executives warned shippers that although lingering uncertainty and confusion industry-wide will, no doubt, contribute to the disorder, carrier cut-off times for the submission of certified container weights will be the ultimate culprit.

Come July 1, shippers must provide a certificate of verified gross mass, or VGM, for all containers being stowed on a seafaring vessel, or boxes will not be carried onboard, according to an amendment to the IMO's Safety of Life at Sea, or SOLAS, convention.

The rule, passed in 2014, is aimed at cracking down on misdeclared container weights, which have contributed to accidents, though many say not enough to justify the compliance costs the rule imposes.

Some operating ports and terminal operators have said they will permit containers without accompanying VGM documentation and even offer on-site weighing services to shippers, though costs may vary.

Others, including many Asian terminals and 13 terminals at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in the U.S., have said that in order to comply with the international regulation, they will not allow any containers to pass through terminal gates without VGM documentation.

Source : HKSG.

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