Misdeclaration of container weights – the struggle continues

Further to my previous articles regarding Mis-declaration of weights on board ships, and Weighing of all export containers, the issue is hotting up with the World Shipping Council recommending strict measures.. Below is an article from FTW covering this issue..

Misdeclared container weight issue gets an airing in US 

The issue of misdeclared container weights once again came under the spotlight when Chris Koch, President and CEO of The World Shipping Council (WSC), testified regarding some current environmental and safety regulatory initiatives in which the industry is engaged.

He was speaking at the request of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation in the US recently.

Koch said the issue of misdeclared container weights had been a safety concern of many maritime industry stakeholders for years, with shipping lines reporting that “in severe cases, the overweight or incorrectly declared weights reach 10% of the total cargo on board a vessel.”

He explained that the WSC and other industry organisations had recommended that the IMO amend the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to establish a universal international regulatory requirement that all loaded export cargo containers be weighed before vessel loading, and that the actual container weights be made available to the vessel operator and used for vessel stowage planning.

He said that the industry was “hopeful that [its] recommendation would be seriously considered at the IMO and that the US Coast Guard would be a strong supporter of this initiative.

Maybe someone from the operations department of a shipping line, can share some information on whether there is an improvement in the situation or is the mis-declaration still rampant..

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

6 comments on “Misdeclaration of container weights – the struggle continues

  1. Jabu mkhize says:

    I fully agree

  2. Dirk Gnodde says:

    I fully agree with the weighing of containers prior to dropping off at any terminal – JNB or coastal.

    The safety of the crew and vessel is of paramount importance. What if your husband/son family member should be onboard the vessel that encounters “a peril at sea” and the vessel sinks. This could be due to your misdeclaration of the gross mass of the container/s shipped.

    How would you feel at the loss of the bread winner of your family or family member ?

    No containers should be accepted at any Terminal without a weighbridge certificate that has been registered with the Shipping Lines. The registration would exclude any fly-by-night operators.

    The Shipping Lines could conduct random checks at the various registered weighbridges to ensure they are accurate.

    The Operators could install/provide weighbridge/s for those containers without a weighbridge certificate. Naturally a charge for weighing will be applied – yes another charge.

    As a seperate item and to assist with the weighbridge requirement, the shipping lines SHOULD do away with the inland empty drop off fee as there is no surplus of containers at inland depots !

    The dropping of this charge would go a long way to assist the shippers which was introduced way back in the early 1980s if my memory serves me correctly as there was an imbalnace of containers in JNB. The cost was introduced as a deterrant for importers to drop the empty containers at the Coast as opposed to JNB.

    The cost has steadily been increasing year after year !

  3. SRINIVASA.BAPU says:

    VERY MUCH USEFUL ARTICLE. HELPING ME IN EVERYDAY EXIM FUNCTIONS. HOWEVER I WILL BE VISTING FREQUENTLY THIS SITE FOR ANY INFORMATION REGARDING FREIGHT/ FF / CHA & OTHER INTERNATIONAL IMPORT & EXPORT NORMS.

(Estimated reading time: 1 minute)
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