New year should bring reform for overweight container issue

The World Shipping Council and the International Chamber of Shipping are urging the International Maritime Organization to establish an international legal requirement that all loaded containers be weighed at the marine port facility before they are stowed aboard a vessel for export

By ·

The World Shipping Council (WSC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are urging the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish an international legal requirement that all loaded containers be weighed at the marine port facility before they are stowed aboard a vessel for export.

This is a move that is long overdue.

In 2008, the industry developed and released Safe Transport of Containers by Sea, Guidelines on Industry Best Practices, with a view to minimizing the dangers to containerships, their crews, and all personnel involved with containers throughout the transport chain. The Guidelines have been highly regarded and have been widely disseminated. However, the Guidelines have had little discernible effect on reducing the incidences of shippers’ providing incorrect container weights, or on ensuring that marine terminals verify the weight of loaded containers upon receipt/prior to loading.

In the absence of a legal requirement that marine terminal operators perform a weighing function for all loaded (“stuffed”) containers before vessel loading, it seems likely that a substantial number of containers will continue to go unweighed and that overweight containers will continue to pose a risk to safe ship operations, to ships’ crew, and to other personnel in the supply chain.

Therefore, the IMO should establish a universal international regulatory requirement that export cargo containers must be weighed by the marine terminal upon receipt and before vessel loading, and that the actual container weights be made available to the vessel operator and used for vessel stowage planning.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Container · Exports · Shipping · Supply Chain · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....