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
Running Your Supply Chain with Greater Efficiency
Is your company’s supply chain piled high with more products, suppliers, and trading partners than you can keep track of efficiently?
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....