• ITVI.USA
    15,482.400
    -11.800
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.070
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,440.270
    -7.500
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.700
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,482.400
    -11.800
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.070
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,440.270
    -7.500
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.700
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperIntermodalShippingTrade and Compliance

OCEMA fully supports terminal weighing approach

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association said that a key benefit of the terminal weighing approach is that shippers will not be required to perform any additional actions in order to provide the verified gross mass of containers.

   A group of leading ocean carriers said Tuesday they will consider weighing containers as they enter marine terminals in the United States a “best practice” for meeting the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new verified gross mass (VGM) requirement, scheduled to take effect Friday.
   “We are three days from the VGM implementation date. We have come a long way in a very short time frame,” said Frank Grossi, chairman of the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) and executive vice president of COSCO Container Lines America, Inc. “In order to ensure a soft landing, all stakeholders must work together to implement the flexible solutions to VGM outlined in OCEMA’s Best Practice. Cooperation by all will prevent service interruptions and promote supply chain efficiencies.”
   OCEMA, which has 19 ocean carrier members, amended its recommended best practice for the acceptance and transmission of the VGM of containers to include a terminal weighing approach (TWA) in the United States.
   It said it had joined with six major East Coast and Gulf Coast port agencies – South Carolina Ports Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, North Carolina State Ports Authority, the Port of Houston Authority, the Port of Virginia and Virginia International Terminals, and the Massachusetts Port Authority – to agree on the use of a common streamlined TWA to provide the VGM at port locations. That was made possible when OCEMA and the ports filed an agreement with the Federal
Maritime Commission with regard to the cooperative effort. The agreement became effective on Friday, June 24.
   OCEMA and the ports issued a joint policy statement on steps to be taken for VGM compliance at the facilities.
   In New York, members of the New York Terminal Conference (NYTC) have announced their approach to VGM in a “Pending Schedule of Rates” updated on June 24 and posted on their website that goes into effect on July 1. The members of the terminal conference are GCT Bayonne, CGT New York, Port Newark Container Terminal, APM Terminal and Red Hook Container Terminal.
    “If the terminal operator has not received a VGM EDI message from the bill of lading carrier prior to an export cargo laden container’s arrival at terminal operator’s over the road gate, then terminal operator will provide a certified VGM weight to the ocean carrier for such container. A fee of $10.00 per transition caused by no VGM at time of arrival at the gate will be charged to the bill of lading carrier,” the members said. “Requests for containers to be drop-weighed, post-gate receiving, may be performed by the NYTC, in its sole discretion, at a cost of $125.00, plus applicable mounting and grounding fees.”
   The conference said, “Containers arriving at the terminal operator’s rail ramp with no prior VGM update in the terminal operator’s system may be received into the terminal and charged a $75 per container fee.”
   The Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), which has pressed the shipping industry for months to allow terminal scale weight to be used to meet the VGM requirement, said “dramatic progress is being made during this final week before the IMO’s July 1 target implementation.
   Peter Friedmann, the executive director of AgTC, praised the Port of Charleston for “breaking the ice” and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) for issuing “the first formal announcement of a workable terminal weighing process.”
   He asked “each line to identify the terminals which have agreed to this process, and to provide the VGM. Maersk has done this already, we are asking all other lines to also identify the specific terminals that have agreed to convey VGM to them.”
   “A critical remaining objective, of particular importance to many AgTC members who collectively ship hundreds of thousands of containers by rail to on-dock facilities at the terminals (and not via truck through the terminal gates), is for a workable VGM process for such cargo,” Friedmann said. “HMM and “K” Line have announced an acceptable resolution this challenge; the AgTC is working closely with all other lines to hasten adoption of similar on-dock process, as bookings for sailings post-July 1 are already well underway.”
   Under the new VGM requirement, shippers are required to provide the weight of loaded export containers before they are loaded onto the vessel under an amendment to the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea convention.
   The process allows for weights obtained at U.S. ports and marine terminals to be used as VGM on behalf of shippers. A key condition of the use of the TWA is that equipment used to obtain these weights must satisfy U.S. regulatory requirements as described in the so-called “equivalency statement” in the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety Information Bulletin (009/16).
   OCEMA said after the bulletin was issued, it contacted the Coast Guard to confirm terminal weighing procedures and practices would be consistent with the VGM equivalency determination.
   “As a result, the TWA contemplates that marine terminals will provide gross container weights directly to ocean carrier stowage planners as VGM on behalf of shippers,” OCEMA said.
   Under the TWA, shippers’ verification of VGM is set forth via carrier tariffs and/or marine terminal operator schedules.
   OCEMA said that it has “adopted tariff language for its members addressing the TWA. A key benefit of this feature is that shippers will not be required to perform any additional actions in order to provide VGM.”
   OCEMA is an association of 19 major U.S. and foreign flag international ocean common carriers that provides a forum for its members to discuss operational, safety and related matters pertaining to the intermodal transportation of ocean freight within the U.S.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.
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