• ITVI.USA
    15,536.540
    74.080
    0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.754
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.490
    -0.180
    -0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,507.170
    69.970
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,536.540
    74.080
    0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.754
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.490
    -0.180
    -0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,507.170
    69.970
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American Shipper

Port Everglades offers VGM support services

The South Florida port became the latest seaport to offer shippers the option of using scales at inbound gates to measure container weights on their behalf and relay the information to ocean carriers.

   One by one, ports are backing away from a rigid stance of not accepting containers at the gate unless the exporter has filed in advance a certified gross weight with the terminal to comply with a new international maritime safety standard.
   Port Everglades in South Florida, on Tuesday, became the latest seaport to offer shippers the option of using scales at inbound gates to measure container weights on their behalf and relay the information to ocean carriers to assist with stow planning.
   The port authority said that private terminal operators already have certified scales in place and that shippers should confirm with them how the verified gross mass requirement will be implemented and whether there are any fees for the service.
   “On-port scales, which have already been certified by the state, should help shippers meet the new requirements without services delays,” Port Director Steve Cernak said in a statement. “There are still concerns about the new requirements, but the availability of scales at Port Everglades should not be one of them.”
   The International Maritime Organization amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention to mandate that gross mass of containers be verified prior to vessel loading. The verified gross mass (VGM) is to be electronically reported to carriers and terminals. Ocean carriers are prohibited from taking lifted containers onboard a vessel without the weight documentation in hand. The rule goes into effect July 1.
   Responsibility for compliance actually falls on shippers. They can weigh the entire container and its contents using their own scales or those of third parties, including ports. A second option for shippers is to weigh the contents prior to container stuffing and add that weight to the tare weight of the container stenciled on the equipment. The latter method has stirred the ire of many exporters, especially in the agriculture community. These exporters say they don’t want to be liable for inaccurate tare weights since they don’t own, manage or maintain the container, in addition to not even taking possession of the container when transloading is involved. They also complain about being burdened with extra IT and bureaucratic costs for what they say is a solution without a problem.
   The United States government already mandates the weighing of all export containers for safety reasons on the dock, where unstable loads may lead to an accident during lifting operations or a fall from a container stack. The same regulatory practices, however, are not universal around the world.
   Several ports, including Charleston, Savannah and Virginia, announced they would provide to shippers the weight information they already capture on their scales following a U.S. Coast Guard declaration three weeks ago that the practice of weighing containers at the port gate is equivalent to meeting the SOLAS requirement. Previously, private operator Ports America had said it would offer the service at its Seagirt Terminal at the Port of Baltimore or let containers be drayed back out of the terminal to be weighed.
    Port Everglades is the first landlord port to publicly state that its terminal operators are able to support SOLAS compliance.

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