Start now to plan weight certification and reporting procedures to ensure compliance with the IMO’s new provisions for container weight verification, cargo owners were advised on 22 April.
The deputy chairman of Hamburg Freight Forwarders’ Association VHSp, Willem van der Schalk, who is also a managing director of ocean and air freight specialist A. Hartrodt, said, “Shippers should liaise with service providers who will certify their cargo weights now and they should also enter into dialogue with their freight forwarders.”
Procedures for reporting, weight data exchange, and ad-hoc weight checks inside port areas should be established ahead of 1 May 2016, when the new provisions become effective, to avoid shipment disruptions, van der Schalk explained.
Weight verification for the lion’s share of containerised goods is expected to be straightforward due to product and packaging standardisation. However, some 15% of today’s cargo volume lacks standard specifications and may require manual checks, according to a rough estimate by the VHSp.
Clients must also realise that the new provisions are going “to make transportation more expensive, whether through certification at the shippers’ facilities or through weight checks in the port”, van der Schalk pointed out.