The World Shipping Council (WSC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) want all loaded containers be weighed at the marine port facility before they are stowed aboard a vessel for export.
In a joint statement issued last week, the WSC and ICS urge 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.
According to the WSC and ICS, 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 significant number of unweighed and overweight containers will continue to pose a risk to safe ship operations, to ships' crew, and to other personnel in the transport chain. In addition, overweight containers threaten operational reliability and add to liability claims, operating costs, and administrative expenses.
Specifically, WSC and ICS propose that:
1. the SOLAS Convention, which has competence and jurisdiction over the "ship-port interface", be amended
2. to require marine terminal operators to weigh a stuffed cargo container upon receipt and to have a verified container weight before loading a stuffed container aboard a ship for export,
3. that this requirement apply to all loaded containers, whether received through the port facility gate or transshipped at the port facility via another vessel, barge or rail, and
4. that such verified container weight be provided to the vessel operator for use in confirming and finalizing vessel stowage plans.
From the joint statement:
The problem of overweight containers continues to present risks to workers, to industry operations, to ships, to properly declared cargoes, and to the environment. Industry self-help measures have not been successful in addressing the problem. Those jurisdiction that have instituted container weighing requirements for loaded export containers show that the efficient facilitation of commerce need not be impaired by such procedures; however, the number of nations with such requirements are in the minority.
This is an appropriate issue for the IMO to address, and the IMO will have the full support of the World Shipping Council and the International Chamber of Shipping to create such an international requirement.