Client Advisory – Container Weighing

APM Terminals – Lifting Global Trade to new safety standards


Effective from 1st July 2016 new IMO Rules for the export of containers will require a verified weight prior to vessel loading.


APM Terminals is actively working to assist supply chain partners to comply with the new global container weighing regulations.


APM Terminals have mobilised their international and cross functional teams across the Global Terminal Network. They are assessing how each APM Terminal may be able to meet the increasing requirements of their export customers.


Safety as a driver for change: Each year, over 135 million containers enter the global supply chain – many lack accurate weight estimates – which contributes to fatal accidents and vessel stowage/stability issues. To address this, the IMO has introduced new regulations worldwide in scope, effective 1 July 2016.


APM Terminals lifting global trade: With a global port throughput of over 56 million TEUs across a network of 57 countries, APM Terminals has the potential to assist their supply chain partners in understanding and complying with the IMO rules.


APM Terminals invites supply chain partners to a solution dialogue: In the coming weeks, they are inviting supply chain partners to join a proactive dialogue to discuss compliance with the new IMO requirement. The global regulations require local solutions and APM Terminals is well located to address these for customers. They invite suppliers to join the dialogue through their social media channels or directly with their customer service teams at the local terminals.


Choice of service support: APM Terminals is currently drawing up several services which may be deployed to specific terminal locations given market demand and local trade characteristics. These may include:

  • Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Data Management Service
    APM Terminals verifies that VGM data message and valid authority code is received before loading to vessel, which may imply upgrading EDI messaging to include VGM data.
  • VGM Verification Service
    Physical verification of container weight where VGM has been declared.
  • VGM Generation Service
    Physical weighing and generation of VGM data for shipment where VGM has not been declared.


Preparations underway: New weighing capabilities, operational and data management processes are being piloted in multiple locations now. APM Terminal teams are also engaging with local authorities to understand how IMO regulations will be applied locally.


Background to the IMO regulations: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires that from 1st July 2016, worldwide, that a packed containers’ gross mass is verified prior to stowage aboard a ship.

  • The shipper is responsible for obtaining and documenting the verified gross mass.
  • A container can only be loaded onto a ship unless the master and terminal have obtained the verified actual gross mass of the container in advance of loading.
  • Shippers can achieve the verified gross mass in two ways:
    1) The shipper may weigh, or arrange a certified 3rd party to weigh the container, or
    2) The shipper may calculate the gross mass using a certified method accurate to the necessary tolerance levels


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