But daunting physical and regulatory challenges face shippers, forwarders, carriers and ports to verify the correct weight of each container before it is loaded onboard the ship

As the deadline for compliance of SOLAS VGM draws closer, ocean carriers have taken a lead to help shippers find a solution to verifying the weight of each container and disseminate the data to shipping lines and Port State Control representatives.

“The ocean carriers have taken the initiative to support shippers in providing information and develop a documentation template to help them comply with the new regulations. Ultimately everyone agrees that these regulations improve safety across the supply chain including trucks and container terminals, but most importantly VGM is focused on the safety of ships and the crew onboard,” said Dorothy Zhang, Toll Global Forwarding, Ocean Product Manager, Asia.

“There are still many regulatory and physical obstacles to overcome around Asia, such as the different Customs clearance requirements, the availability and location of container weighing equipment as well as the distribution and management of data,” she added.

“We will have a clearer idea of progress after Chinese New Year when hopefully the carriers will be able to provide a roadmap for the shippers and logistics partners to move closer to compliance.”

“I am optimistic that the deadline will be met by most shippers now that all of the supply chain partners are working together at a global level ready for implementation before July 1st.” added Dorothy.

“From Toll’s perspective we have launched an initiative both internally and externally to provide updated information to our staff and customers about the requirements for VGM compliance. Our sales teams around the world are also contacting our customers directly to make sure they know what they need to do before the deadline.”