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Understanding container weight misdeclaration

Recently, ONE (Ocean Network Express), the 7th largest container shipping line in the world by capacity, implemented a penalty fee in the form of a Weight Discrepancy Charge (WDS) of USD 2,000/- per container from the 1st of July, 2022.. The penalty fee is applicable if there is a misdeclaration of cargo weight details at the time of submission of booking submission and if the weight deviates +/- 3 tons/TEU from the weight on the final Bill of Lading Instruction details and Verified Gross Mass (VGM) documentation.. In the supply chain disruption medley caused by COVID-19, many may have forgotten the...

33% of hazardous cargo misdeclarations are willful

The meaning of Declare (verb) is to make known or state clearly, especially in explicit or formal terms; to announce officially; proclaim; to state emphatically; to manifest; reveal; show; When none of the above happens, it is termed as “to misdeclare” or “misdeclaration“.. Misdeclaration is nothing new to shipping and has been continuing for years especially in containerised shipments due to various reasons like escaping customs duties and taxes, hide the value of the cargo, to hide the illegal nature of the cargo or not following the proper processes out of plain old stupidity and/or laziness.. Apart from the loss of millions of dollars worth of goods and assets, such misdeclarations also result in maritime disasters which have...

Tracking hazardous cargo misdeclarations in real time

Cargo misdeclaration is nothing new to shipping and has been continuing for years especially in containerised shipments for various reasons..

Apart from the loss of millions of dollars worth of goods and assets, such misdeclarations also result in maritime disasters which have a huge impact on the environment and the loss of life (human or otherwise)..

There are enough examples of the consequences due to misdeclarations both in misdeclaration in weight and/or misdeclaration of hazardous content..

To tackle the scourge of weight misdeclaration, IMO and other stakeholders imposed the requirement of SOLAS VGM which came into effect in July 2016..

While life after SOLAS VGM seems to be hunky-dory and no major incidents have directly attributed to weight misdeclarations, hazardous cargo misdeclaration still seems to be rampant and several shipping lines are "gatvol" of these misdeclarations and have imposed severe financial penalties on the defaulters..

ZIM recently developed and implemented an innovative AI-based screening software to detect and identify incidents of misdeclared hazardous cargo before loading to vessel..

The importance of declaring correct cargo details and consequences of cargo misdeclaration

Incorrect cargo details, misdeclaration of cargo and its details has been the bane of many shipping lines over the years..

The consequences of cargo and weight misdeclaration were so severe that the IMO had to implement SOLAS VGM regulations..

However there are still several incidents of such cargo misdeclaration including hazardous goods which have caused several maritime disasters..

In this article, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, Risk Management Director of TT Club writes about the importance of declaring correct cargo details and consequences of cargo misdeclaration..

Shipping lines get tough on dangerous goods misdeclaration

Gatvol (ˈxʌtˌfɒl) is a commonly used South African term meaning "fed up" or "I have had it up to here".. This is seems to be the mood in the Hapag Lloyd camp as they recently announced hefty fines for misdeclaration of dangerous goods..

Maersk Line clamps down on container misdeclaration

Misdeclaration in weight or misdeclaration of hazardous content has been the bane of the shipping industry and the carriers who have suffered several consequences due to misdeclarations..

When such misdeclarations are done, it does not just affect the ship, the carrier involved and the person who chose to misdeclare their cargo.. These misdeclarations result in cargo damage and affect everyone else's cargo, especially when entire ships are lost..

Millions of dollars worth of goods and assets are lost due to this, not to mention the huge impact on the environment and the loss of life (human or otherwise)..

IMO and other stakeholders took these misdeclarations seriously and SOLAS VGM came into effect.. Life after SOLAS VGM seems to be hunky dory and no major incidents have been reported in relation to weight misdeclarations..

However, the recent spate of maritime disasters is causing some worries to the container lines.. Having had first-hand experience with such misdeclarations and maritime disasters, the world's largest container line - Maersk Line - has put its foot down on these misdeclared cargoes..

Consequences of container weight misdeclaration – a pictorial

A pictorial view of the consequences of container weight misdeclaration..

Weigh containers easily and avoid misdeclaration

As you are aware and as has been featured several times on this website, misdeclaration of container weight has been a big problem for ship owners and operators and is reported to have caused several accidents.. Now, a tech company in New Zealand claims to have found a unique solution for shippers to weigh the containers in a quick, easy and cost effective manner..

Misdeclaration of container weights – the struggle continues

Further to my previous articles regarding Mis-declaration of weights on board ships, and Weighing of all export containers, the issue is hotting up with the World Shipping Council recommending strict measures.. Below is an article from FTW covering this issue.. Misdeclared container weight issue gets an airing in US  The issue of misdeclared container weights once again came under the spotlight when Chris Koch, President and CEO of The World Shipping Council (WSC), testified regarding some current environmental and safety regulatory initiatives in which the industry is engaged. He was speaking at the request of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and...

How does demurrage, detention and port charges work..??

Even though there are distinct differences between demurrage, detention and port charges, many are still oblivious to these differences and there have been several questions on this blog relating to these charges..

Let me explain how demurrage, detention and port charges work..
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