Importance of declaring the correct cargo weight

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Misdeclaration of container weights has been an issue that has been going on for a long time and has plagued many a shipping line, ship and port operators..

In a recent article, I wrote about the basics of container stowage planning and why it is so important..

In this article, I thought it would be worth reiterating the importance of being accurate in the declaration of the weights..

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Tracking hazardous cargo misdeclarations in real time

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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..

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Shipping lines get tough on dangerous goods misdeclaration

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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..

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Undeclared hazardous goods said to be the cause of KMTC HongKong fire

KMTC HongKong Fire - shipping and freight resource

On the 25th of May 2019, a fire broke out on board the KMTC HongKong, at the Laem Chabang port in Thailand.. It was reported that 35 containers were on board when the ship caught fire..

Thailand Port Authority has been quoted as saying that undeclared hazardous cargo is the cause of the fire on board the KMTC HongKong..

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Weigh containers easily and avoid misdeclaration

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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..

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When is a container considered as Over weight..??

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When is a container considered as Over Weight..?? A good question from a reader of this blog..

Over loading of containers with disregard to the safety of the people handling the containers is quite prevalent and needs to be contained for the safety of everyone concerned..

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Who verifies the cargo weight in a container and where..??

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Misdeclaration of cargo weight in a container has been a pain in the neck for many shipping lines, ship operators and several discussions, meetings have taken place on how to control this serious issue..

This article poses the question about who verifies the cargo weight in a container and where..??

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Eugen Maersk fire revives concerns about misdeclared cargo

A valid concern regarding the declaration and stowage of cargo on container ships.. There have been far too many incidents of late relating to ship accidents as can be seen from below infographic provided courtesy of WWF..                     Carrier investigates whether box contents listed as household goods were hazardous. A FIRE that … Read more here..

When and where must an export container be weighed..??

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Weighing of containers has been a bone of contention for many years for many shipping lines and the arguments for and against continue.. Below is the latest article from Lloyds Loading List which raises the question.. “Where in the transport or supply chain should the export container be weighed and the actual weight ascertained”..?? What do the readers of this … Read more here..

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