The ubiquitous freight or shipping container has become an integral part of our lives not just if you are in the industry handling and moving these containers from point to point, but for all the businesses and industries that use the container..
It has been universally hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, one that completely changed the way in which business has been done since the 20th century and really and truly made the world a smaller place and the one true architect of Globalisation..
Exporters, importers, traders, packing houses, ports, customs, border authorities, police, clearing agents, freight forwarders, stevedores, hauliers, weighbridges ……………………….. and many more entities involved in a trade transaction may be seeing and handling a container on a daily basis..
But although many of these people see a container not everyone understands the many markings on a container..
The markings on a container play a very significant role in the movement of the container as they provide vital information to all entities in the supply chain relating to the monitoring and safety of the container and cargo during its carriage..
Let us look at each of the markings on a container individually using an example below..
SOLAS VGM – probably a term which may have slipped many people’s minds as it seems to have successfully integrated itself into the mainstream container shipping process since its mandatory implementation in July 2016.. Now it seems to be back, but in a good way though..
Weigh the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment like a weighbridge to get the VGM
Weigh the cargo, dunnage, lashing material and add the tare weight of the container to get the VGM
Although there has not been any real comments or incidents relating to the misdeclaration of weights after the implementation of the SOLAS VGM regulation in 2016, it has been reported that shipping industry has been struggling with Method 1, as physically weighing every shipping container requires significant efforts and costly, space-consuming scales..
We all have seen the clause SAID TO CONTAIN or STC in a Bill of Lading issued for an FCL shipment.. What does it mean and should the Said To Contain clause be allowed or not..??
Join the discussion in this article on whether the Said To Contain clause should be allowed or not in the bill of lading and if you are a carrier that is not showing the Said To Contain on your bill of lading, how do you protect yourself from possible claims relating to shortage of cargo..
Are the clauses Said To Contain and Shipper’s Load Stow and Count interchangeable..??
Recent news reports of 83 containers falling off a ship off the coast of Australia in heavy seas seems to have triggered a question in the minds of some people Is the ship register or ship registry liable for containers falling off a ship..??
When reading the news articles about this incident, I noticed something very interesting in the way in which the general public and the shipping fraternity identify a ship, its markings and the areas of concern.. 🙂
To the casual onlooker, signing a bill of lading may be a routine, day to day mundane job done by many people across the world.. But the fact is that there are several technicalities to be considered before signing a bill of lading..
It is important to understand that the person signing the bill of lading acknowledges the details recorded on the bill of lading.. Any bill of lading signed with the knowledge of misrepresented facts may be considered to be a fraudulent document and may result in legal consequences for the signatory..
If you are a bill of lading signatory, here are 8 points that you need to consider before signing a bill of lading.. It may be a bit of a long read, but worth it.. 🙂
On this blog and many others, the issues surrounding VGM (I can hear people say “yawn”) and its relationship or requirement for safety has been discussed at length.. Even though it has been repeated several times, it is no yawning matter and it seems that there is still a lack of basic understanding of the weights used in a container, … Read more here..
A burning question that is circulating currently in the container industry is whether the Tare Weight of a container should be included in the weight shown in the Bill of Lading or not and whether the SOLAS VGM should match the Bill of Lading weight..