One of the world’s largest container terminal operators is reporting a “smooth transition” to the new container weight verification rule now in effect for export containers worldwide.
With three days of terminal operations under its belt with the International Maritime Organization’s new Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Regulations, APM Terminals, the container terminal unit of Maersk Group, says export cargo loading has proceeded without incident at the facilities within its global network of terminals.
“All of APM Terminals’ gate operations are operating normally, with vessel schedule integrity remaining unaffected by the new VGM compliance,” said Monday.
The VGM regulations entered into force July 1, 2016 under Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and requires the gross mass of a packed container be verified before it can be loaded onto a ship. The purpose of the VGM regulations is to enhance safety by preventing accidents caused by overweight or otherwise misrepresented containers.
APM Terminals offers a range of VGM services to shippers in more than 70 locations around the globe.
The company said stock levels of containers are being monitored to ensure efficient operations can be maintained for containers previously accepted at facilities and currently awaiting VGM documentation.
“APM Terminals is committed to assisting our customers to comply with the new SOLAS VGM regulation with as little impact to the supply chain as possible,” said APM Terminals VP of Operations Jack Craig, adding “I would like to say thank you to all our supply chain partners whom we have had an extensive dialogue with over the last months to ensure that our VGM Data Management services are as seamless as possible.”
While the majority of VGM data is being transmitted electronically, there are still some areas where manual processing process is required during this early implementation phase. Since mid-June, APM Terminals has phased in VGM Generation services at 46 locations across its portfolio, with thousands of containers already weighed for export loading.
“We encourage shippers to consider our VGM Generation services, as they offer an additional option to shippers and minimal disruption to trade flow,” said APM Terminals Head of Inland and End User Services, John Trenchard.