Verified Gross Mass Seminar – Perth

Wednesday the 16th March saw the shipping industry in Perth come together to discuss the upcoming changes in the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) convention.  By now, with the introduction date edging closer, we should all know what these changes mean. To sum up these amendments –  if you cannot verify the gross mass of your container, it will not be loaded for export.

Verifying the gross mass of your container can be handled one of two acceptable ways:

1.  Method one: weighing the entire container once packed.

2.  Method two: weighing all the cargo and contents of the container and adding those weights to the container’s tare weight as indicated on the door of the container.

Both methods must be completed using certified and calibrated instruments.

The seminar, which was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Perth, saw six speakers from various industries in the supply chain.  Each had their own unique input into these upcoming changes.

The two stand out guests at this event were Mr David Anderson from the Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Capt Stuart Davey from Fremantle Ports.  Mr Anderson gave an in-depth view of the new draft order MO42 (carriage, stowage and securing of cargoes and containers) which is currently being drafted and approved to include these amendments to the SOLAS convention.  Mr Anderson could recite marine order (MO) numbers and quote legislation’s off the top of his head but it was during the Q & A portion of the afternoon where he truly came alive. Mr Anderson summed up the entire process of verifying the gross mass of your container as a step in the supply chain process that should already be carried out.  These methods are not new, and processes should be kept uncomplicated yet accurate.

With the legislation talk over, it was refreshing to hear from Capt. Stuart Davey from Fremantle Ports.  Having Captained container ships around the world, Capt Davey provided an exclusive insight on how mis-declaring container weights can effect a vessel’s performance. Capt Davey spoke of the vigorous movements that vessels endure on the high seas.   Container ships are architecturally sound works of art, but when loaded using incorrect container weights it can cause catastrophic results.

This industry seminar also included speakers from DP World Australia (Ben Moke), Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Robert Boyce and, of course, we cannot forget Fremantle Ports, Michael Pal.  Several system providers for the accurate measuring of cargo were also present.

We would like to thank Fremantle Ports, along with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) and the West Australia Road Transport Association (WARTA) for organising this informative event.

Here at EES Shipping we not only understand why these changes in our industry are imperative, but we are also moving forward to ensure our compliance. Many of EES Clients are already handling/loading/recording weights/measurements in accordance with SOLAS Legislation. EES will be in contact over the upcoming months to ensure FULL compliance is adopted and to identify which method (1 or 2) as per SOLAS is being adopted to ensure that there is NO hold ups in the export supply chain.  We would also like to highlight that GUESS WORK on cargo weight is no longer acceptable under these amendments to the SOLAS convention.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us directly or comment below. Geoff Hack (EES Managing Director) has been with working closely COR and SOLAS and is a committee member of these working groups. Geoff will only be too happy to assist with your compliance should the need arise (we are only a telephone call away).

Fremantle Ports also offer an app for the Chain of Responsibility / SOLAS (CoR/SOLAS app).  This app is a guide for the Western Australian container supply chain on the weighing of containers.  Want to download this app? Head to your app store today and search for the below: