What you need to know about VGM

VGM – Verified Gross Mass. These three words are what exporters worldwide are going to have embedded into the forefront of their operations for all shipping containers as of the 1st July 2016.

What are we talking about?  The amendments to the SOLAS convention of course!

As of July 1, under the International Maritime Organisation’s Safety of Life at Sea amendment (SOLAS VGM), no container will be cleared to be loaded onto a ship until the shipper provides a verified weight to the carrier.

And just how can you obtain the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of your export shipping container?

There are two methods available for shippers to verify the gross mass of their container.  Method one and method two.  They are explained below:

Method one: weighing the entire container once it has been packed

You are able to utilise a few different options when weighing your container as a whole.  Weighbridges are the choice at the forefront of most people’s mind, but now it appears that there is a more simpler, cost effective solution.

Mobile container weighing.  Four hydraulic lifting jacks are placed on all corners of your shipping container and in just the press of a button located on a smartphone, the weight of your container is known.  The integrated software that it utlised with this service can also provide you with your container’s load distribution and emails you a VGM certificate with all the information that you will need.  From the 1st July 2016, when the amendments to the SOLAS convention come into force, EES Shipping will be able to offer this service to our clientele.  Exact price schedule is currently being worked out, but rest assured we will contact you in due course.

Method two: weighing all the contents of the container individually, then adding those weights to the containers tare weight. Any weight from loading equipment or additional packing must also be included.

It is important to note that if you are choosing method two for your export containers that any weighing machine you are utlising is calibrated and certified.  In Western Australia there are a few companies that can offer this service to you.

For further information on the amendments to the SOLAS (Safety of Lives at Sea) convention and Verifying your Gross Mass (VGM) contact us today.