Bulk Distributor May/Jun 16 - Page 2

2 Shipper BULKDISTRIBUTOR May/June 2016 Lack of understanding still haunts VGM application W ith just over a month left before the rule on verified gross weight (VGM) enters into force in July, shippers and forwarders still do not know how to comply, according to Drewry Supply Chain Advisors’ research. Better information on compliance requirements and options is starting to be communicated to shippers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), but there are still many gaps, the analyst outfit says. For example, none of the 20 NVOs met by Drewry when it ran a global ocean freight tender for a US multinational in April said that they were ready to comply globally. According to shipment management software firm CargoSmart, only 10 percent of countries have published national guidelines on how to comply with the new weight regulation. Beneficial cargo owners and NVOCCs believe that the top two challenges to comply will be the extra process to obtain the weight information and getting the weight information ‘verified’. The Hy-Weigh lifts containers in situ to provide weights in increments of 50kg via a digital read-out Speaking at the Containerisation International conference in London in April, OOCL process expert Paul Deacon said that the Hong Kongbased carrier has to identify whether all the ports and terminals which it uses will allow into the terminal a container without a VGM and whether they provide a weighing service. “Some terminals in the Far East have not yet declared what they will do,” he said. In Drewry’s opinion, many of the stakeholders are not only too late in communicating how shippers and NVOs can meet their new obligation of declaring a VGM , but there is a complete lack of standardisation and co-ordination. For example, Drewry says different countries use different implementation guidelines; some terminals will accept containers without a VGM whereas others will not; different carriers will have different VGM cut-off times, which themselves this can differ from the container yard cut-off time. In spite of all this, Drewry says it is urgent that shippers talk to their carriers to clarify and finalise compliance process for their countries and terminals. And remember to plan for likely port and logistics delays from 1 July. Limited progress towards compliance has been made, Drewry states. Certain terminals have said that they will provide weighing services (generally at a cost of about US$20-30 per container. Technology services providers CargoSmart and Inttra have introduced services to enable shippers and NVOs to send the VGM to carriers electronically, a free service to existing customers for CargoSmart and about 50 cents per declaration for Inttra. Meanwhile, a minority of countries have published compliance guidelines, including on the tolerance on the declared weight, and some carriers have said when the VGM declaration will be expected from the shipper. Ahead of the regulation, the International Tank Container Organisation (ITCO) has prepared a number of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). The information covers background to the new regulation, and on the concept of verified gross mass. ITCO recommends that tank container operators plan ahead and make preparations as appropriate. It also lists numerous website links where further clarification can be found. • At the recent Multimodal event in Birmingham, UK, Hy-Dynamix launched a mobile container weighing solution which is claimed to give digital read outs within 10 minutes at point of packing. The Hy-Weigh (pictured left) can weigh containers up to 35 tonnes and uses four corner hydraulic elevation jacks, raising the container in situ and displaying the weight in increments of 50kg via a digital read-out. The system is self-contained on its own specially designed pallet, and its control panel allows for individual corner raising and lowering. “We designed a product which is simple, easy to use, and reliable, with no complex software or electronics,” said Graeme Parkins, managing director of both Hy-Dynamix and the firm’s parent company Dyer Engineering, which was established in 1977 in County Durham in North-East England. The firm says it removes the need for dedicated container cranes, weighing systems or weighbridges, and is easily deployed and moved around a facility. FEEL THE CHEMISTRY With its unique position at the heart of the European oil and chemical industry, the port of Antwerp offers continuity and sustainable innovation in a world of constant change. World-class logistics and storage facilities react with unsurpassed operational excellence and customer focus. A chemistry you can really feel. Challenge us at customerservice@portofantwerp.com Follow us at www.portofantwerp.com/en/feelthechemistry #chemistry