Forth Ports has confirmed today (28th April) that, through significant investment in its straddle carrier fleet and IT development, the company will offer shippers a solution to determine the VGM (Verified Gross Mass) of export containers arriving at its terminals in Tilbury and Grangemouth, ensuring compliance with the updated provisions of SOLAS VI (Safety of Life at Sea).
From 1st July 2016, the amended SOLAS VI regulations require that shippers obtain and communicate the VGM of packed containers ahead of ship stow planning. The regulations place a legal obligation on both the container terminal operator and ocean carrier not to load any container without a VGM to a ship.
Following consultation with our key export customers and the shipping lines, the port of loading is recognised as the most cost effective to identify the VGM, where this has not been provided earlier in the supply chain, ensuring a seamless change of modality from truck or train to sea.
Stuart Wallace, Divisional Director of Forth Ports said: “Recognising the importance of compliance and continuity of service for our customers, we are pleased to confirm that we will provide a weighing service to ensure our customers have a solution to the amended regulations, allied with safeguarding those engaged in the movement and transport of containerised goods.
“Both the Port of Grangemouth and London Container Terminal in Tilbury will weigh those boxes requiring VGM as part of the overall operational flow minimising any impact on our operational procedures at the interchange points.
Further details in relation to the operation of the service and its associated charges will be published in the coming weeks, ahead of its planned introduction.