The new Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requirement that a verified gross mass (VGM) be reported as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export is effective this Friday.
Concerns have existed since the announcement of the new SOLAS requirement that shippers could expect delays and congestion at the ports when the rule goes into effect.
Marine terminals and container lines continue to work to meet the requirement.
Beth Rooney, Assistant Director in the port department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, advised that no delays or disruptions are expected when the rule goes into effect. Per Ms. Rooney, “For the truck driver, it is the same exact process that he or she has been going through for years, it’s going to be invisible to them. Everything that is going to happen is going to be behind the curtain, between the terminal operators and the ocean carriers”.
In a news release by the Federal Maritime Commission, Chairman Mario Cordero said, “”I commend those working to make SOLAS VGM compliance as easy as possible for American export shippers to achieve, clearly some carriers serving the United States are working with their terminal partners to find sensible solutions to these new container weighing requirements and I appreciate their leadership. I am confident that other shipping lines will follow the example that has been set in the last few days.”