Shippers petition U.S. for relief from container weight rule
House lawmakers brushed aside calls at a hearing to slow implementation of the Verified Gross Mass rule, while other shippers said compliance should be straightforward.
Groups representing U.S. agricultural exporters and large freight consolidators at a congressional hearing Thursday insisted on federal intervention if ocean carriers refuse to compromise in implementing a pending international requirement for shippers to declare the weight of tendered containers before they are loaded on the ship, and attest to their accuracy, to prevent maritime accidents.But lawmakers indicated that they were not inclined to take any action.
“I don’t think this is a congressional issue. There’s not going to be legislation,” Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, said. “ I think this is a deal that needs to be worked out between the shippers and the cargo owners.”American Shipper 4/15
NYK rep reiterates no VGM, no load
NYK’s Bill Ferguson told the Critical Commodities Conference this week that carriers must refuse loading to a container without Verified Gross Mass data submitted or risk insurance issues.
A representative of the ocean carrier NYK Line this week told a conference in New Orleans that if the verified gross mass data is not submitted for a container, the carrier will not load that container when it arrives at a U.S. port.
Bill Ferguson, vice president, security services and environmental affairs for NYK Line (North America) reiterated a stance made by carriers in recent weeks as enforcement of the International Maritime Organization’s Verified Gross Mass (VGM) guidelines become clearer.
Speaking at the Critical Commodities Conference in New Orleans, Ferguson said it was likely that carriers would establish a so-called VGM cutoff one hour before existing cargo cutoff times. The VGM cutoff time would be related to shippers (who are responsible for calculating the verified weight) at the time of booking confirmation.
Ferguson did, however, say that the VGM cutoffs wouldn’t be absolute. Just as carrier work with shippers when containers don’t meet cutoffs to ensure a box is loaded, the same spirit is likely to occur with the VGM data sub