TT Talk - Why is the weighing of containers an issue?

There are two key parts to the shipper obligations in maritime trade (Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), Chapter VI, Part A, Regulation 2). The first is to provide 'appropriate information on the cargo sufficiently in advance of loading to enable. proper loading' of the ship. The second is to ensure that the gross mass presented to the ship is as declared.

It is clear that many shippers understand the importance of the current requirements in relation not only to safety at sea but also to any inland legs of the supply chain, and take steps to comply. Of course, the requirements are generally consistent with the 'Advanced Cargo Information' implemented by a growing number of countries and at least partially aligned with domestic legislation regulating the weight of containers carried on land by road or rail in a number of jurisdictions.

So - given that weight mis-declaration has been identified in a number of high-profile cases, such as 'MSC Napoli', 'Riverdance' and 'Husky Racer', and the TT Club has repeatedly noted numerous accidents (including inland), which may not have been given widespread reporting but where this type of mis-declaration is a material root cause - why should this be a problem for a 50 year old industry?

It may seem simplistic to offer some answers, but here goes!

Staff Author

TT Club