Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: It is recognized that bulk cargoes (such as scrap metal or ISO tank containers) are required to adopt Method 1 for VGM of the packed container. Where a shipper has a process by which the mass of the vehicle and empty container is established on entry to the premises, and the packed/filled container and vehicle are weighed again on exit, is it acceptable to calculate the VGM?

A: Assuming that the vehicle remains the same and the mass will not have changed, the following is considered an appropriate Method 1 process:

a. Weigh truck, chassis and container ‘empty’;

b. Weigh truck, chassis and container ‘full’;

c. Subtract ‘empty’ mass from ‘full’ mass to obtain the packed cargo weight (including any dunnage, securing etc.);

d. Add tare mass as marked on the container or as provided by the container operator.

This would be in compliance with the SOLAS Method 1, provided that the weighing equipment used is certified and calibrated in accordance with the applicable standards and rules in the state where the equipment is being used. In simple form VGM = (b) – (a) + tare.

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