Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: We conclude that the four elements to be determined in order to declare the verified gross mass of a packed container under Method 2 are:
a. the tare container mass,
b. the mass of the product without any packaging,
c. the mass of primary packaging (if any), and
d. the mass of all other packaging, pallets, dunnage, space fillers and securing material
Is this correct?

A: This is an International issue.

Reference is made to MSC.1/Circ.1475. In general, this correctly states the process for determining the verified gross mass of a packed container using Method 2, but it should be noted that there may be several layers or levels of packaging depending partly of the value and the level of protection that the product requires.

It should also be noted regarding points b – d that it is only possible to rely on mass information provided by a supplier if such mass information is clearly and permanently marked on the surfaces of individual, original sealed packages and cargo items.

In all other cases, the mass referred to in points b – d must be determined by weighing, using weighing equipment that meets the applicable accuracy standards and requirements in the State in which the equipment is being used.

The tare mass of the container is indicated on the door end of the container and does not need to be determined by weighing.  

Furthermore, Method 2 may be inappropriate and impractical for certain types of cargo items, e.g., scrap metal, unbagged grain and other cargo in bulk, that do not easily lend themselves to individual weighing of the items to be packed in the container.  

Method 2 is also inappropriate for liquid and gaseous cargoes, whether carried in ISO tank containers or ‘flexitanks’. Volumetric flow systems may be acceptable for other purposes but gross mass may not be accurately determined due to other variables.


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