Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: Where a discrepancy is found in the declared VGM, what are the obligations of the carrier and terminal?

A: The shipper is responsible for obtaining and providing an accurate VGM to the ocean carrier and terminal operator. Incorrect VGM information may be subject to penalty pursuant to applicable national legislation.

Neither the carrier nor the terminal is required to confirm the VGM provided by the shipper. In the event a packed container is weighed at some point during the transport and found to differ from the declared VGM, national requirements may exist for how to deal with the situation, but there is no internationally defined requirement to notify any authority. Clearly, in order to minimize disruption to the supply chain, the stakeholders should plan in advance for, and communicate to agree, what should be done in relation to any such container.

If a container is found to be packed beyond the maximum mass permitted on its approval plate, it shall not be loaded on board a ship or transported by any other mode; the stakeholders will have to make arrangements to have the cargo re-packed and for the apportionment of the costs involved.

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