Weighing Containers

It is important that shippers try to accurately give the weight of their ocean freight shipments before departure. For example, weight is usually given for instant LCL shipping rates. Usually an international shipping container is weighed at the weigh station, which is in the terminal. There are times when containers are not weighed, and if the shipper gave an inaccurate weight, there could be serious safety repercussions. A container that weighs more than told could endanger those working at the ports or on the ships. And a shipper who misrepresented the weight of the container could face serious fines if they are caught. That is why many workers would like to see all containers weighed for safety precautions. Of course, some people are concerned about the impact on supply chains that new rules might have.

With the debate of weighing containers so prevalent in the international logistics industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) weighed in by supporting a proposal that would mandate weighing each container fully packed, or just the freight cargo plus the container weight. There are also exemptions from weighing such as those containers involved with a chassis or those on roll-on, roll-off vessels. The World Shipping Council and many nations, including the United States, strongly support more weighing at the ports. The International Transport Workers Federation are not happy with the exemptions in the proposal. Consult with your freight forwarder to see what could happen to your containers if the new proposal supported by the International Maritime Organization were to become reality.