FIATA calls for container weighing clarity from shipping lines

FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, has called for enhanced communication from container shipping lines as the deadline for new weighing regulations approaches.

The IMO regulations requiring verification of a freight container’s gross mass come into play on 1st July this year, but FIATA is concerned that its members, as they prepare, are lacking vital information from the shipping lines.

The non-governmental organisation, which represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics companies, is calling on shipping lines to provide greater clarity on how they wish to receive the data concerning the Verified Gross Mass of a container when the amendment to SOLAS becomes mandatory.

At a recent meeting in Cape Town, the FIATA Working Group Sea Transport joined with South African fruit exporters and the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) in a workshop to examine the changes to SOLAS and the effect on the supply chain. Among the difficulties anticipated in July, all present were concerned at the lack of information being provided by the shipping lines on how they wish to receive the VGM data.

Working Group Chairman, Jens Roemer, said: “It is clear from FIATA Member feedback that many countries are getting prepared for the forthcoming changes but there is an alarming lack of information from the shipping lines on how they will receive the VGM. FIATA urges shipping lines to communicate with the trade so that preparations for July 1st can be finalised.”