MSC and INTTRA offer solution to new container weight regulations

Global shipping company MSC and INTTRA, the world’s ocean shipping electronic marketplace, have combined forces to make the new container weight regulations easier for customers to meet.

There have been widely expressed concerns about how the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea amendment (SOLAS VGM), which comes into play on 1st July this year and requires a verified weight for every container before it is loaded onto a ship, will be adhered to in practical terms. Under this new partnership agreement, MSC will use INTTRA’s eVGM software as a channel for receiving verified gross mass (VGM) submissions from shippers.

Fabio Catassi, Chief Technology Officer of MSC, said: “We are pleased to partner with INTTRA to implement their innovative ‘eVGM’ software on a global basis. INTTRA’s eVGM tool will help us to continue to provide superior customer service and make it as easy as possible for our clients to submit VGMs digitally. We believe this tool will help minimise potential disruption to our customers’ shipments and additional costs associated with terminal storage or transportation.”

In addition, MSC has joined INTTRA’s eVGM Initiative – a non-commercial group of over a dozen leading carriers, freight forwarders, and terminals. INTTRA launched the Initiative to express a preference for digital transmission of VGM and establish common technology and business process standards for it across the industry.

Common standards for VGM submission are essential to the industry’s efforts to reduce the cost and disruption resulting from the implementation of the new amendment. MSC is joining the eVGM Initiative to share its expertise and help the shipping community continuously refine eVGM messaging standards.

INTTRA CEO John Fay said: “We are happy to partner with MSC in globally adopting INTTRA’s eVGM for Carriers platform, and we appreciate that they are adding their expertise to the eVGM Initiative. MSC is taking a strategic step to embrace our eVGM solution on a large scale and is an early leader in using technology to resolve the changes that SOLAS VGM has created for the industry.”

INTTRA’s eVGM software is available in two versions – for Carriers and Shippers. It offers a standardised approach and can help to achieve SOLAS VGM compliance in time for implementation of the amendment and reduce disruption to existing business processes. It can also facilitate transmission of VGMs from carriers to terminals – another step required before a container can be loaded – and provide the necessary audit reporting.

INTTRA eVGM for Shippers enables timely submission of VGMs to carriers, whether or not shippers book containers or submit shipping instructions through INTTRA. Both solutions will be offered in a range of EDI and Web service formats, and accommodate eVGM submission via email.