The construction of weighbridges at the port of Liverpool is complete, as cargo owners gear up for the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations on container weighing.
Dynamic axle weighbridges have been installed at multi-lane autogates, linking with the terminal operating system (TOS) and able to automatically provide a verified gross mass (VGM) for the container.
From July 1, 2016, the cargo declarant must provide a VGM before any laden container can be loaded onto a vessel.
Similar arrangements will be in place at Peel Ports’ other container terminals in Dublin and Greenock (Glasgow).
David Huck, port director, said: “This is arguably the biggest challenge to face the container shipping industry and the right approach for cargo owners and shipping lines remains a hotly disputed topic even this close to the deadline.”
“While ports have no obligation under the regulations we have chosen to invest significantly in a solution to support the entire logistics community, which will help to reduce costs, risks and delays for our customers,” he added.
A Peel Ports statement noted that the weighbridges and the processes to ensure compliance with the regulations had been discussed extensively and agreed with the relevant UK regulator, the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).
All heavy goods vehicles (HGV) carrying containers into the terminal will be required to register a mass in running order (MIRO) prior to arriving at the terminal. (A MIRO is a weight recording requirement for commercial goods vehicles and trailers in the UK.)
Any laden containers that enter the container terminal without a VGM, or have a declared VGM that is outside of the guidance tolerance, will have one electronically generated.
At the in-gate the vehicle will pass slowly over the weighbridge where the system will determine the axle weights and therefore the total gross weight of the vehicle. The declared MIRO will then be applied to determine the VGM of the laden export container.
The VGM will be updated at in-gate to the Port Community System.
The infrastructure container weighing surcharge and container weighing charge will be automatically processed via the port community system platform operated by Maritime Cargo Processing (MCP D8) in the UK following in-gating and weighing of the container at the autogates.
Real time updates to the TOS and thus dynamic grounding of laden export containers are meant to ensure no in-process delays to cargo transit whilst ensuring cargo declarations are compliant with legislation and the supporting EDI messages are updated.