Compulsory box weigh-in compliance costs infuriate shippers, retailers
SHIPPER say they must struggle to meet the compliance costs of a new requirement to weigh containers before they’re loaded on ships from July 2016, a step carriers say will reduce accidents, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Underestimating container weights has been blamed for some recent maritime disasters, including the MSC Napoli, which suffered hull damage during a storm in the English Channel in 2007.
But that charge, blaming overweight containers for the Napoli loss, has not been proven, and is based on largely anecdotal evidence.
Now retailers, manufacturers and farmers are protesting compulsory weigh-ins of containers because it will raise transport costs and cause delays at ports worldwide.
The United Nations rule, enacted by its International Maritime Organization (IMO), will require exporters to certify the weight of containers before they’re loaded in 171 countries.
But shippers say they are ill equipped to weigh so many containers. In a survey of shippers, carriers, and others involved in global trade conducted by container booking service INTTRA, 57 per cent of respondents were only vaguely familiar or not aware of the rule, and nearly 60 per cent did not believe shippers would be ready by July