Solving the Problem of Overweight Containers
First of all, thank you for your continued support to VICT.
Please allow VICT to keep you updated on the concerns involving overweight (o/w) cargo/container and let us take this opportunity to remind and seek your cooperation to work with us to solving the problem of o/w containers.
Laden Export Container
From time to time, our port has come across incidents where laden export containers were found to be overweight (o/w) and in some cases, our weigh-bridge measurement shows that gross cargo weigh was beyond the safety limit of the container. We have to work with the shipper to un-stuff the excess (weight) of the cargo from the container and stuff into an additional container to ensure that the safety concerns is properly addressed, but this will be done at the expense of extra cost to the shipper and potential misconnection of the cargo onto the intended & scheduled vessel/voyage.
I believe you may have read that the World Shipping Council (WSC) had issued a publication dated 01st December 2010 which discussed on solving the problem of overweight containers, where both WSC and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish an international legal requirement that all loaded containers be weighed at the marine port facility before they are stowed aboard a vessel for export. The issue of overweight containers has been a subject of industry, insurance, and at times government, concern over the years, and has from time-to-time become an issue of concern to the general public after incidents involving overweight boxes. The problems resulting from overweight containers are well known to the various stakeholders hence we are not going to elaborate further here in this notice, though we would highlight the major concerns which is the liability for accidents and fines for overweight on roads, and resulting time and administrative efforts and costs to seek reimbursement from responsible parties, not to mention the damages to your equipment/assets.
It is general practice for all ocean carriers to instruct their shipper customers on the appropriate and permissible stuffing of containers.
Although most stakeholders view that the industry ‘s self-help efforts have not solved the o/w container problem, VICT would like to believe that because of the risks and stakes involved, the shippers, shipping lines and port-operators will want to continue cooperate on solving this problem.
Unlike in the United States of Americas, by regulation requires the weighing of every export loaded container before vessel loading, strict local regulations do not exist in other part of the world, nevertheless VICT, being a responsible port-operator, would want to work closely with the exporters & shipping lines to resolve this o/w container problem and this is where we seek your fullest cooperation and support.
The WSC & ICS had jointly produced a document: “Safe Transport of Containers By Sea: Guidelines on Best Practices”. That document was published at the end of 2008 and presented to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in December 2008. Both organizations distributed it globally to various shipper organizations. Various insurance organizations were complimentary of the Guidelines. At its May 2010 meeting, the MSC invited Member Governments to urge ship-owners and operators to make the WSC/ICS Guidelines available on board all ships carrying containers.
Some of the keynotes in various Chapters in the Guidelines includes “:
1. “Never load by weight above the payload limits of the container”,
2. “Overloading is something which can NEVER be condoned”,
3. “Apart from the immediate dangers to the safety of ships created by overloading, the gross weight of the container (cargo plus container tare) must not breach the applicable road or rail limits on all legs of the transit journey. The importance of observing these limits cannot be overstressed.”
4. “The port/terminal should undertake the following actions at the first entry gate of the export yard, or while the container is in the terminal and before it goes onto a ship: … Verify the container weight against documentation by use of a weighbridge or weight gauge/load indicator on yard equipment or, alternatively, verify that weighing has occurred before entry and that such weighing was compliant with accepted best practice.”
With the ongoing efforts by various concerned bodies & stakeholders to address the o/w container issue, VICT believe that eventually more if not all countries will sooner than later adopts regulation to address this. You would have noticed that the regulators & law enforcement agencies in Vietnam are already taking intensified effort to arrest the o/w container problem by setting up weight-bridge check-points on road access to one of the major river-port and we also understand another check-point may be set-up on Nguyen Van Linh Street, where the check could be extended 24 hours (beyond current 8pm) which in a way resulting in the increase of trucking rates although raising the trucking rates shall not translate to as a solution or endorsement of o/w containers on the road.
We hope that stakeholders in Vietnam including the exporters, shipping lines and port-operators can take on the lead to eliminate this o/w container problem.
Laden Import Container
The o/w problem on laden import container into Vietnam will becomes academic if the exporters, shipping lines & port-operators at the loading origins/ports can likewise cooperate in similar aspect. VICT will work with you very closely in monitoring o/w import containers and would seek your help & to cooperate taking the necessary action to handling these containers, if any, in the safest manner. Therefore your cooperation to eliminate this problem in the first place, at the loading origin/port, will certainly help in a long way.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation. Should you need any further clarification on subject, please do not hesitate to approach our operations and business development teams.