Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Asian shippers say container weighing 'doomed to fail'

Asian shippers say container weighing 'doomed to fail'
Asian shippers have again hit out at the IMO’s plans for the mandatory weighing of all containers as “doomed to fail”.

Last week the IMO Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers accepted the compromise proposals by shipping firms and governments to provide for two independent methods for the verification of container weights.

The Asian Shippers’ Council (ASC) charged that the decision had been made “with proper representation” of shippers, the party with most at stake. They noted the ASC and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) represented 75% of global shippers but had not been consulted.

The ASC said there was, “No consideration of the difficulties that 100% verification of gross weight of containers would create in the supply chain, mandatory weighing and verification of gross weight of containers is doomed to fail.”

ASC chairman John Lu pointed out the difficulties of implementing the 100% weighing of containers in emerging markets, many of which are large exporters.

“There are millions of shippers across Asia, with different levels of maturity and different operational constraints. Before arriving at a key gateway for export, cargoes may have to use multiple modes of transport – trucks, ships and/or rail. Can you imagine trying to implement what is agreed at the IMO in such a challenging environment?”

Similarly he said a one-size fits all solution would not work in emerging markets in Africa and Latin America.

“It has not worked for 100% security screening and it will not work for 100% verification of gross weight of containers,” Lu stated.