Shippers face a major task when the new rules for mandatory weighing of containers come into force this summer. US-based Inttra, which has 110,000 shippers and freight forwarders linked to its electronic market place, recently performed a survey among 410 of its members, and the responses showed widespread concerns about whether the industry will be ready for the new rules.
The new rules are an addition to the IMO's SOLAS convention (Safety of Life at Sea) and aims to ensure that containers are weighed before being carried out to sea. The rules will, according to numerous observers, increase safety, help prevent accidents and prevent containers from being lost at sea. But the question is whether ports, terminals and countries are ready to perform the task and introduce the rules, which mean that shippers must either weigh the entire container including goods, or that they must first weigh the goods and then add the net weight of the container. But the logistics industry is highly unequal in terms of working with IT and infrastructure, says President of Inttra Marketplace Inna Kuznetsova.