HONG KONG, China–CargoSmart Limited announced it is offering free solutions for shippers to provide the verified gross mass (VGM) of their cargo to their carriers to comply with the new requirements from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.
CargoSmart said it is working closely with over 70 ocean container carriers and terminals to provide shippers with flexible and integrated solutions to manage the VGM submission process effectively and smoothly.
Starting on July 1, 2016, global shippers are required to provide a verified gross mass of each container, including the cargo contents and the weight of the container, before it is loaded on a vessel. Shippers may need extra time and incur costs to obtain the cargo weight, determine the container tare weight, verify the weight, and submit the information to ocean carriers in a timely manner.
If the VGM is not provided by carriers’ cut-off times, cargo may be held at the port of loading. In a recent CargoSmart customer survey with 820 respondents, more than two-thirds of the respondents indicated that the extra process of obtaining the verified weight will present the biggest challenge to comply, while 24% of the respondents indicated submitting the VGM in a timely manner will be the biggest challenge, said the release.
CargoSmart’s platform offers shippers and their designated submission parties multiple channels to submit the VGM to their carriers.
“CargoSmart is working with over 70 major carriers and terminals to establish a seamless VGM integration before the regulation goes into effect,” said Lionel Louie, chief commercial officer of CargoSmart.
“By offering free VGM solutions with multiple submission channels and a dashboard, we will help shippers minimize changes to their existing shipping execution processes, control costs for complying with the new requirements, and provide clear visibility to submission status,” he said.
CargoSmart has extended its platform that helps shippers and logistics service providers manage their multiple-carrier shipments to allow shippers to comply with the new SOLAS VGM requirements. Shippers can submit the VGM information with their shipping instructions or in a separate VGM message (VERMAS) through online, EDI, or mobile platforms. The integrated platform helps shippers throughout their shipment management process – from making bookings, to submitting required documentation including the VGM, to receiving status alerts, to reviewing status updates on dashboards. Visibility to a shipment’s current VGM submission status enables shippers to manage timely submission more effectively, the company said.
The solution allows shippers to seek help from other parties to submit the VGM information through CargoSmart. The platform helps shippers integrate the VGM submission into their existing shipping execution processes seamlessly and eliminate one of the potential extra costs for complying with the new SOLAS regulation, said CargoSmart. Shippers, who submit their booking requests or shipping instructions through CargoSmart, qualify to submit the corresponding VGMs to their carriers through CargoSmart at no charge. CargoSmart also offers its VGM solutions to shippers who do not submit booking requests or shipping instructions through CargoSmart, the company added.