Shipper named on the Bill of Lading is obligated to provide accurate and verified cargo weight to the carrier prior to vessel loading. This applies to all packed containers which are to be loaded onto a vessel under SOLAS regime in international maritime traffic.
It is a value-added service we are already providing to our customers upon request. With approaching VGM implementation, we will continue to present our customers with weighing arrangements applicable for both FCL and LCL shipments.
3. How to submit VGM information to carrier?
It will be subject to specific carrier's implementation process and it may also vary country by country or port by port. We anticipate the possible solutions will be one of the following:
- - via the new VGM oriented VERMAS (EDI) message
- - via existing EDI connections (e-Shipping Instruction)
- - via carrier online website
- - via portal solutions (e.g. INTTRA, GT Nexus)
- - via manual process, such as email
APL Logistics is also working on enhancing our systems to capture VGM information and help shippers to transmit eVGM information to all EDI portals and carriers via one of the above mentioned channels.
4. What will be the content in the VGM information?
Carriers are still working on the details. In general it shall include:
- - verification party, including name and other contact information
- - verification date
- - VGM weight and Unit Of Measurement (e.g. KGS or LBS)
- - Shipment reference info, i.e. vessel, BL#, container #, etc.
- - Other national requirements
The requirements of the VGM data may also vary carrier by carrier and country by country.We are pending further notification from our carrier partners.
5. What is the e-signature requirement and is it obligatory for each transaction?
The e-signature requirement we have sighted, from the proposal of EDI portals/carriers, is a name entered into the EDI message in free text, and not an image. The name refers to the person who verified the weight.
However, local/national Laws/Rules might require additional data, processes or documents (e.g. weighing note).
6.What will be the consequences if VGM is not provided to the carrier?
The carrier can refuse to load the container onto the vessel. Depending on individual country legislation, potential penalties may also be imposed to the shipper as the consequence of non-compliance of the SOLAS regulation.
7. What is the tolerance range of VGM discrepancy?
There is no provision in SOLAS for any margin of discrepancy for the submitted VGM. National standards and requirements will determine the acceptable level of accuracy of the weighing equipment used.
8. Can a non-certified vendor use a certified weighbridge to obtain VGM information?
There is no provision in SOLAS. However, national authorities, as part of their enforcement policies may enact or implement requirements applicable to owners of weighing equipment. Any such requirements would be determined by national authorities.
9.Will shipper-declared VGM be verified at the terminal?
SOLAS requires the carrier and terminal to accept the shipper-declared VGM for vessel loading. Weight verification at the terminal is subject to the individual country's regulation and the local process of the carrier and terminal.
10.Will APL Logistics be responsible to add the container tare weight in addition to the shipper provided cargo weight for factory load shipments?
Container tare weight varies by container specifications and the information is available on the container door.
For factory load shipments, the shipper is responsible for the calculation of the VGM through adding container tare weight in addition to the cargo weight.
11.Will there be impact to the consolidation processing time? Any impact to the current cut-off?
We are pending details from carriers to announce the new cut-off time for VGM information collecting. We will adjust our cut-off time accordingly based on (1) carrier's cut-off time (2) lead time if there is a need to weigh the cargo or weigh the packed container.
12. What will be the additional cost brought by VGM implementation?
We foresee additional costs may be incurred due to weighing, trucking, carrier/terminal processing, data handling, and system/EDI enhancement.
Please refer to Exhibit B Indicative Weighing Service Rate at Key Origin Ports.
13. What is APL Logistics' specific process in respond to SOLAS implementation?
We have defined operational steps based on the best visibility and analysis of current SOLAS information. In the meantime, we are also monitoring the country specific regulations and carrier's requirements so we can further adjust and fine-tune our process.