As it falls to the shipper to provide the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of their container, Maersk Line embarked on a direct mail campaign to inform customers of the IMO rule and clarify the responsibilities of the shipper.
“The regulation affects hundreds of thousands of shippers that are generally unfamiliar with IMO work, which adds to the challenge,” says Lars Lorenzen, VGM project manager, Maersk Line.
Damco will in many cases be the shipper responsible for providing the VGM, and is now offering customers container weighing and filing of VGM data as additional services.
“We have talked to our stakeholders to see where our responsibilities lie, and where we could bring in new services that generate value for our business,” says Simone Kraal, Global Ocean Operations Manager, Damco.
APM Terminals has also launched new services for customers at ports around the world. A number of terminals have invested in weighing bridges at a cost of USD 20,000 each. New IT solutions including enhanced EDI – Electronic Data Interchange – which allows files to be sent through different systems have been brought in to manage the VGM data.
“Our approach has been first to ensure we are in compliance with the new rules and second to recover the cost,” says Daniel Jover, Container weighing programme manager, APMT.
Collaboration is key
For the three business units collaboration has been key to ensuring a smooth implementation of the container weighing rule. Regular joint sessions were held, as well as ongoing testing of IT systems to ensure VGM data could easily be passed between them.