27 June 2013

CLECAT weighs in on TOC panel debate on container weighing

Marc Huybrechts, President of CLECAT, participated in a Round Table panel debate at the TOC Container Supply Chain Conference in Rotterdam today discussing some major issues that are central to the container weighing and more in particular about who bears the responsibility for weight accuracy of containers.

There is general consensus that the inaccuracy of weight declaration in the unit load industry compromises safety and efficiency. The way how to implement changes that are appropriate and proportionate is more controversial.    CLECAT is of the opinion that adding further specifications to the existing SOLAS weighing requirements for the transport of containers by sea will lead to a dis-proportionate burden for the industry.

There is no doubt there are inaccuracies and therefore all parties in the supply chain should take measures to improve their operational performance through best practices and increased awareness on the possible consequences of bad practice in the handling of containers.

However, this problem will not be solved through additional weighing requirements but solely through the use of timely data corresponding with the cargo packed in the container. This information is already available in the shipping instructions and in the customs declaration documents.  CLECAT is of the strong opinion that also the quality of lashing of containers on board a ship needs to be improved. International standardizing lashing procedures and the quality criteria for the used gear will significantly reduce the loss of containers at sea.        

CLECAT is committed to continue working with its Members, as well as others in the maritime supply chain to maintain the positive initiatives already underway to avoid incidents and recommends the IMO to work on effective solutions to the safety issues at hand.