Verified Gross Mass (VGM) is a metric that must be submitted by shippers in order to load containers aboard vessels, so you must be aware of it when shipping your goods. Accidents and damages can be brought on by negligence or non-compliance. We shall discuss VGM in this essay, as well as it’s what, why, when, and how.
What is Verified Gross Mass?
The is the container's overall weight (cargo and tare weight). This information is typically included in the shipping instructions. However, you can use the Shipment Binder to send in each VGM individually if necessary.
In the marine industry, the concept of VGM is still relatively new, and container weight verification is currently a requirement on a global level. It is one of the many terminologies you could run into when dealing with shipping containers and logistics. It's also one of the newest, having made its debut in 2016.
A packed container will no longer be able to be loaded onto ships if its Verified Gross Mass (VGM) has not been provided by the shipper to the ocean carriers and port terminal that enter the load vessel list before the cut-off date when it comes to the overall weight of the loaded container that complies with container weighing regulations.
How to calculate VGM?
Calculating VGM – Method 1:
Use a calibrated special-purpose scale, such as a BISON Jack or weighbridge, to weigh the container once the cargo has been packed, or weigh the entire load with the prime mover and trailer. If you are aware of the combined weight of the prime mover and trailer, then this method is a wise decision for you.
VGM = Total weight from weighbridge – the weight of prime mover– weight of the trailer
Calculating VGM – Method 2:
The second method entails weighing the cargo and contents first on a calibrated scale, then adding the weight to the container's tare weight as written on the door end.
VGM = Cargo weight (net) + Lashing /Packaging weight + Container Tare Weight
Note that the second option, which calls for clearance from local authorities, is not appropriate for bulk items.
Please make note of the variations in cargo net weight, lashing/packaging weight, and container tare weight to avoid measuring the components incorrectly and reporting an incorrect VGM result.
The term "cargo net weight" refers to the weight of the cargo itself, excluding any packaging, exterior fasteners, and container weight. The container's packaging materials as well as the weight of the lashings used to secure the cargo are included in the lashing and packaging weight. Last but not least, the container's tare weight is its weight without any cargo (empty container). On the front door of the container, normally.
The second approach requires the identification of the following four masses in order to accurately depict the packed container's weight:
- The container's empty weight.
- The item's weight (without packaging).
- Mass of primary packaging.
- The total weight of the container's other components (such as packaging, pallets, dunnage, space fillers, and material to secure the container).
The Details that should be on All VGM instructions
- Booking or Bill of Lading number
- Container number
- VGM + unit
- Responsible party Name in full
- Legible Signature
- Place and date of signature
It's possible that the certified gross mass provided by the shipper is not entirely correct. Some nations have established a 2-5% tolerance for the VGM because of the possibility that the tare mass of some containers may alter over time from wear and tear and dramatically diverge from the tare weight as shown on the container door CSC plate.
As a result of evaporation or variations in humidity, some freight products may experience usual, modest mass fluctuations from the time of packing and weighing until delivery.
Why is reporting Verified Gross Mass important?
The International Maritime Organization implemented the reporting of VGM in 2016 in compliance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. Or SOLAS Reporting the VGM is crucial since incorrect weight declarations have in the past caused onboard mishaps. A false weight statement may put seamen's lives in danger and compromise the timely delivery of containers.
You would believe that a ship that weighs thousands of tons couldn't be moved by the weight of a few pallets. However, when you realize that an average ship transports between 10,000 and 21,000 TEU containers, you realize just how many pallets and pieces of equipment were not properly taken into account prior to 2016.
By reporting VGM, you aid carriers in lowering the amount of hidden weight and improving stability calculations, hence lowering the likelihood of dangers to safe navigation. Additionally, it guarantees that your cargo is transported properly!
Who is responsible for reporting Verified Gross Mass?
The shipper, who is identified on the Bill of Lading for the shipment, is in charge of determining the container's VGM and informing the carrier and port terminals well in advance of loading the container into the vessel (at the latest, prior to the VGM deadline).
What is the “No VGM, No Gate-in” Policy?
No VGM and no gate-in policy. It is important to emphasize that the "No VGM, No Gate-in" rule is decided and implemented by the terminal, not the shipping line.
This rule states that a loaded container won't be permitted to pass the gate without the VGM. The VGM must be supplied to the shipping line before Gate-in if a terminal has a "No VGM, No Gate-in" policy.
How to report Verified Gross Mass in logistics and when?
As stated, the shipper is in charge of reporting the VGM. Before weighing the cargo or determining its weight using one of the two procedures previously described, the shipper would typically prepare and pack the goods.
Following that, SOLAS outlines the requirements for the shipper to provide the VGM in a "shipping document," either as a component of shipping instructions or a distinct communication. Prior to the vessel loading, this must be done (at the latest before the VGM deadline). How to report Verified Gross Mass in logistics and when?
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