The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) will take effect soon. The amendment requires the submission of the combined cargo and container weight (Verified Gross Mass or VGM) to both the steamship lines and terminal operators before loading. U.S. movers have historically weighed freight and containers, but until now reporting VGM has not been a part of a typical process. There are some concerns that this additional process may affect the already slowdown plagued U.S. West Coast ports. Additionally, there are rumors that certain carriers may implement surcharges to offset the cost of new software required to collect the VGM data. Though these concerns are valid, according to economic and shipping experts there is still time to sort out problems and avoid delays.
(Hellenic Shipping News)