For each and every logistics shipper - This new regulation come into effect on 1st of July 2016, it will be very much compulsory for every shipper to declare the verified gross mass (VGM) of every container to the authorities of the port terminal or shipping line within a fixed time/date before the containers are loaded into a vessel.
IMO has created a new SOLAS VGM amendment to reduce accidents caused due to discrepancies in weight of a container that lead to improper and unsafe stowage.
IMO(International Maritime Organization) has come up with two different methods with the help of which the VGM of a CTU (Container Transport Unit) can be calculated.
Either the shipper or a 3rd party, appointed by the shipper, will weigh the packed container before loading.
Either the shipper or a 3rd party, appointed by the shipper, will weigh the itemized cargo that is to be loaded into containers as well as their dunnage, like strapping, pellets, etc. This weight will then be added to the tare weight of a container that is mentioned on their door ends.
For more details about SOLAS VGM Services & Solutions
It is Important because
The weight of any cargo traveling by sea has to be accurately measured and declared. If this is not done and the actual weight is different, the whole ship can be gravely impacted. The container's weight decides how it will be stacked and stowed on board. Not knowing the correct container weight can lead to stacks of containers collapsing or falling overboard. At stake is the safety of the whole ship, its crew and the dock workers.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) started working on procedures to avoid damages to containers in 2011. Wrongly declared mass of containers was found to be a factor in marine accidents. This led to a need for having packed containers weighed to get their gross mass before being loaded on the ship. That's how the VGM guidelines and amendments to them got adopted.