Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) has announced that its network of ports will be ready for full compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention before it takes global effect on 1 July 2016.
The amendments are designed to improve the overall safety of the supply chain at sea by requiring every packed export container to have its weight verified before it is loaded onto a vessel. All shippers must comply with this mandatory container weight verification, also known as Verified Gross Mass (VGM), by providing this information to both the carrier and container terminal operator prior to the cargo being loaded onto a vessel.
Eric Ip, HPH Group Managing Director, commented, “As the world’s leading port operator that handles 12%* of global container trade, we fully support this regulation as safety is a priority in our operations. We are committed to helping our customers comply with this regulation and are collaborating with the shipping community and local authorities to ensure a seamless transition and full compliance before the enforcement date.”
HPH has been actively working on the internal alignment of processes and guidelines, as well as system enhancements across different business units, to minimise disruptions in the supply chain when the regulation enters into force.
As a result of all the preparations, HPH is able to provide the following services:
• Proper handling of all export containers entering into its container terminals from both land and sea, with and without VGM, by various means;
• Proper storage and transmission of VGM records for related stakeholders;
• Air-tight process and systems to prevent the loading of containers onto vessels without VGM;
• The provision of container weighing services through different cost-effective means will be offered by the majority of HPH container terminals, depending on local needs and commercial arrangements, with the aim to facilitate the various stakeholders in the supply chain to meet the SOLAS compliance. The actual enforcement of SOLAS compliance will be the prerogative of the local authorities and the terminal operators will work under the conditions that are established.
*Source: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited