New Safety Law for Shipping Containers

Shipping container at sea

As of 1st July 2016, there will be new safety rules for shipping containers that will require every container that’s boarding a vessel for worldwide transit to be weighed before it’s put on board. If such rules and regulations aren’t met, the container will be refused loading and could significantly affect transit and shipping times, causing a knock on effect further down the procurement line.

The new rules have been put in place for fear of shippers underestimating the weight of their containers in perhaps an attempt to minimise cost. Consequently, ships can have extra stress put on them along with instability that can bring potential danger to ports and people when cargo from the container is being unloaded at its final destination.

The new law states that any shipping container leaving any port around the world must be accompanied by a verified shipping document that is either manually or electronically signed by the shipper to verify the gross mass weight of the container. Misdeclared weights have cause significant damage and disturbance in the past; the breakup and beaching of the MSC Napoli in 2007 for example.

All weighing of shipping containers must be carried out on calibrated scales and certified to national standards, depending on the country where the original weighing was carried out. Loaded containers can be taken over a weighbridge, weighed at the port terminal or each item going into the container itself must be weighed, including packaging and securing materials, and added to the weight of the container itself.

This is big news in the shipping world and is yet more proof that we’re moving forward toward a safer, more sustainable industry overall. For more information and specialist guidance on these changes, call Gordon today on 01293 554620 or email

Posted in Facts, Freight Articles.