UK P&I Club and TT Club welcome container weighing prior to loading onto ship

  • The amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) adopted in November 2014 states packed containers must have a verified gross mass before being loaded on a ship
  • Containers without a verified gross mass may incur delays, resulting in missing their designated ship, and additional costs
  • Shippers who fail to comply may be heavily fined

UK P&I Club, one of the leading shipping protection and indemnity mutual insurers and TT Club, the leading international transport, freight and logistics insurance provider, have welcomed the amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the requirement that containers have a verified gross mass before being loaded onto a ship.

The requirement becomes mandatory on 1 July 2016, after which date it would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a ship if the ship and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container gross mass. Operators who fail to comply will be fined or penalised.

According to the new amendment, the shipper is responsible for obtaining the verified gross mass of a packed container and communicating it to the ocean carrier.

UK P&I Club and TT Club have published a joint advisory briefing for ship operators. This outlines the key issues for ship operating Members to consider in advance of the 1 July 2016 enforcement date:

There is complexity in the international trade and logistics supply chain, which can make it difficult to identify 'the shipper'. The different parties involved in any given supply chain will need to determine how verified gross mass of containers will be obtained, and how this information can be provided by the shipper to the ocean carrier in a timely manner.

Ship operators will need to ensure that the verified gross mass is recorded and used in ship stow planning. It is important to consider the impact of this on existing data capture and control processes, in order to ensure that a container cannot be loaded on board a ship without this verified gross mass. This will affect procedures from the point of initial booking of the cargo through to loading, including communications between partner lines and the terminal operator.

SOLAS requires that the verified gross mass should be obtained by using weighing equipment that meets the relevant accuracy standards and requirements in the State in which the packing of the container is completed.

Failure to abide by the SOLAS amendment may result in fines and other penalties, imposed by Competent Authorities or Port State Control in accordance with relevant national legislation. However, additional costs and charges will be incurred due to the need to re-pack cargo, administration fees for amending documents and container demurrage charges. Such containers are likely to be delayed and may miss their designated ship, resulting in additional commercial or contractual exposures for cargo interests.

- End -

To see the full joint advisory briefing please visit


For further details, please contact:

Gareth David/ Chiara Barreca

Four Broadgate

+44 (0) 203 697 4200

Notes to Editors UK P&I Club

The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1865 the UK P&I Club insures over 225 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. 'A (Stable)' rated by Standard & Poor's with free reserves and hybrid capital of $548m the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure 'best in class' underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.

www.ukpandi.comTT Club

The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry's leading provider of insurance and related risk management services. As a mutual insurer, the TT Club exists to provide its policyholders with benefits, which include specialist underwriting expertise, a world-wide office network providing claims management services, and first class risk management and loss prevention advice.

Customers include some of the world's largest shipping lines, busiest ports, biggest freight forwarders and cargo handling terminals, to companies operating on a smaller scale but whose operations face similar risks. TT Club specialises in the insurance of Intermodal Operators, NVOCs, Freight Forwarders, Logistics Operators, Marine Terminals, Stevedores, Port Authorities and Ship Operators.

The TT Club is managed by Thomas Miller.

www.ttclub.comThomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services.

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller's origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations.

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Investment and wealth management for institutions and private clients
  • Professional services
  • Building defects insurance

Staff Author

Thomas Miller Group