CargoSmart Ltd. has introduced BoxSnap, a free app that collects and shares container weight information through a smartphone to comply with the Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s Verified Gross Mass requirements (SOLAS VGM).
The mobile app simplifies and expedites the process for shippers, truckers and cargo weighing parties to obtain VGM information and submit it to their ocean carriers to comply and minimize the risk of held cargo or penalties. Leveraging optical character recognition (OCR) technology, truckers and cargo weighing parties can take a photo of a container, check the captured container number and tare weight, and share it with the parties responsible for filing the VGM.
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) updated container weight rules went into effect on July 1, 2016. The IMO directed administrations and port state control authorities to take a practical and pragmatic approach when enforcing the rules for the first three months. While carriers have reported that initial compliance has been strong, shippers may face delays and fines if they do not submit the VGM according to carriers’ deadlines starting on October 1.
BoxSnap allows shippers to receive container weight information as soon as it is available, either when a container is packed at a warehouse or is at a weighing station, to meet critical VGM submission deadlines. Users can save time from having to search through carriers’ websites for container tare weights, share scanned container information, and retain digital image records for future reference. Shippers who submit VGMs through CargoSmart’s online platform can designate third-parties to provide the container weight details through the app and receive alerts when they can submit the VGM to their carriers.