SEKO Logistics is to partner with INTTRA, the world’s ocean shipping electronic marketplace, to submit verified gross mass (VGM) information to shipping lines in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) amendments to The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), which come into force on 1 July 2016.
The IMO mandate is being introduced to enhance maritime safety and reduce dangers throughout ocean freight transportation. The new rule requires a verified weight to be submitted for any packed export container before it can be loaded onto a ship.
SEKO continues to see significant growth in its ocean product, boosted by its ability to combine global shipping services with bundled software solutions. It is now conducting training and webinars in the U.S., Asia and Europe for its staff to submit VGM data through the INTTRA portal in order to make the transition for its customers as seamless as possible.
Jose Quesada, SEKO’s Vice President, Ocean Services, says the changes will have an impact on operational practices globally and continue to cause confusion for shippers. “The VGM is required in order to prepare the stowage plan of the ship prior to loading and, without exception, it remains the responsibility of the shipper to provide this information to the carrier and terminal operator in reasonable time. SOLAS imposes an obligation on the carrier and the terminal operator not to load a packed container aboard a ship without the VGM for that container. Non-compliance may result in commercial and operational penalties, such as delayed shipments and additional costs. The penalties may involve repacking costs, administration fees for amending documents, demurrage charges, and delayed or cancelled shipments. We are taking a proactive approach to ensure SEKO’S ocean customers understand the full implications of this change, that they can talk to us about how it effects their logistics, and – most importantly – that we deliver a solution that protects the integrity of their supply chains. Partnering with INTTRA will help us to do this.” he said.
“SEKO understands that, while selecting the right technology is a vital part of the SOLAS VGM compliance process, communication, education and training are also indispensable,” says INTTRA’s President and Chief Operating Officer Inna Kuznetsova. “We support SEKO’s approach, and we are pleased to provide the company with a solution that is easy to learn and to use under a wide range of container weighing and packing scenarios and via multiple formats.”
INTTRA eVGM customers can transact via EDI, web service, web online or mobile formats.