Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier’s TF2 model can now be fitted with VGM container-weighing equipment as a cost-effective solution to the new SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) weight requirements that came into effect in New Zealand in July.
Tom Schults, managing director of Mobicon Mini Straddle Carriers NZ/AUS, said the new requirements had the potential to add significant costs if companies had to rely on ports, or truck/transport weighbridges to meet the new weight regulations.
“Being able to fit our machines with this type of technology means using a Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier to weigh the containers will not only be a much cheaper option for our clients, but also a far more efficient one.”
Maritime New Zealand is responsible for adhering to SOLAS in New Zealand.
The changes to Maritime Rules Part 24B: Carriage of Cargoes – Stowage and Securing came into effect on 1 July 2016 and were intended to stop grossly understated container weights from overstressing or making a ship unstable.
Under the new requirements containers now need to have their weight measured and verified by one of two methods before being presented at a port – either by weighing the whole container after the goods are packed, or weighing the goods, and adding this to the tare of the container.
Schults said other countries such as the Netherlands, China and Argentina had set their weight tolerance at 5% and it was generally accepted that accuracy of anything between 2% and 5% was sufficient to guarantee safety, and prevent ships from being overloaded, which ultimately was the purpose of the SOLAS changes. He said although they supported the new requirements, they hoped Maritime New Zealand would review at its decision to require container handlers to meet ‘trade weighing’ standards [that require the weight to have a variation of less than 0.25%], and set their policy more in line with international counterparts that have an accuracy of between 2% and 5%.