The new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations will require all sea freight cargo to be weighed prior to shipping.  The weight will need to be verified, so it will require specialist equipment either at loading or at the ports.  The new VGM (verified gross mass) regulations will come into force as of the 1st July 2016 and are applicable worldwide.

There has been some concern about how freight forwarders will be able to implement the new changes, how it might affect the costs of services and there have particularly been worries about the availability of the services required in order to verify the gross weight of UK export cargo.  Lack of a verified weight of the shipping container will mean that the goods cannot be shipped.

In the last few weeks, three of the major UK sea freight ports have come forward with help to assist shippers to comply with the VGM regulations.  The Port of Felixstowe, DP World London Gateway and Southampton have all announced that they will be offering weighing services for UK exporters.  The shipping containers will be weighed shortly after arrival at the port, and the weights will assist the ship planners to stow the cargo on the shipping vessels in an efficient and safe manner.

Mercator is a freight forwarder in the UK who exports goods from the UK on a daily basis.  We have direct connections and accounts with Port of Felixstowe and the two DP World Container Terminals at Southampton and London Gateway.  If you are currently exporting from the UK and are concerned about the new VGM regulations and how it may affect you, then get in contact.  Our freight forwarding services cover all aspects of shipping, from UK pick up (and packing), drop off at UK ports, ocean freight, local customs and to delivery at your destination.

To discuss your UK export requirements, give us a call: +44 2392 756 575 or email


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