Where is Shipping Container Weight Verified?

forklift loading shipping container

Having a cargo container with an improperly declared weight can end up being costly. Where is the weight of the container verified to check to see if it matches the bill of lading?

In order to understand where this verification might take place, you need to understand the shipping process.

Steps of the Shipping Process

Here is the typical shipping process and all the steps involved.

  • The shipper initiates the process by contacting a shipping company and booking a container to ship an indicated weight of cargo.
  • The shipper loads the cargo into the shipping container by themselves or by using a company to do the packing for them.
  • The container is moved to the terminal or container yard; the shipping line then specifies the weight of the container as it is indicated by the shipper.
  • The stowage plan for the cargo ship is generated using this weight.
  • Bill of lading is provided to the shipping company from the shipper or their loading agents. The weight of the cargo is listed on the bill of lading. This weight may or may not include any additional packing elements that might have increased the total shipment’s weight.
  • At this point, the shipping line may or may not notice a difference in the booking weight and the listed weight on the bill of lading. Some shipping lines give small allowances of 1 or 2 tons.
  • The variation, if detected and outside of any allowances, will now be noted. Shipping lines will take action by notifying the shipper and then applying additional shipping charges due to the weight differences.

As you can see, there may be no reliable update of the bill of lading that will include any additional weight.

Where Should Weight Verification take Place?

Since there is no real spot in the process to verify the weight automatically, the shipper will need to request a verification to take place. The best place to do this would be at a container yard. The container yard (or CY) is where your shipping containers are stored before being loaded for shipment.

By having the weight verified at the CY, you ensure that you can update the bill of lading before the cargo is loaded onto your ship. This means that the cargo weight will be accurately reflected on your bill of lading and will not cause any additional charges to you.

As always, having a professional industrial packing company assist you in your shipping can alleviate many of these costs. Cratex group has many years of experience and can help you with all of your shipping needs. Contact us today with any questions!