Guest columnist at Shipping Times, Bill Redmond “Deliberate under declaring of shipping container weights costs shipping lines and governments billions of pounds in lost revenue every year and places ships and their crews at risk. Remarkably, container shipping is the only sector of the industry in which the weight of the cargo is not known and there is no requirement for containers to be weighed at a European port before loading a ship. This issue of container payload weights is left to packers and consignors whose word is taken entirely on trust but that trust has been grossly abused for years, leading, in some cases, to disastrous consequences. The motive, as in passenger shipping, is to save money, regardless of the consequences for safety.*
Under declaration may have been an element in the MSC Napoli incident, subject of The Case Of The Bendy Boxer. Bill’s article,Container payload scams cost billions and risk lives, can be read here.