Cordero Reaction to WCMTOA & OAKMTOA VGM Announcement
Announcements yesterday by two U.S. west coast terminal operating agreements regarding procedures for weighing containers and transmitting that information to ocean carriers represents a positive step toward helping shippers meet new reporting standards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero.
The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) and Oakland MTO Agreement (OAKMTOA) stated yesterday that terminal operators already weighing containers to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements will continue to provide that data to ocean carriers. Ocean carriers may use this information “… at their discretion”. This announcement provides a path for carriers and their shippers, using terminals covered by WCMTOA and OAKMTOA, to reach agreement that the container weight collected to satisfy OSHA mandates can also be used for the purposes of reporting the box’s Verified Gross Mass (VGM).
“These announcements are positive steps toward achieving the flexibility of compliance with the new VGM reporting standards that we have all sought,” said Cordero. “Shippers are going to look for the combination of services that eases their ability to move cargo while meeting regulatory expectations. To the extent carriers using terminals in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Long Beach embrace every opportunity they have to provide their customers with more options to relieve burdens from compliance, the more likely it is that those lines will be winning business and building loyalty.”