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About: Estefany Mejia

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HOW TO EXPORT: SOLAS VGM Filing – Verified Gross Mass

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) implemented new laws into the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The new law became globally effective on July 1st, 2016.

Is The New Law Reasonable?

Most definitely! As a shipper, freight forwarder, cargo receiver, or shipping line, we are not exposed to the dangers that crew and shore side workers are exposed to on a daily basis. Incorrect weight is consequential, and can lead to personal injury, ship damage, delay in cargo, road safety problems, collapsed container stacks, higher operating costs, and improper vessel stowage.

VGM Rules and Methods:

  1. “No VGM No Load”. Before a full container can be loaded on board, the container must be weighted.
  2. Estimating weight is not permitted.


Method 1 – Weighing of a packed container

-Container can be taken to a scale to be weighted

-Using this method, you must subtract the weight of the truck, chassis, and fuel to get the weight of the packed container.

Method 2 – Calculating VGM

-Shipper will need to provide the exact cargo weight including packaging and securing material

-Exact cargo weight will be added to the container tare weight (tare weight depends on the container size) to calculate VGM

If there is a case of noncompliance, terminals may choose to hold a container or reject it from loading the vessel. If you do not want this happening, follow the new rules and avoid yourself some trouble.

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How to Export Goods

Step 1: Choosing the correct Freight Forwarder

Have you ever wondered what is needed in order to export something as big as a yacht or something as small as a box of fabric? Every day, there is a flow of cargo moving in and out of countries. With the help of freight forwarders, people and businesses are able to have their goods transported. Whether or not you are new to the trading world, as a seller or a buyer there are shipping terms that must be agreed on in order to export any type of commodity. As an exporter, you must consider the following: choosing a reliable freight forwarder to consult you with the correct shipping services. Like the saying goes, “We learn something new every day”. Being in an international market, there is no doubt that you will learn something new, or perhaps improve on methods that you already have. The correct freight forwarder will guide you from A-Z. Starting from how to properly package your cargo, to what documentation is required at origin and destination. You may ask, how do you find this “reliable” forwarder? Easy, just continue to read this blog, and make note of the tips that are suggested to finding the ideal freight forwarder for your shipping needs.

“10 Tips to Choosing a Freight Forwarder Guide”

  1. Think like a hunter. Use every sense, every bit of experience you have to know what your needs are to capture the right service.
  2. Want to know your freight forwarder’s knowledge? Call them, ask questions. If they respond with detail, and in a timely manner you’ve found yourself the one.
  3. Do things the right way to avoid any delay. Make sure your logistics provider is fully licensed and runs a legitimate business.
  4. This industry is about time and money. When booking a plane ticket, the majority of travelers usually want the most economic and fastest flight. When you select your Freight Forwarding make sure they have multiple contracts with select carriers to provide you the best rates and fastest transit time.
  5. Select a Freight Forwarder that provides LTL trucking rates. Exporting is not just done internationally. Your goods can be transported city to city, or state to state.
  6. Choose a freight forwarder with multiple partners around the globe. This ensures that the company is known throughout the world and has an array of connections that can assure you your cargo will be properly handled.
  7. If you like being treated with attention and kindness, give your freight forwarder a call. Put their customer service skills to test and determine if they have the qualities you are looking for.
  8. Are you in need of extra space to keep your cargo safe or to simply store it? Pick a forwarder who has a warehouse. This will help avoid your cargo from being damaged or seized.
  9. Do you plan on vacationing in The Maldives or living there? Planning on taking your yacht? Well you cannot fit it in your suitcase, can you? Make sure your Freight Forwarder is able to handle Project Cargo. Let them handle your freight, as you plan on making your trip a success.
  10. There is no 10th tip needed if you have correctly followed our “10 Tips to Choosing a Freight Forwarder Guide”
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