13 January 2014

Strainstall publish container weight verification white paper

Strainstall provides key technology insight into shipping container weight verification.

White paper published today by Strainstall provides an objective assessment of the key issues facing regulators and for port and terminal operators seeking to implement container weighing

Analysis aims to help identify the most robust and cost-effective solutions for accurate and repeatable measurement, and seamless integration into existing port and terminal processes. Paper launched at a meeting of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) in London, and is now freely available to the global shipping industry.

The need for accurate container weight verification as a core function of port and terminal operations and vessel stowage plans is now widely accepted throughout the shipping industry, not least due to the recent series of high profile vessel losses linked to the mis-declaration of container weights. But while there is a broad consensus on the imperative for action, there remains considerable debate about the nature of the governing regulation required as well as about the many measurement technologies available for implementation. In order to provide an objective and positive contribution to this debate, Strainstall has today published a white paper. Taking the load off technology options, costs and opportunities for the implementation of container weight verification. The paper – which is now available for download from the Strainstall web site – provides an assessment of the strategic regulatory challenge, and then sets out a framework for port and terminal operators to select the technology that is most appropriate to their current needs as well as for future aspirations for automation and integration of operations.

Adrian Coventry, Strainstall director of engineering, commented on the situation saying:

“We were pleased to have been invited to present this paper for the first time today at the ICHCA meeting in London. The implementation of container weight verification technology in the ports and terminals of the international shipping industry is a crucial imperative to improve the safety of vessels, their crews and the many personnel involved in container handling. By contributing our extensive knowledge and expertise in load measurement and data integration – drawn from experience in numerous industrial sectors but most especially in the marine industry – we have explained how ports and terminals can select the technology that best suits their immediate requirements, while also enabling further opportunistic benefits.”

Regarding the implementation of container weight verification by port and terminal operators, the framework presented in the Strainstall white paper clearly shows that there is no single ‘silver bullet’ technological solution appropriate to all; yet there are common factors that should be considered to ensure that future efficiency, return on investment and other operational improvements are not unduly constrained. Wherever possible, Strainstall recommends that those implementing container weight verification do so by adopting solutions that allow weight to be measured at or close to the twist-locks used for lifting. This approach provides a universal means of recording the weight of individual containers, while also allowing for automatic calculation of centre of gravity.

Mr Coventry then went on to outline what he hoped would occur following the publishing of the White Paper:

“We hope that the paper that we have published today will be of equal use to those considering future container weight verification regulation as it is to those selecting a technology appropriate to a particular port or terminal. We are grateful to the ICHCA for providing a forum for us to present it to the cargo handling sector and now look forward to discussing the paper with stakeholders throughout the global shipping industry.”

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