Thursday, 7 July 2016 ( #777 )
KEYTROLLER'S PRECISE high accuracy hydraulic forklift scale takes the uncertainty out of the new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) container weighing regulations now in effect as of July1st 2016.
The PRECISE can be installed on any make or model forklift including straight masted high capacity container handlers. It can be used by conventional warehouse or stevedoring forklifts to weigh individual loads being put into a container or by a large high capacity container handler for weighing the entire container before loading on a ship. This advance device will store the weighing events and and print or export the weighing event data.

There is currently a lot of uncertainty within the shipping and container handling industry about the new SOLAS regulations for accurate weighing of containers and the deadline for enforcement of this new regulation is now past. When the International Maritime Organization adopted mandatory amendments to SOLAS in Nov. 2014, they probably thought the supply chain industry had enough time to prepare to comply. Many, if not most, have not. Their logic for this new SOLAS (VGM) Verified Gross Mass regulation certainly makes sense to most when a container is loaded or unloaded with an unverified or incorrect gross weight this presents a serious safety hazard. Unstable ships and trucks can result in the loss of millions of dollars in sinking ships or train derailments or to even fatalities to dockworkers or to the general public when unstable container handling trucks are on the road.

It is estimated that 20% of all containers are not weighed accurately enough which has led to under-declaration of container weights, or unsafe loading, which has been responsible for many serious accidents, and was implicated in the sinking of the MSC Napoli in 2007. According to official statistics 600 containers are washed overboard every year, although International Cargo Handling Coordination Association puts the real figure closer to 10,000.

A recent Drewry Shipping Consultant survey stated that 87% of freight forwarders and 70% of ocean carriers are expecting delays to container shipments as a direct result of the new SOLARS VGM rules. Uncertainty and non compliance will soon be hitting shippers and clients in their pocketbooks.

So what exactly are the new SOLAS VGM regulations?
The VGM must be obtained through the use of either:

Method 1:Weighing the completely packed container which includes the contents and the container itself

Method 2:Weighing all the container's contents and then adding the contents weights to the container (tare) weight.

KEYTROLLER'S PRECISE high accuracy hydraulic forklift scale can actually accomplish both container weighing methods as follows:

Method 1:
Warehouse type forklift weighs each load as it is loaded on the container. PRECISE allows you to name each separate channel (each container) by using the touchscreen like a smartphone. As loads are weighed, they can be put into the appropriate container (each has it's own name/channel). Each load can be given a reference (PO, Invoice #, Packing slip # Etc) that stays with each load weighing event. After the last load is weighed, you will get a gross weight (total of all loads) the total tare weight (pallet weights) and net weight (total of the product only). So the user adds the total gross weight (of product loaded) to the weight of the ocean shipping container (usually stamped on the container's side) and you will VGM (Verified Gross Mass weight) for that container. Now this can be printed as a label or a receipt type all time and date stamped with all load weights and reverences for each load. PRECISE can transmit individual or channel sequence load weight event data via Bluetooth to a PC or printer.

Method 2:
Large container handling forklift picks up and weighs each container. Each container can be given it's own channel, or multiple containers can be put into a single channel (containers for one ship or containers for one client for example). Just as above, each container can be given a reference input from the touchscreen on the device (container #, client #, invoice # etc). Just as method #1, event data can be printed or sent out via Bluetooth.

For those looking for more information on these SOLAS container weighing regulations, you can go to:

World Shipping Council about Safety/Cargo/Weight:

Holman Fenwick Willan HWF SOLAS-amendments-mandatory:

What about accuracy?
As an International issue, the SOLAS regulations provide that verified gross mass shall be obtained under both method 1 and 2 by using weighing equipment that meets the applicable accuracy standards and requirements in the State in which the equipment is being used. Those national standards and requirements will determine the acceptable level of accuracy of the weighing equipment used. There is no provision in SOLAS for any margin of error; this is a physical weighing requirement, not a system of estimation. Gross mass derived using compliant equipment and procedures will meet the legal requirements. There is no single international weighing equipment accuracy standard at present although the International Organization of Legal metrology has issued recommendations for various types of weighing equipment. For example, eU Directive 2004/22/ec on measuring instruments provides guidance within the European Union in relation to 'automatic weighing instruments'. Similar guidance exists for 'non-automatic weighing instruments' and many countries and regions will have enacted legislation and standards to cover such equipment. Accuracy refers to the precision with which a measurement (in this case mass) is made. Accuracy is the only concept with which the shipper need be concerned. National enforcement agents may exercise discretion or tolerance in deciding when to initiate further investigations or penalty action. However, shippers using compliant weighing devices and processes will obtain values that are well within any tolerances adopted nationally for enforcement purposes. Shippers not using compliant weighing devices and processes may be found in violation even if the gross masses that they provide fall within government enforcement tolerances.

KEYTROLLER'S PRECISE high accuracy hydraulic scale is the most accurate hydraulic forklift scale available today with accuracy to within .2-.3 % of the capacity of the forklift. For a 5000lb (2200 kg) warehouse forklift, that means accuracy to within 10-15lb (4.5kg-6.8kg) of any load it picks up. For a large 40,000lb (18000kg) container handler, it means an accuracy range of within 80-120lb (36kg-54 kg). Since PRECISE is hydraulic, it has no effect on the load center of the lift truck and it can not be damaged in normal forklift usage since the hydraulic bypass module is behind the mast and out of harms way.

For more info go to:

For more information view website: or contact KEYTROLLER, LLC. 813-877-4500 or email: send an email
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