Container weighing has been in the news lately.
The International Maritime Organisation have amended their Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) convention so that from 1 July 2016 all containers being loaded onto ship must be weighed.
The amendment is designed to prevent accidents when containers fall overboard due to the centre of gravity being too high. But it’s also been known for a stack of containers to collapse due to incorrect loading or even for a ship to break in two.
The consequences don’t bear thinking about so the new amendment makes perfect sense.
With the need to weigh containers comes the requirement to invest in equipment. But which is the best method and how much will it cost though?
There are numerous ways to weigh a container; some loaders at the ports have built in weighing devices and if the tare weight is known, the weight of each individual item can be measured as it is put into the container. The latter method preferred when a container is made up at the port itself with items from numerous shippers.
Another quick and easy method is to weigh the truck using a dynamic weighbridge. We weigh many container trucks on their way to the port on the axle weighbridge in our yard.
|It takes 40 seconds to weigh on a dynamic axle weighbridge|
It takes about 40 seconds to obtain a weight from a dynamic axle weighbridge and to an accuracy of 0.5%. So even if the empty truck needs to be weighed first to get a tare weight, it’s not a long procedure.
Having invested in a dynamic axle weighbridge though there is scope to make money from it.
As the Axtec system is the only one of its type which can be Approved as a Public Weighbridge, other hauliers can be charged for using it. And the axle weighbridge thus becomes a source of income, between £6-£10,000.00 per annum in the case of our own system.
Which means, in this case at least, the investment needed to weigh containers pays for itself in about three years. And the accuracy is more than enough to satisfy the needs of the new regulations.