Washington, D.C. May 19, 2016 – The 19 ocean carrier members of the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (“OCEMA”) have joined with six major East and Gulf coast ports, including the South Carolina Ports Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, North Carolina State Ports Authority, the Port of Houston Authority, The Port of Virginia, and the Massachusetts Port Authority, to develop a common streamlined “Terminal Weighing Approach” to providing verified gross mass (“VGM”) at port locations. Earlier today, OCEMA and the Ports filed an agreement with the Federal Maritime Commission with regard to the cooperative effort.

The Terminal Weighing Approach aims to ensure fluidity at major East and Gulf Coast ports and provide shippers, carriers, and terminals with a simple means of compliance with the SOLAS VGM requirements.
Under the proposal, marine terminals would weigh a container on certified terminal scales, pursuant to the equivalency declared by the U.S. Coast Guard. This weight could then be used to fulfill the U.S. exporter’s IMO SOLAS VGM requirement. The approach would provide flexibility for shippers at participating ports. Details of the proposal are still being vetted.

OCEMA plans to incorporate the common Terminal Weighing Approach in the OCEMA Best Practice as an additional accepted method of submitting VGM at the participating port locations.
“OCEMA’s members greatly appreciate the leadership shown by the six operating ports that are joining with us in this agreement. With the issuance of the U.S. Coast Guard’s recent Maritime Safety Information Bulletin’s equivalency provisions, this represents an unprecedented effort by major ports and carriers to develop a common VGM framework that will simplify procedures for shippers, carriers, and terminals and promote terminal fluidity,” said Frank Grossi, Chairman of OCEMA and Executive Vice President, COSCO Container Lines America, Inc.

OCEMA is an association of 19 major U.S. and foreign flag international ocean common carriers that provides a forum for its members to discuss operational, safety, and related matters pertaining to the intermodal transportation of ocean freight within the U.S. OCEMA also operates the CCM chassis pool system of 140,000 chassis, at over 200 U.S. intermodal locations, which has been an essential tool in providing rail and marine terminal fluidity and efficiency.

Jeff Lawrence, OCEMA Executive Director, jlawrence@ocema.org, 202-463-2504
Stacey Normington, OCEMA Administrator, snormington@ocema.org, 202-912-4847
Erin Dhand, Manager, South Carolina Ports Authority, 843-577-8121
Robert Morris, Senior Director of External Affairs, Georgia Ports Authority, 912-964-3855
Laura Blair, North Carolina State Ports Authority, Laura.blair@ncports.com
Lisa Ashley, Director Media Relations, Port of Houston Authority, Lashley@poha.com
Joseph Harris, The Port of Virginia, jharris@portofvirginia.com, 757-683-2137
Matt Brelis, Director of Media Relations, Massport, 617-568-3104

SOURCE: OCEMA – Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association

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