PATRICK Terminals has adopted an innovative weighing solution to drive better safety outcomes in the handling of containers.

Mis-declared containers create potential safety risks throughout the supply chain from transport companies to terminal operators and shipping lines.

The new weighing solution, Pondus, will help identify mis-declared weights by statistically sampling containers for weighing and then automatically notifying customers of weight discrepancies (+/- 1t) allowing parties to better meet their chain of responsibility obligations.

Through trials at Patrick Terminals – Brisbane Autostrad, Pondus has been successfully proven to be effective in detecting mis-declared containers in regard to their verified gross mass.

Matt Hollamby, Patrick Terminals – Brisbane Terminal manager, said, “Since July 2016, the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) has required shippers to obtain and document the verified gross mass of a packed container prior to vessel loading. This is a legal requirement. A mis-declared container has potential implications for safe loading of vessels, sea voyage and road transport.

“Both import and export containers will be statistically sampled for weighing on the Pondus stand and mis-declared containers will have a charge placed on the relevant transport company for imports or shipping line for exports.

“Numbers weighed will be governed by what is reasonably practicable given the operational circumstances prevailing at the time. This new solution aligns with Patrick Terminals’ core value and focus on safety first,” Mr Hollamby said.

Robin Bean from Cindicium, the manufacturer of the Pondus stand, said, “Vessel planning and weight distribution can be impacted by irregularities in declared container weights.

“Our certified and automated Pondus platform precisely weighs a container to the National Measurement Institute requirements in seconds on purpose built, calibrated load detecting instruments. The Pondus Stand then automatically interfaces with our system to report accurate container weights to the party transporting those containers.”

Neil Chambers, director of the Container Transport Alliance Australia said, “We welcome the introduction of a highly accurate weighing solution that helps transport companies and their import and export customers to understand the accurate weight of containers. Safety is paramount in this industry.”

Patrick Terminals has advised customers that new charges in relation to Pondus will come into effect from the 4 January 2021. The charge will not apply to importers and exporters who accurately declare container weights.