SOLAS Weight Verification – How to make sure you are compliant


If you are shipping containers overseas, I am sure you will have already heard about the impending SOLAS regulation changes coming into force from the 1st July 2016.

Previously we told you about the SOLAS changes happening later this year.

Today we offer some practical advice to make sure you are compliant with SOLAS 2016 and able to provide a Verified Gross Mass.

There are 6 Easy options to ensure SOLAS 2016 compliance

SOLAS Compliant Platform Scales1. Weigh every item on approved weighing scales as you load the container

An easy solution in that everything being loaded into the container gets weighed, including packaging, and at the end you add the Tare weight of the container which is usually declared on the container door.

  • Ensure the scales used are trade approved.
  • Make sure you add packaging weight and materials, including pallets.
  • Do not use declared weights on invoices or boxes. You need to weigh the items yourself.
  • Make and log an accurate tally of everything weighed into the container for proof and verification
  • Finally, add the tare weight of the container

Container Weighing Pads2. Lift and Weigh the entire container after loading

Regarded as the simplest and most cost effective solution.

A load monitored jacking system is used to lift the container, each point utilises a trade approved scale to weigh the container, complete with contents.

The load is fed back to a wireless data logger providing a print out of the container serial number and verified weight.

If lifting the container by a crane another option would be to use a crane scale or load cell above the container to take the weight reading.

3. Use an overhead crane and load link

If lifting the container by a crane another option would be to use a crane scale or load cell above the container to take the weight reading.

Weigh Containers using a Weighbridge4. Weigh the container on a Weighbridge

An expensive option if you don’t already have the facilities available.

For this solution to work you would

  • Weigh the lorry, minus any shipping container to get your Tare weight.
  • Load the container onto the lorry.
  • Weigh the lorry including the container.
  • Subtract the Tare weight of the lorry.

This is fine if you have a weighbridge on-site to do this work already, but could prove to be a costly solution if you have to put one in to place.

A cheaper option might be to use Axle Weigh Pads, and the same process as above would apply, but might take just a little longer.

5. Sub-Contract the weighing work to a competent service provider

An option available to most users would be to pay a company to come in and weigh either your containers, or the contents of your containers, as and when the service is required.

Benefits of this would be:-

  • No initial outlay for weighing equipment
  • No ongoing servicing/maintenance/calibration costs

Potential pitfalls would be:-

  • Could prove to be more expensive over time
  • Could be difficult to time an engineer’s visit for when the container is ready to be weighed

This could certainly be an option to a company looking to send just a handful of containers per year.  For anything more, we would suggest having your own equipment to do the work when necessary.


6. Pay the shipping ports for the service

It has been reported that some shipping ports will offer a service of weighing the container for you.

Again, this is a good solution for those sending just a handful of containers per year, but it will inevitably delay your shipping date whilst your container is queued and weighed in order of receipt.

Port Weighing

Further Information

Find more information, available online, by going to the World Shipping Council page at

How can we help?

Call Sales on 0044 1327 368020, or visit out contacts page

Over to you…

Which method would work for you?  We would love to hear from you, so why not leave your comments below or use our contact page to get in touch!

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