Patrick Terminals' Pondus to combat misdeclared containers
AUSTRALIAN port operator Patrick Terminals has launched an innovative weighing solution, which it has named Pondus, to help drive safety across the container handling sector
AUSTRALIAN port operator Patrick Terminals has launched an innovative weighing solution, which it has named Pondus, to help drive safety across the container handling sector.
The terminal operator explains that misdeclared containers create potential safety risks throughout the supply chain from transport companies to terminal operators and shipping lines.
'Pondus will help identify misdeclared 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,' according to an announcement.
Through trials at Patrick Terminal - Brisbane Autostrad, Pondus has been successfully proven to be effective in detecting misdeclared boxes in regard to their verified gross mass (VGM), reports UK's Container News.
Matt Hollamby, Patrick Terminals - Brisbane terminal manager - commented: 'Since July 2016, the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) has required shippers to obtain and document the VGM of a packed container prior to vessel loading. This is a legal requirement. A misdeclared 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.'
Patrick Terminals has advised customers that new charges in relation to Pondus will come into effect from January 4, 2021. The charge will not apply to importers and exporters who accurately declare container weights.
Robin Bean from Cindicium Pty Ltd, the manufacturer of the Pondus stand, explained: '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, a leading advocate for safety in the transport industry and director of the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CT) noted: '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.