Fitch Ratings, one of the big three statistical ratings agencies in the US, said on Thursday that US ports are ill-prepared for the July implementation of new container weighing requirements.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set July 1 as the date for implementing an amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The amendment requires the verified gross mass (VGM) of containers to be documented before they can be loaded on ships.
Fitch found that, by and large, US ports have not designated facilities for weighing containers nor systems for verifying their weights.
If the situation is not rectified it could lead to extra congestion at US ports if containers turn up without the required verification.
But the Fitch report said the problems would probably not be long term as market forces would compel ports to comply with the requirement, effectively creating an electronic industry standard for container weighing.