The problem of misdeclared container weight
This paper addresses the problem of misdeclaring container weights, which causes accidents on land and sea, with serious consequences. It reviews the current international and New Zealand domestic law, and the plan to mandate verification of container weight in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. It concludes that this is unlikely to be enough by itself to fix the problem. It considers the points in the supply chain where responsibility could be placed for weighing, and proposes a “chain of responsibility” approach with initial weighing by the shipper and check weighing later, especially at ports, with misdeclared containers being reportable as incidents. Such a system should rid New Zealand of the problem.