Wednesday, 06 January 2016 18:48

2016 will bring changes to international shipping

How much does a container of hardwood lumber weigh? The real answer is it depends. However, starting later this year North American hardwood lumber suppliers will need to verify the exact weight of each container if they plan to ship lumber overseas.

Last year, the International Maritime Organization amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require all containers loaded on a vessel include a verified and acceptable weight as part of its official documentation.

In the past, there have been various incidents of injured workers and damaged vessels and equipment due to overweight containers.  The purpose of this new rule is to eliminate such occurrences and improve safety.hardwood lumber containers

According to the World Shipping Council there are two acceptable methods to determine and verify that a container is within the acceptable weight allowed.

  1. The shipper can weigh the container after it has been packed, or
  2. The shipper can weigh all of the cargo and contents going into the container and add those weights to the container’s weight as indicated on the door end of the container.

This requirement is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2016.

So what does this mean to those in the hardwood lumber industry?  Well, first of all it will be important that if are an exporter of hardwood lumber you establish the proper policies, procedures and resources to adhere to this new regulation.

Second, if you are the one purchasing lumber you will want to make sure your supplier has the wherewithal to comply to this new rule so your delivery will not be delayed or canceled.  You will also want to have a better understanding of how much board footage of each species can fit into a container and plan accordingly.  This might impact the amount of shipments you receive each year or the timing of your inventory replenishment practices.

Baillie Lumber is in the process of making the necessary changes to our export shipping practices to meet this new regulation.  Our goal is to ensure our customers are not significantly impacted by this change and that they receive the hardwood lumber they want when and where they need it.

If you have any questions feel free to contact your Baillie representative.  We would be happy to try to help in any way possible.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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