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Determination of VGM
(by gross weight)


The shipper or its forwarder is obliged to notify the shipping company and the terminal operator of the cargo weight (VGM - Verified Gross Mass) in due time. This regulation of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) has been in force since July 1, 2016.

The weight can be determined by either weighing or by calculation. Physical weighing must be done with a calibrated scale. For the calculation, the shipper must be able to demonstrate International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) certification or have a Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

To determine the VGM ( Verified Gross Mass), national regulations must be taken into account. The shipper is responsible for the correct declaration of the container weight regardless of the chosen method. The verification process also specifies that an authorized person signs the weighing note. This can be done by an electronic signature or by the name printed in capital letters. Without a valid VGM, loading a container is prohibited by law as of July 01, 2016!

Method 1:

Weighing the container after packing and sealing. According to SOLAS, method 1 is defined as follows: "Weighing of the packed container with calibrated and certified equipment. [...] calibrated and certified equipment refers to a scale, weighing bridge, forklift, or other device capable of determining the actual gross mass of a packed container or of packages, freight, pallets, packing materials, and other packing and securing materials, and meets the accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is used."

For Germany, this means that scales of at least accuracy class IIII (4) must be used.

Methode 2:

Addition of individual weights of cargo, packing, stowage, cargo securing materials and empty container weight. This regulation has been approved in Germany by the "Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehr" (BG Verkehr) as a subdivision of the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. However, this system must be recorded in the shipper's quality management system.

According to SOLAS, method 2 is defined as follows: "Weighing of all packages, including the weight of pallets, packing material and other fastening materials packed into the container. To this must be added to the empty weight of the container. A method certified by an authority of the state in which the loading of the container is completed must be used."

For Germany, this means that scales must belong to at least accuracy class III.    


  • Door/Door Logistics
  • Packaging
  • Assembly Service
  • Transport of dangerous goods
  • Stowing & lashing of sea containers


If you have any questions about the Verified Gross Mass, please do not hesitate to contact us!

If you have any questions regarding the determination of the Verified Gross Mass or if any ambiguities arise, we at Streck Transport will, of course, be happy to assist you in word and deed. Contact us – we are happy to help!


It does not really help you if your container is only shipped from port to port, and that is why at Streck Transport we take care of its delivery from door to door. In close coordination with you, flexibly and economically.