The SOLAS Container Weight Requirement – What You Need To Know

The New Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”) Amendment


Ocean Freight Industry Issues That Cannot Be Ignored:


Weighty Industry Issues For Maritime


WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)

Crashed container

International ocean shipping has always been complicated. It’s about to become even more so: There’s an amended Safety of Life at Seas (SOLAS) weight rule adopted by the International Maritime Organization that declares: All packed ocean freight shipping containers destined for the port need to have their verified gross mass (VGM) properly certified before they can be loaded onto a ship for export.


JULY 1, 2016.

Here’s Why It Is Important (the WIIFM —What’s In It For Me?)

 “A packed container, for which a verified gross mass has not

 been obtained, will not be loaded on the vessel.” 

    ~ Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s sixth-ranked carrier

What it means:

  • If your paperwork is incorrect or incomplete, you and your cargo will have to go back and obtain the properly certified Verified Gross Mass (VGM).
  • You may be forced to wait for the next vessel.
  • You may lose sales, or even lose a customer to your competition!
  • Your overseas customers will certainly be unhappy.
  • Your CEO and CFO will be even unhappier.

What’s good about the new weight requirement?

  • It makes the conditions safer for the carrier employees and port facilities workers who handle your cargo.
  • Verified correct weights help to insure that containers prepared for ocean shipping can be properly balanced so the carrier does not list or tip or lose containers overboard (it’s happened).
  • Accidents increase delays, which in turn increase COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold). Fewer accidents should reduce instead of increase COGS.
  • Accurate container weights (not overweight, as tends to be the problem) reduce damage to ships, ensuring consistent availability of ocean transport.
  • For more reasons to applaud this difficult but necessary regulation please see the World Shipping Council document at this

What you need to know:

  • Your cargo must be dependably weighed and properly certified and submitted BEFORE it arrives at the port so that the carrier has time to process it.
  • BGI Worldwide Logistics, Inc. is one ocean freight forwarder that has the properly equipped facilities to weigh your cargo to specifications so it 1) Passes inspection 2) Actually gets shipped!

 What you need to do:

  • Make sure your containers are weighed correctly and accurately for ocean export.
  • Make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly. Accurate weights mean nothing if the paperwork is still incorrect.
  • Make sure you know the rules of international container shipping. It’s tricky. Use experts that know how to weigh your products and correctly fill out the intricate paperwork (think tax forms) so your cargo can be shipped on time the first time.
  • Ask your current shipping company if they are aware of the new rules.

 Who can help:

 We can. Container weight certification is but one of our many services. We are your Global Transportation Specialist.

Experience the BGI Difference.


            One of the biggest problems with the soon-to-be enforced VGM law is that some of the details have yet to be worked out. There are benefits to the law, but because all countries have not yet issued final rulings, the regulations and penalties continue to be updated and changed. We at BGI keep on top of these changes. Remember, there can be problems with waiting until your cargo is at the port. If their weighing equipment is broken, if the port is not equipped to weigh your cargo, you’re out of luck. Weighing at the point of packing is the least risky. We know. We have to. It’s what makes us different.

Contact us if you have questions.


CALL FOR more information: 877-733-8975

Shipping Oversized Freight Overseas: 7 Questions

Excavator (Heavy Equipment) Oversized Freight Shipping

We don’t care if you’re an old pro at shipping oversized freight by cargo vessel, or if you’re a newbie. Even if you’ve shipped the same thing to the same place before, international shipping rules can change and you need to make sure you don’t make a big (had to say it) mistake.  If you’re looking at a monster-object in your warehouse, three things come to your anxious mind: 

  • It’s so big
  • It’s odd-shaped
  • It’s going overseas

7 Questions We Get Most From Clients Shipping Oversized Freight Overseas

You have a lot of choices when shipping across the continental U.S. However, there are fewer companies that can help when it comes to sending heavy machinery (like bulldozers and excavators) or artwork, furniture, trucks, buses and more to foreign ports. It’s more complicated and requires expert, creative problem solving. These are the questions we get most. The answers are below.

  1. It’s not going to fit in a container. Now what?
  2. How do I get the cargo to or from the port from the middle of the U.S.?
  3. Someone said I needed a flat rack. Do I need to load or secure the cargo to the flat rack or can you take care of that?
  4. How do I measure my cargo correctly?
  5. Should I take out extra insurance? It’s expensive.
  6. How long will it take to get there?
  7. How do I get the shipment to an inland customer once it’s shipped to the overseas port?

1. It’s not going to fit in a container. Now what?

We get many calls from people who suddenly realize they’ve built or need to ship something overseas that will not fit in a High Cube, Dry or Open Top container. Here are descriptions and specifications. One choice is to dismantle the product and ship it in separate containers, which will require re-assembling on the other end. If dismantling is not a viable option, there are other ways to ship a large item in one piece: Flat Rack, Roll On Roll Off (RO/RO), Lift On Lift Off (LO/LO) and break bulk. Weight vs. measurement affects charges. Ports and terminal fees differ. Call our office for help determining the best course.

2. How do I get the cargo to and from the port if I am in the middle of the U.S.?

Make sure you call trucking companies you trust for rates and availability. Or rely on a logistics company like BGI that can arrange for transport to and from many domestic locations using one of our dependable trucking partners. If your shipment is REALLY BIG (like wind turbine blades) the logistics companies that handle this type of shipment need to be resourceful and creative to find the best way to get the piece to or from the port. When people call us, we remind them to measure their item properly to make sure the trucking company will quote the overland drayage correctly. Be careful here. People have made costly mistakes. See information in #4 below.

3. Do I need to load or secure the cargo to the flat rack or can you take care of that?

Since we have reliable partners and service providers at most ports we can take care of having the flat racks loaded for you. It’s important to have someone you trust handle the shipment, as not everyone knows the intricacies of managing larger, sometimes oddly shaped cargo.

4. How do I measure my cargo correctly?

We get this one all the time. Mostly people outside the industry measure differently than those people inside the industry! As you see below, you can make a mistake (usually on the low side) because you didn’t unscrew the exhaust pipe on a bulldozer or fold in mirrors on a bus.


Photo Courtesy of:

5. Should I take out extra insurance? It’s expensive.

It’s not as expensive as losing your item with no compensation. If you haven’t insured the cargo beyond the minimum, you will hate yourself if something happens. As we say, “You’ll sleep better at night if you have insurance.” Please see our recent Cargo Insurance Blog. If you still have questions, call us. It’s very important to insure yourself against risk. It’s also important to know that logistics companies like BGI work with insurance companies, and we are often able to achieve a much better rate for you than what you might be able to secure on your own.

6. How long will it take to move my cargo?

Weather, port congestion, labor, mechanical issues, etc. affect your ocean shipments. While much is out of your control, we know some things that are within your control: Paperwork is one!  Make sure you work with companies that know the current customs laws for the countries you’re shipping to. With almost two decades in the business we have a proven track record of assisting our clients with their documents when shipping heavy machinery, busses, farm equipment, etc. all over the world.

7. How do I get the shipment to an inland customer once it’s arrived into the overseas port?

Make sure your logistics company is well connected. We have partners all over the world that can efficiently and carefully transport your out of gauge or heavy project cargo to your customer. Our favorite shipment in the oversized category is the  “Forever MarilBGI-Worldwide-Logistics-Ships-a-Hollywood-Legend-Articleyn” statue that is 26 feet tall and weighs 40,000 pounds. We have helped her arrive safely to both inland China and Australia locations from her sculpture birthplace home in New Jersey.


Shipping oversized cargo overseas requires knowledge and a firm handle on both the domestic and the international requirements for moving oversized freight on the ocean and to and from the port successfully. Not every company that does it can do it well, nor are they able to provide personalized service and creative solutions. Besides forwarding freight, the company itself should be one you respect and that you like working with. Call us, but check us out first!


Oversized cargo should not create oversized headaches!

Choose the right logistics company.

Experience the BGI difference.

Click below to learn more about us.

BGI-Cooperative Logistics Network Video

Please: Call our offices 1-800-987-4244 for more information.

Or click here to

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Cargo Insurance: Answers To Your Top 5 ??’s

Top 5 Questions About Cargo Insurance

“You’ll Sleep a Lot Better if You Carry Cargo Insurance”~ Gabriel Shweiri, CEO of BGI Worldwide Logistics, Inc.

Cargo Insurance

Source: photodune/koolander









Figure 1. Rena Ship 02. ( By New Zealand Defence Force from Wellington, New Zealand (NZ Defence Force assistance to OP Rena) [CC BY 2.0 (].

Stuff happens. Cargo insurance  (sometimes called freight insurance, marine insurance or logistics insurance) simply protects a shipper against exposure and risk. Even reputable, conscientious carriers cannot protect against calamities.

While INCOTERMS® Rules clarify responsibility for various charges, they do not preside over loss or damaged goods cases. People who engage in international commerce should protect their freight through globally respected insurance carriers that will save them from a partial or total loss of their investment.


Here are a few questions and answers about this important insurance.

1. What is cargo insurance and do you have to have it?

  • Cargo insurance protects the shipper’s products (toys, tractors, electronics, etc.) against loss and damage during international and domestic transport.


  • You do not have to have cargo insurance. If you choose not to insure separately, there is a minimal international coverage that was set forth by the Warsaw Convention in 1929. It is $20/kg for international or domestic air cargo. Ocean freight coverage is $500 per bill of lading. If the value of your shipment is above either, then we highly recommend full coverage to protect your investment.


2. What cannot be insured under a standard insurance policy?

  • Diamonds, gold and cash cannot be insured under a standard cargo insurance policy. There are underwriters that may insure these products, like Lloyds of London, but these are separate policies. Loss of life and acts of God are not insured.


3. How much is Cargo Insurance and are there limits?

  • It depends. What is the cargo? Where is it going? Who is the insurance carrier? The insurance underwriters for cargo have parameters just as insurance companies for homes, cars, etc. Call BGI (800) 987-4244 for a quote and guidance.


  • There are limits. Maximum cargo insurance (also called Shipper’s Interest or All-Risk coverage) is 110% of the CIF Value (Commercial Invoice Value + Insurance + Freight) and will pay for the full value of the goods that are lost or damaged. To compare:  Damage to a ten-year-old Honda would not be reimbursed at a new Mercedes rate.


4. Where can I buy it?

  • Your existing business insurance policy may completely cover you for all shipping property damage, or it may cover up to a certain amount. It is up to you, the shipper, to know the limits of all of your policies. Some companies buy “gap” insurance. That’s the difference between what their business insurance policy covers and the maximum allowed. IF YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME SHIPPING INSURANCE on your business policy, there’s no reason to pay twice. Equally THERE IS NO REASON to underinsure. A loss is a loss.


  • You can buy insurance policies from various companies that specialize in this type of insurance


5. Who is best to buy from?

  • The agent and company can make a difference in the same way that automobile and home insurance companies can vary.


  • It is often best to obtain coverage from a reputable and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration licensed third party logistics company like BGI. Not only do they use solely A-rated insurers, they can also offer special rates because of the volume of business they do with the insurance companies.


  • The other advantage in buying from the logistics company is convenience. They’ll do the shopping for you, comparing companies and their rates for the type of shipping and the specific products you’re moving.


  • Logistics companies with experience develop sensitivities toward risk. BGI insisted an artist insure his painting going overseas. When the painter balked, BGI found a workaround that made the insurance + shipping costs equal to the shipping costs alone from another quote. The piece of art had a forklift driven through it in a distant warehouse accident. Though there is no replacement for the artist’s work, at least the dollars were recouped.

Choose the right insurance and the right logistics company to protect against loss. You’ll sleep better.

Experience the BGI difference.

Please: Call our offices 1-800-987-4244 for more information.

Or click here to


Amazon Affiliate Program: 3 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on FBA Imports

Amazon Affiliate Program: 3 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on FBA Imports

Amazon Affiliate Imports, 3 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on FBA Imports

3 Ways to Avoid Going Broke on FBA Imports – BGI Worldwide Logistics

Real people called Amazon Associates and Amazon Affiliates participating in the Amazon Affiliate program make hundreds of thousands of dollars by buying products from overseas and then shipping them to Amazon fulfillment centers for delivery to their customers. By this means, Amazon Affiliates leverage the unquestionably huge reach of the Amazon marketing behemoth selling through FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), and make sliding scale commissions based on the sale price of each item and their volume of sales…that is if they do it right and don’t make a lot of mistakes along the way.

While you can make big money in the Amazon Affiliate program, you can also lose money. Competition is fierce. Read More >

National Export Initiative Moves Shipping in the Right Direction

The shipping industry experiences ebbs and flows in traffic, but what the government does or does not do can have a direct impact on the level of increase or decrease in shipping revenues. Three years ago, President Obama’s administration rolled out a new initiative to reignite the shipping industry. Known as the “National Export Initiative,” this policy made it a top priority to improve conditions for the private sector in the realm of exports. By improving export levels, shipping companies benefit as well as private sector businesses that buy and sell goods overseas.

Read More >

The Port of Long Beach

Long before cities or burgeoning populations, the area of the port of Long Beach is thought to have been populated by the Tongva Indian tribe. Their name means, “the people of the earth”. When it came to beautiful landscape, this area boasts miles of stunning coastline. For this reason, it was a desirable location to later inhabitants.

Read More >