How to determine the VGM

Two methods are allowed to ascertain the gross mass of a container. Please consider national legislation for detailed conditions.

Method 1 involves the weighing of the container after it has been packed and sealed. Method 2 requires adding the container tare, the weight of the lashing material, securing material, and the cargo weight itself.

The shipper must verify the gross mass or delegate the verifying process to a third party, including the carrier. The verification process requires an authorized person to sign the weighing note, or the signature can be replaced by an electronic signature or the authorized person’s name in capital letters. Finally, the required information needs to be transmitted to Hamburg Süd. To ensure this new process is as convenient as possible, Hamburg Süd offers a variety of options for the shipper to transmit the VGM.

Method 1
SOLAS states: “Weigh the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment. […] Calibrated and certified equipment include a scale, weighbridge, lifting equipment or any other device, which is capable of determining the actual gross mass of a packed container or of packages and cargo items, pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material, that meet the accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used.”

Method 2
SOLAS states: “Weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the state in which packing of the container was completed.”

Responsibilities as defined by SOLAS:
“The shipper of a container shall ensure the verified gross mass […] stated in the shipping document. The shipping document shall be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper and submitted to the master or his representative and to the terminal representative sufficiently in advance, as required by the master or his representative, to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plans […].”

VGM - Weighing for Safety

Further Information

National Legislations


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Customer Information
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