New Zealand Shippers' Council Inc Newsletter 
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Newsletter      ISSUE No. 6  |  June 2016

In this month’s newsletter we include a link to a Member Survey, which we ask all NZSC members to complete and return as per the instructions on the form. Your responses will help us to compile an accurate profile of the membership, for use in our external communications. Commercially sensitive information is not required. Please click here to access the survey.

New Container Weight Rules in Effect Today - Are You Ready?
Shippers should now be well-prepared for the implementation of the SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) requirements. The IMO’s new regulations, which require a shipper exporting a container to provide its VGM before loading onto an international vessel, take effect from 1 July. In order to ensure that vessels transiting during that period are not delayed due to a lack of VGM information, the NZ Ports Working Group requires that changes in process to ensure compliance must be operating by 15 June. From today all containers must have a VGM before they will be allowed to enter a container terminal.
While some markets would still appear to be grappling with how the compulsory weight regulation will work, planning for the new regime in New Zealand has been underway for some time through an industry steering committee. This committee is made up of representatives of ICLC,
, NRC, Ports Working Group and NZSC, and has focused on identifying and resolving potential issues so that a consistent process can be implemented nationally.

The Ports Working Group has advised that online portals for each port are now available for shippers to provide the VGM of their containers. Business-to-business EDI services are also available for
shippers who prefer to send VGM information in this manner.

Detailed information on the VGM rules can be found on the Maritime NZ website here: This information includes the port companies’ Preparing for VGM advisory to shippers and shipping lines that spells out how the rules will apply in NZ, including the “No VGM, no entry to port ruling”.

A summary of the individual port’s VGM data acceptance and weighing capabilities can be found here.


Containers bound for the Pacific Islands

Please be aware that Pacific Island carriers using multi-cargo wharves have certain specific VGM requirements. If you are not already up to speed with these requirements you are advised to contact your carrier.  

Transhipments - 3 Month grace period for containers loaded before 1 July and then Transhipped

Credit to Maritime NZ for raising NZSC’s concerns about the potential issues around VGM and transhipment with the IMO. The IMO has subsequently recommended a 3 month ‘grace’ period to help manage container transhipments, where containers tranship after 1 July but were loaded for an international export leg prior to 1 July.

The IMO recommends a ‘practical and pragmatic’ approach by state control authorities for a period of three months immediately following 1 July 2016. This will help provide a measure of flexibility to refine, if necessary, procedures for documenting, communicating and sharing verified gross mass information, without stopping shipments. NOTE – This grace period applies to transhipments only

We're keen to get your feedback on how smoothly the new VGM processes are working. Please send your comments through to Megan on    

NZSC 2016 Maritime School Awards

 NZSC, a prominent supporter of the Maritime School at MIT, recently presented the 2016 Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain and Shipping Management Award to Ziyad Salim and the Diploma in Supply Chain Management award to Matapo’O (Matt) Manase. We congratulate both students.

Container Liner Consolidation - Mergers and Mega Alliances

 The shakeup of carrier partnerships has dominated shipping news in recent months, with new alliances emerging in reaction to recent merger and acquisition activity. It is the latest step in an industry reorganisation that is divvying up the global business into partnerships to save costs.

Maritime Law Association Conference

 Charles Finny (Saunders Unsworth) attended the annual conference of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and spoke on a panel looking at the implications of the proposed changes to the Commerce Act to remove the exemption for cartel behavior by shipping lines. Other speakers included David Blacktop, Senior Counsel from the Commerce Commission and Lucy Hare from Chapman Tripp. Charles outlined our latest position as set out in the NZSC letter to Minister Goldsmith.  

The view of the room was quite strongly that the exemption needed to be ended and that the proposed 
two year transition period appeared to be a reasonable one. The Commerce Commission explained how the new regime would work, but pointed out that shipping lines had yet to engage (as they had been invited to many times) on the fine detail.
There were no insights on when the Commerce Act (Cartels and other matters) Amendment Bill will be passed.


New Panama Canal Scheduled to Open June 26
The opening of the new Panama Canal remains in the shipping headlines with commentators noting that there are still too many moving parts to predict the exact impact on shipping. 

Southeast Asia has overtaken Africa as the Global Hub for Ocean Piracy

According to the 2016 Allianz report, piracy attacks in Southeast Asia are on the rise; the region is now responsible for approximately 60% of worldwide attacks, and Vietnam a new hotspot.

The increase in Asian piracy comes as attacks off Africa’s east coast have fallen sharply as ships moving through the area have stepped up their defenses. The report notes that pirates are increasingly 
using high tech software to target vulnerable ships (e.g. identify target cargoes, obtain information about locations) and calls for more robust cyber technology.


International Forum to Explore Shipping Industry Challenges

The Global Shippers' Forum has called on the liner shipping industry to urgently address the poor quality of service afforded to shippers since the consolidation of the world's top 20 lines into 'super alliances'. GSF has urged the establishment of a Maritime Industries Supply Chain Forum at an international level to address the full range of challenges facing the sector.


European Commission Price Signalling Inquiry Leads to New Carrier Commitments

The European Commission has confirmed that the 15 shipping lines involved in a three-year inquiry into price signalling have agreed to change their future pricing regimes. This is a major victory for shippers; the FTA's British Shippers' Council first raised concerns about uncompetitive behaviour in 2010. The lines have agreed that they will cease to announce general rate increases and instead publish the actual prices available to customers on an individual basis.

Report from IMO - Actions on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

GSF participated in the 69th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held at the IMO in April.

The MEPC had previously agreed to take a three-stage approach to tackling climate change - first to gather data on fuel consumption and energy efficiency; second to analyse the data; and third to consider further measures to reduce emissions.Separately, following the Paris Climate Change agreement, several member states, shipping industry bodies and environmental NGOs submitted papers asking the MEPC to make faster progress, and to start work on developing long-term greenhouse gas reduction objectives, running stage approach.

Send an email to
NZSC Executive Officer
Megan Campbell

Save the Date:

25 August 2016
Venue - Lyttelton Port
Company, Christchurch

>  Container Weight
    Regulations –
    Are you Ready?

>  NZSC 2016 Maritime
    School Awards

>  Container Liner
    Consolidation –
    Mergers and Mega

>  Maritime Law

International News:
>  New Panama Canal
    scheduled to open
    June 26  
>  Southeast Asia has
    overtaken Africa as
    the global hub for
    ocean piracy 

Update from Global
Shippers Forum:  

>  International forum to
    explore shipping
    industry challenges

>  European
    Commission price
    signalling inquiry
    leads to new 
>  Report from IMO -
    Actions on Climate
    Change and
    Energy Efficiency

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