Understanding Verified Gross Mass (VGM), Container Size, and Shipping Documents Requirements

Understanding Verified Gross Mass (VGM), Container Size, and Shipping Documents Requirements
January 12, 2015 Aldo Flores
cargo vessel on open water

How Shippers, Freight Forwarders, NVOCCS, and Carriers Work Together

Whether you’re an individual trying to relocate your family and household belongings overseas or a business wanting to ship raw materials or finished products to other locations worldwide, there are frequently used terms and details that are important to understand. This page answers common questions regarding requirements for verified gross mass (VGM), and how it relates to the most appropriate container size and the necessary shipping documents. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require additional assistance with your shipping needs.


Reporting the accurate weight of shipments is essential to a safe voyage. The VGM of your shipment is included in the shipping document and helps ensure your goods move safely and within weight limits. Having the VGM certificate in order means calculating the weight of an ocean liner’s cargo, dunnage, bracing, and tare weight of the container. Trans Global has the expertise to help you with this.


containers stacked on cargo ship

Effective since July 2016, a packed container is no longer allowed on board vessels unless its VGM has been provided. This regulation reduces the chance of lost cargo, damage, and inaccurate weight reporting. There are two methods used for calculating the VGM. You may choose to weigh the entire shipment after it is packed or weigh each item individually and add it to the weight of the container itself. Either way, accuracy is essential for reducing problems during shipment.


A shipper on the Bill of Lading has full responsibility for your VGM. Container shipping and maximizing container size is a collaborative art. Your shipper might also play a role as a Freight Forwarder or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), so it’s essential to establish which party is responsible for the VGM. All information must be accurate, and Trans Global calculates the VGM on your container to ensure the process is smooth for you.


Forwarders and NVOCCs help you weigh cargo before transport. Getting to your final destination means choosing a professional shipping company that can get the job done on your timeline — but with absolute precision. Trans Global Auto Logistics helps you maintain these shipping documents, including the VGM certificate, and determine the appropriate container size.


vgm containers shipping cargo

Carriers make sure that all message protocols are updated and followed. They also ensure that a VGM is received from forwarders/NVOCCs and shippers as part of a shipping document. Carriers take responsibility when something goes awry and frequently communicate with other key players in the shipping process using technology to make sure regulations are followed in transit. Delivering an accurate VGM on containers within the shipping document is crucial for carriers to move forward with your shipment.


Trans Global Auto Logistics helps you contact these key players using local and international connections gathered over 30 years in the business. Consult one of our representatives today to find out how to begin the shipping process, determine the most cost-effective container size, or calculate your container’s VGM for shipping.

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