How Does it Work?

How Does Container Weighing Work?

We provide shippers with a seamless service when exporting goods through our UK container terminals

The container weighing process

You can either:

Instruct DP World to weigh your container for you at the terminal.


Provide DP World with a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) according to the issued certificate; find out more.

CNS Compass is the port community system for DP World Southampton. Once you are registered with CNS Compass, you will find helpful documents, guides and video tutorials to explain how you can either instruct DP World to weigh your container or provide DP World with a VGM.

1. Before your container arrives

Through the Port Community System CNS Compass, the shipping line will provide our terminals with an electronic pre-notification of each laden export container, indicating amongst others the container number, port of discharge and export voyage. Your shipping line or your nominated agent must declare via CNS Compass whether we will receive a VGM from the shipper or that the terminal is requested to determine the VGM of the container on arrival (Terminal determined VGM or TVGM).

If you are a CNS Compass user, and or the nominated agent, click-here for more detailed information on logging your VGM requirements.

2. When your container arrives at DP World Southampton

We provide a seamless service and container weighing solutions are fully integrated. All hauliers should proceed to the terminal as normal. Your truck and box will be processed as per standard operational procedures.

3. Weighing the container

We will determine the VGM by using load cells on our straddle carriers, in accordance with the requirements of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

4. VGM Process

  1. If the terminal is instructed to determine the verified gross mass (VGM) of the containers, this weight and our signature are communicated electronically to the shipping lines through CNS Compass, shortly after arrival of the container at the terminals.
  2. If it is indicated that the shipper will provide the VGM and this information is not available on arrival of the container at the terminals, we will await for this information to be provided up to maximum 24 hours before berthing of the export vessel.
  3. If the shipper has not provided the VGM 24 hours before the expected arrival of the vessel the terminal determined VGM will be used to plan the vessel.
  4. To comply with the SOLAS regulations and the enforcement tolerance threshold of the MCA, the terminal determined VGM will also be used if there is a discrepancy of more than 900 kg or 5% (whichever is larger) with the VGM provided by the shipper.

Please note: These arrangements are subject to changes to the Marine Guidance Note MGN534 and subsequent publications from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

What Do I Have To Do Next?

More information for cargo owners, exporters, shipping agents, freight forwarders and hauliers.

Read More

Costs and Billing

A breakdown of fees and the VGM payment process with port community system CNS Compass.

Read More

Why Does My Container Have To Be Weighed?

All export containers must have a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declared before they are loaded on board vessels.

Read More

Frequency Asked Questions

All the little details you might want to know about container weighing.

Read More
Sign up for alerts about shipside and landside operations, as well as the latest news from DP World’s businesses in the UK.
I want to receive terminal alerts.