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New Scales to Determine the VGM weight of an export sea container (Method 1 and Method 2)

The Australian made COMPULOAD series of digital dynamic weighing scales that work of the machines hydraulic system are one of only a few makes of scales that can be installed onto either a Reach Stacker or Telehandler because of the anti-drop valves built into these machines.

The COMPULOAD 6000 is an ideal scale designed for this application and proving to be a very successful scale when used to determine the VGM weight of each container as it is being loaded onto a semi-trailer.

Features of the COMPULOAD 6000 include the ability to:

    • enter the Sea container ID number, to become part of the weight data (including a check system);
    • be able to enter 2 other fields of important data (limited number of characters available);
    • weigh the container in either lifting or lowering mode (determined by the installer);
    • store and save the 3 selected fields, plus date and time, and the VGM weight of the container;
    • print a weight docket via the onboard printer showing all items saved in 4 above;
    • electronically transmit this same weight data either by either Wifi, 3G or 4G back to an office PC or by USB portable storage.

Other scales that can be used to determine the container VGM by Method 1, include weighbridges and scales that the container can sit on whilst being loaded.

New scales for Method 2 weighing can include such scales as small bench scales, pallet scales and scales for forklifts (when used to load individual pallets into the export sea container).

Remember that the scale does not have to be a Trade Approved scale, but initially and then periodically, it must be tested to the NMI standards as if it was a Trade Approved scale for that type and capacity scale.

Testing SCALES used to determine an export sea containers VGM (Method 1 or 2) is the essential part in meeting the new SOLAS/AMSA rules


Initial and then annual testing of any scale (which in Australia for AMSA weighing, can be either a Trade Approved or Non Trade Approved scale) that will be used to determine the VGM weight of an export sea container (either as Method 1 or as Method 2) must be done in a special way and only Regulation 13 certified test masses can be used for the written test report to be AMSA compliant.

For Method 1 weighing, we are finding out from very large company’s (who were not our customers), that they had just been audited by the AMSA Inspector, and that their existing written test reports were not accepted by the Inspector (when submitted as part of the audit) as being AMSA compliant.

The company being audited has then had to ask Instant Weighing to redo both the testing and the written test reports, which when submitted to the Inspector, our written test reports have always been accepted as being AMSA compliant.

Remember, for a forklift technician to be able to test scales used for AMSA export sea container weighing, they must be able to demonstrate that they are trained in:

    • the knowledge to conduct the complex series of NMI tests for each type of scale and the reporting;
    • have the current NMI Regulation 13 certified test masses required for the testing, and
    • know the NMI rules pertaining to the correct use of either a Control Instrument or Substitution Masses.


    1. It is important that the company testing your existing scales knowns the AMSA laws, uses legal test masses, and knows the NMI testing rules for that type/capacity scale, and provide written test reports that will meet the requirements of an AMSA Inspector audit.
    2. Is the best price over the long term what you need for this annual calibration testing procedure?
    3. If your existing scale fails the NMI tests, COMPULOAD digital reach stacker/forklift scales is your best choice.
    4. You can transmit the VGM weight data & container ID from scale to office via WIFI, 3G, 4G for time efficiency and lodgement with the Port Authority.
    5. Is conducting onsite training for your staff, and doing it right the 1st time important to you?
    6. Instant Weighing supplies, installs, & calibrates the Australian made COMPULOAD series of digital scales for forklift and reach stacker AMSA container weighing. Conducting AMSA testing correctly requires knowing the NMI rules.
    7. Instant Weighing has very satisfied clients – References available.


    • We are a scale company that has vast operating experience of more than 25 years
    • All our technicians hold the relevant NMI Licenses to professionally complete our work.
    • We conduct annual district service runs throughout WA which allows us to offer recalibration services using certified test masses at reduced costs to all participants.
    • The COMPULOAD series of container lifters, reach stackers, and forklifts scales are Australian made and Instant Weighing as the WA distributor fully supports this product.

Instant Weighing can also supply a full range of digital general scales, platform scales or forklift scales suitable for the AMSA Method 2 weighing of the individual items or pallets.

In short, Instant Weighing offers you a total package you can rely on. 


    1. Method 1 means weighing the loaded sea container as one whole unit to get the VGM weight.
    2. Method 2 means weighing each pallet or item as it is placed in the container then closing the doors and to the total adding the tare weight of the sea container to get the VGM weight.
    3. VGM means Verified Gross Mass and NMI means National Measurement Institute