Out of Gauge cargo

A quick guide to best practices for out of gauge shipments.

What are Out of Gauge shipments

Not all cargo comes in standard and predictable sizes. At Maersk, we see special cargo like a 118-tonne propellor or an 18-tonne digger and know exactly how to fit them safely and securely for transportation in our containers. However, at times special cargo is misdeclared and can exceed our standard flat rack and open-top containers by length, width, height, or a combination of dimensions. This results in an out of gauge (OOG) scenario.

Out of Gauge cargo vehicle

Importance of the OOG declaration process

The objective of out of gauge declarations is, first and foremost, to ensure the safety of the crew handling the cargo. It is also practised to minimise operational challenges due to dimension mismatches, which can result in delays. Let’s take a closer look:

Readiness

Safety first

  • Knowing the actual dimensions of your cargo and checking to see if it’s lashed correctly can prevent accidents from occurring.
  • All terminals can refuse to load cargo as a safety precaution if the cargo dimensions do not match the declaration.
planning and control pictogram

Operational efficiency

  • Dimension discrepancies during gate-in or transit result in operational challenges with terminals in terms of capability and restriction. This might lead to disruption in cargo planning and even cargo shut-out.
  • The space allocation for cargo is planned in slots with the received dimensions. If these slots change, another place might need to be found, and other shipments may need to be re-stowed, wasting time and money in the process.

Defining Out of Gauge cargo

Any discrepancies in your special cargo declaration result in it being considered an out of gauge shipment. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure the dimensions and particulars of your cargo are declared accurately. It’s also important to ensure your cargo is packed correctly so that it stays within the stipulated dimensions of your shipping container.

Here are a few reasons why cargo could be considered as misdeclared:

1. In-gauge bookings exceed the below dimensions

In gauge dimensions on special containers

Equipment type Length (CM) Width (CM) Height (CM) Maximum payload (KG)
Equipment type
20'OT
Length (CM)
549
Width (CM)
222
Height (CM)
234
Maximum payload (KG)
28,200
Equipment type
40'OT
Length (CM)
1,181
Width (CM)
219
Height (CM)
234
Maximum payload (KG)
28,600
Equipment type
40'OT HC
Length (CM)
1,181
Width (CM)
219
Height (CM)
265
Maximum payload (KG)
28,600
Equipment type
40'FR
Length (CM)
1,163
Width (CM)
244
Height (CM)
194
Maximum payload (KG)
34,500
Equipment type
40'FR HC
Length (CM)
1,163
Width (CM)
244
Height (CM)
226
Maximum payload (KG)
34,500

2. End wall position deviation: End wall position in a flat rack container is down despite being declared up

3. Weight deviation: Weight of cargo is higher than declared weight

4. Lashing equipment protrusions: Lashing equipment protruding outside the container should be taken into consideration when declaring dimensions

5. Cargo shifting: Changes to dimension due to poor lashing during transit. Your goods need to be secured correctly, considering vessel movements during ocean transport

6. Extra materials: Crates, lashing materials and dunnage used while lashing the container can change the total cargo dimensions

Cost implications incurred on misdeclared cargo

If cargo tendered at the terminal does not match the quoted description\dimension, the carrier reserves the right to cancel the booking. If the carrier nevertheless accepts the cargo, they reserves the right to charge additional freight, handling charges and Misdeclaration Fee (MID) (USD 500) incurred as a result of the cargo’s non-conformance with the quoted description\dimension.

Need to check if your special cargo conforms to out of gauge guidelines? Download our Lashing Guide.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s):

Need clarity on a few aspects about Out of Gauge shipments? Here is a list of the most asked questions on the subject, which we hope can help you out.

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