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Draft Tool Improves Marine Measuring

Jan. 20, 2021

SGS, the world's leading testing, inspection, and certification group is pleased to announce its Draft Survey Tool (DST) is now available for use in trade applications across North America. The DST is revolutionizing draft surveys as it is the only tool on the market that allows inspectors to measure, with more precision, the draft mark readings while also ensuring inspector safety.

A draft survey is a method of cargo weight determination where the vessel's displacement figures in empty and loaded condition are recorded. The difference between both scenarios will determine the weight of the shipment loaded or unloaded from the vessel. The draft survey utilizes draft mark readings painted on the side of a vessel to determine the weight of the cargo. As a visual and subjective process, these marks had to be observed over time and from a distance in the water, from the deck of the vessel or from the port's quay, through precarious wind and wave swells. This could pose challenges when it came to safety of the inspector and accuracy of the readings.

However, the DST, through its digital readings, now allows inspectors to measure from the safety of the ship deck with the accuracy of a digital tool. This is a critical commercial requirement in today's complex transactions where a deviation of a single centimeter could result in a cargo weight overstatement or understatement by 100 metric tons or more, a significant cost that would have to be borne by either the shipper or the customer depending on the scenario.