VGM is the total gross mass of the container, which includes the weight of the load, fastening materials and the weight (tare) of the container itself. The SOLAS Convention offers two methods of obtaining VGM as certified and approved by an authorized national authority:
Method No. 1 – Weighing
Weighing a loaded container using properly calibrated and certified equipment/scale.
Method No. 2 – Calculation
Total mass = mass of individual contents of the container + packaging (pallets, protective materials) + container tare
Note: this method cannot be used for scrap metal and other bulk cargoes.