Feb 162010

imageShifting steel cargo has been implicated in several maritime incidents, some in which the vessel has disappeared without trace. Improperly handled and stowed steel in various forms can lead to cargo claims so the first of Standard P&I Club’s series of cargo guide is welcome.

In 28 pages it gives a very useful overview of cargo handling and safe stowage, duties and responsibilities of ships’ officers, and a case study of bills of lading. Here, to give a flavour, is a list of ‘nevers’:

• rely on stevedores to determine cargo stowage. They may opt for the easiest stowage rather than the best

• use the maximum allowable tank top loading weight to determine the number of steel coils that can be safely loaded. Steel coils produce a point load. The maximum allowable tank top loading weight assumes a homogenous weight distribution

• be surprised if the text book size and type of dunnage is not delivered to the ship. The dunnage supplied may be the best available, in which case, greater application of dunnage may be required

• use wet or ‘green’ timber for dunnage

• sign, or allow the ship’s agents to sign, clean bills of lading or mate’s receipts for damaged cargo

• allow coils to be loaded in a pyramid pattern.

• load steel before evaluating the strength of the tank top against the proposed weight distribution

• ventilate when the relative humidity of ambient (outside) air is greater than that of the hold air or when the ambient air’s dew point is greater than the temperature of the cargo. These conditions exist when cargo is cold, because it was loaded in winter (cold) conditions for discharge in, or passing through summer (warm) conditions

• ventilate if unsure that ventilation conditions are correct

• stow steel products in the same compartment as cargo with different ventilation requirements

• load steel in holds that have previously carried oxidising agents or acidic compounds, until the holds have been thoroughly washed with fresh water and dried

• think that space remaining in the hold after loading steel needs to be filled with other cargo; it does not. When loading a full cargo of steel, the tank top maximum loading will be reached before the hold is full and often before the ship reaches her marks

You can download your copy here.


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