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BULK CARRIERS -

HANDLE WITH CARE


EDITION 2
WARNING
Any unauthorised copying, lending, exhibition, diffusion, sale, public performance or other exploitation of this
video and accompanying workbook training package is strictly prohibited and may result in prosecution.

COPYRIGHT © VIDEOTEL 2011


This video and accompanying workbook training package is intended to reflect the best available techniques
and practices at the time of production. It is intended purely as comment. No responsibility is accepted by
Videotel, or by any firm, corporation or organisation who or which has been in any way concerned with the
production or authorised translation, supply or sale of this video for accuracy of any information given hereon
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BULK CARRIERS -
HANDLE WITH CARE
EDITION 2

A VIDEOTEL PRODUCTION
The producers would like to acknowledge the assistance of

The Masters, officers and crews of


MV E.R. Buenos Aires, MV Arklow Wave, MV Ocean Exporter

Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd


Arklow Shipping Ltd
E.R. SCHIFFAHRT GmbH & Cie. KG
Holt Maritime Ltd
Intercargo
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Pacific Basin Shipping Limited
RUSAL Aughinish
The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd
Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited (TTA)

Consultant: Roger Holt


Print Author: Sheila Brownlee
Producer: Kathrein Günther
Director: Keith Purkis
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > CONTENTS

CONTENTS

ABOUT THE TRAINING 5

INTRODUCTION 6

1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE 11

2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL 17

3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS 22

4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL 26

5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE 31

6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE 35

7 : CARGO COMPLETION 39

8 : CONCLUSION 43

9 : REFERENCE SECTION 44

10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS 45

11 : GLOSSARY 50

12 : ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS 51

13 : ASSESSMENT ANSWERS 54

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > ABOUT THE TRAINING

ABOUT THE TRAINING

What is it about?

BULK CARRIERS – HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 shows why it is so important


to prevent damage to a bulk carrier’s structure, and explains how to carry out
loading and discharge operations correctly in order to keep the ship safe.

Who is it for?

The programme is aimed at all crew, and especially ships’ officers, on bulk carriers,
and shore side staff involved in the loading and discharge of bulk carriers.

HOW TO USE THE PROGRAMME


The programme is intended for individual use or for group sessions with
trainers.

The video

The video has six main sections. You may wish either to watch it all the way
through or section by section.

If you are in a group, the trainer can open up a general discussion after showing
the video. On second viewing, there could be pauses for questions and more
detailed discussion.

The workbook

This supporting workbook can be used as a reference guide. As well as the key
learning points, it contains case studies, a glossary of terms, a reference
section with pointers to relevant legislation and websites, sample forms and
checklists, and assessment questions to reinforce the learning.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

WHAT CAN GO WRONG, AND WHY


Bulk carriers present very specific safety concerns. Their vast size tends to give
the impression that nothing could damage them, but the reality is that they are
more vulnerable than they look. If the integrity of the ship’s hull is damaged
and there is ingress of water, the ship’s structure may become over-stressed
and the vessel could sink so fast – often in a matter of minutes – that there is
no time to evacuate. This is more likely when the ship has a heavy cargo like
iron or steel products.

Problems occur when ships are poorly maintained, and/or when cargo
operations are carried out incorrectly.

BULK CARRIER SAFETY IN CONTEXT


The modern type of bulk carrier, with hatches above deck level giving access to
the large cargo holds below, was developed in the 1950s. There are now well
over 8,000 bulk carriers trading around the world.

In 1980, the MV Derbyshire, carrying a cargo of iron ore concentrates, went


down in severe weather during Typhoon Orchid in the Pacific Ocean south of
Japan. All 44 people on board were lost.

In the 1990s there were many other bulk carrier losses.

How bulk carriers have sunk

The sequence of events leading to the sinking of most bulk carriers has been as
follows:
Water enters a hold as a result of faulty hatch covers, a collision, shell
plate failure due to frame wastage or damage, or for other reasons.
Hatch covers can easily lift, if they have not been well secured or if the

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > INTRODUCTION

hull structure distorts in heavy weather.


Flooding spreads rapidly through the length of the ship, if the bulkhead
between one hold and the next collapses.
The ship sinks rapidly.

Impact of the losses

The sinking of the Derbyshire and the other bulk carrier losses in the 1990s
prompted research into the causes of the accidents. The findings led to
improvements in vessel construction, inspection and operation, and to the
development of the IACS (International Association of Classification Societies)
Common Structural Rules for Tankers and Bulk Carriers (adopted on 1 April
2006), and to new IMO (International Maritime Organization) regulations.

International regulations for the safety of bulk carriers: SOLAS


Chapter XII

Regulations specific to bulk carrier safety were included in SOLAS (the


International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea), as Chapter XII Additional
Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers, which entered into force in 1997. This was
further revised in 2004, and the amendments entered into force on 1 July 2006.

The amendments include:

Structural strength (Regulation XII/5)


This states that all new bulk carriers 150 metres or more in length (built after 1
July 1999) carrying cargoes with a density of 1,000 kg/m3 and above should
have sufficient strength to withstand flooding of any one cargo hold, taking into
account the dynamic effects that result from the presence of water in the hold.

For existing ships (built before 1 July 1999) carrying bulk cargoes with a density
of 1,780 kg/m3 and above, the transverse watertight bulkhead between the two
foremost cargo holds and the double bottom of the foremost cargo hold should
have sufficient strength to withstand flooding and the related dynamic effects in
the foremost cargo hold.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > INTRODUCTION

Cargo Density

Cargoes with a density of 1,780 kg/m3 and above (heavy cargoes)


include iron ore, pig iron, steel, bauxite and cement.

Lighter cargoes, but with a density of more than 1,000 kg/m3,


include grains such as wheat and rice, and timber.

Compliance (Regulation XII/8)


When restrictions on cargoes are imposed, the bulk carrier should be
permanently marked with a solid equilateral triangle on its side shell at
midships, port and starboard, in a contrasting colour to that of the hull.

Hold, ballast and dry space water ingress alarms (Regulation XII/12)
Hold, ballast and dry space water ingress detectors, known as WIDS (water
ingress detection systems) are required on all bulk carriers regardless of their
date of construction.

WIDs must be fitted:


in each cargo hold
in any ballast tank forward of the collision bulkhead
in any dry or void space, forward of the collision bulkhead, other than a
chain cable locker

WIDS (Water Ingress Detection Systems)

WIDS provide continuous information on whether water is present in


the cargo hold spaces. Normally they work in two stages, with one
detector low down in the hold, and a second one a short distance above
it. The alarm is activated automatically at levels of 0.5m and 2m.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > INTRODUCTION

Availability of pumping systems (Regulation XII/13)


This regulation requires that the means for draining and pumping dry space bilges
and ballast tanks, any part of which is located forward of the collision bulkhead,
should be capable of being operated from a readily accessible enclosed space, the
location of which is accessible from the navigation bridge or propulsion machinery
control position without traversing exposed freeboard or superstructure decks.

Restrictions from sailing with any hold empty (Regulation XII/14)


Bulk carriers must not sail with any hold loaded to less than 10% of the hold’s
maximum allowable cargo weight in the full load condition when carrying
cargoes with a density of 1,780 kg/m3 or more, if the vessels are:

150m or more in length


10 or more years of age
not built to the latest standards

If applicable, this will be indicated in the loading manual.

Other recent SOLAS regulations relating to bulk carriers

Immersion suits
All cargo ships must carry an immersion suit of the appropriate size for every
person on board the ship.

Free fall lifeboats


Since 2006, all new build bulk carriers are required to be fitted with free fall lifeboats.

Access to spaces in cargo areas


Regulation II-1/3-6 specifies suitable means of access to holds so that vessels
can be properly inspected throughout their lifespan.

How safe are bulk carriers?


As indicated above, the new SOLAS rules have improved the safety on bulk carriers:

new ships have stronger bulkheads and double bottoms

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > INTRODUCTION

in existing ships, the bulkhead between holds 1 and 2 and the double
bottom of hold 1 must be strengthened
there is a programme of enhanced independent inspections to detect
potential structural weakness and areas of corrosion

When bulk carriers are designed and built to IMO standards and classification
rules and are properly inspected, maintained and operated, they are safe and
reliable, as long as they remain undamaged.

However, bulk carriers must be handled with care! The cargo loading,
discharge and stowage must all be rigorously planned and performed. And to
carry out the procedures correctly, it is essential that the crew are thoroughly
trained in the handling of difficult and dangerous cargoes, and that they have a
good understanding of the forces that act upon the ship’s structure.

CASE STUDY: NEED FOR WIDS


On 18 March 2002, the Lake Carling loaded a cargo of iron ore pellets at
berth No. 2, Sept-Îles, Quebec, and departed the same day bound for
Point Lisas, Trinidad. The next morning during scheduled rounds it was
discovered that No. 4 hold was taking on water. Further inspection
revealed that a six-metre fracture had developed on the port side shell.
Sea ice thwarted attempts to keep a collision mat in place to stem water
ingress and the bilge pumps were unable to keep up.

Additional pumps were brought on board from a Canadian Coast Guard


vessel tasked to the area and these were sufficient to stabilise the
situation. On 21 March 2002, the salvage tug Ryan Leet arrived on the
scene. With the help of more powerful pumps and with the fracture
partially plugged from the exterior, No. 4 hold was pumped dry. The
vessel made its way to the protected waters of the Baie de Gaspé where
more caulking work was done in way of the fracture. On 26 March 2002,
the vessel weighed anchor for Québec, Quebec, for permanent repairs.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

1 : THE CAUSES OF
STRUCTURAL FAILURE

1.1 STRUCTURAL AND STABILITY FAILURE DUE TO


CARGOES
A bulk carrier’s structural integrity can depend on the way it has been operated
during loading and discharge. The most frequent reasons for structural and
stability failure are:

a) Damage caused by equipment used during cargo operations

The problems
The manner in which equipment is used during loading and unloading can be
aggressive:

Huge grabs (up to 36 tons) may be dropped on to or may scrape against


the tank top
Cargo may be dropped from a large height
Mechanical means (caterpillars or excavators) may be used to extract
cargo from areas of the hold which are hard to reach, with the potential to
cause damage to plating or frames

Mechanical damage can induce stress, causing fractures which result in


structural weakness. Failure of the cargo equipment could also result in
injuries, fatalities and damage to the ship, making it unseaworthy. Failure of
the crane jib or slewing bearing would result in prolonged off hire and loss of
earnings with long delivery time of parts to restore operational status.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

How to address the problem


Careful supervision
Loading and discharging operations should be carefully planned and supervised
and monitored by the deck officers and crew to prevent damage and mishandling.
Thorough watch keeping and post operations inspection
Once the cargo has been discharged, the ship’s officers and deck crew
should carefully inspect the holds – paying particular attention to frames,
tank-top plating, wing tank plating, and air and sounding pipes. Hatch
covers and deck plating should also be checked for any signs of damage.
Report and repair
Any damage must immediately be logged and reported to the company. The
charterer/stevedores must be notified in writing that they are to be held
responsible, and invited to attend a joint survey. Depending upon the nature
and extent of the damage, the owner’s classification society should also be
notified, particularly if the integrity of the hull structure is affected. Failure
to notify class could affect the vessel’s insurance cover. Class requirements
may result in the ship not being allowed to sail until an approved repair has
been carried out.

b) Problems relating to the properties of the cargo

The problems
Over time, certain cargoes can corrode or wear away the hold coatings, and
if remedial action is not taken steel wastage through corrosion may occur
Some cargoes such as steel scrap or products, blocks of stone and logs
can damage tank-tops and tank plating, frames, sounding pipes and air
pipes in holds
Free-flowing cargoes can affect the ship’s stability
Liquefaction of cargo can be an issue in connection with (a) its moisture
content, (b) excitation, and (c) loading in sub-zero temperatures
Certain cargoes have chemical hazards

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

How to address the problems


Inspection
If a high level of wastage is apparent from a physical inspection, the
classification society should be notified and part of the inspection process
will probably be localised UST® (Universal Surface Tester) measurement,
performed using advanced optics technology
Inspect the holds carefully during ballast voyages for leaks caused by
damage from cargoes such as steel scrap or logs
Comply with legislation
Bulk carriers carrying grain (wheat, maize, oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses,
seeds) must comply with the requirements of the International Grain Code
and national regulations.
Check moisture content
Any commodity that could liquefy should have its Transportable Moisture
Limit (TML) certified in the shipper’s declaration, and the Master should
check that the actual moisture content is below the TML, in accordance with
the procedures in the IMSBC Code.

The Hazards of Wet Iron Ore Fines

Cargoes such as iron ore fines that are prone to liquefaction can shift
due to excess moisture content, and if the Transportable Moisture
Limit (TML) is exceeded the bulk carrier can experience dangerous
instability. This can happen either in port or weeks into a voyage –
even in calm seas.

The cargo must be properly tested, and Masters should refuse to


take on board any cargo where the moisture level exceeds the TML.

Extra caution should be exercised when cargoes are loaded during


periods of high rainfall.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

Regular maintenance
Regular maintenance and protective barrier coatings for the handling of
certain cargoes will help to delay the long-term effects of corrosion.

c) Deviations from the agreed loading plan

It is extremely important that global loading (in terms of shear forces and
bending moments) and local loading (tank top) are kept within their permissible
limits.

The problems
Overloading in any of the holds may cause stresses on the cross decks,
bulkheads and other parts of the hull
Cargo poured into one end of a hold (‘asymmetric loading’) can put
excessive pressure on the transverse bulkheads
Uneven distribution away from the centre line can cause the hull
structure to twist and warp

How to address the problems


Stow correctly
The agreed loading sequence should be followed precisely. The cargo
must be stowed and trimmed appropriately and within the limits specified
in the ship’s loading manual (see Section 6: Loading/Discharge)

1.2 WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF STRUCTURAL


FAILURE
Records of bulk carrier losses have indicated, in a large proportion of cases,
that the ship’s Master appeared to be unaware of the imminent danger posed
by structural failure. Many lost their lives together with the other seafarers on
board as a consequence. Ship losses have frequently been so rapid that the ship
did not have time to send a distress signal.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

MSC/Circ.1143 Guidelines on Early Assessment of Hull Damage and Possible


Need for Abandonment of Bulk Carriers emphasises that in the event of loss of
hull integrity in way of the cargo holds, bulk carriers should be evacuated as
quickly as possible. Early assessment of the situation is therefore imperative,
combined with alerting a Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC),
alerting all personnel onboard and making preparations for evacuation. This is
of particular importance for single skin bulk carriers which may not be capable
of withstanding flooding of any cargo hold.

Early readiness for evacuation


If the Master identifies or even suspects that the ship may have sustained
damage, the ship’s personnel should immediately be called to their emergency
stations. A high priority should be placed on preparing equipment for
evacuation. The ship should only be abandoned on the orders of the Master,
following assessment of the risk.

Contact with a MRCC/owners should be made early if the Master has any
suspicion that the ship is damaged. An URGENCY signal is justified and this
should be upgraded to DISTRESS if the ship is confirmed as damaged.

Collision
In the event of a collision, the Master should call the ship’s personnel to
emergency stations and prepare to evacuate the ship. This is particularly
urgent in cases where a ship is loaded with bulk cargo of high density and if the
integrity of any of the cargo holds has been compromised.

Training
The Master should place a strong emphasis on evacuation training so that
donning of protective suits and lifejackets, launching of survival craft, and
operation of EPIRBs and SARTs are all familiar processes to the whole crew.
Also included should be shutdown procedures for main and auxiliary
machinery, which can, if left running, hinder the launching of survival craft.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 1 : THE CAUSES OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE

CASE STUDY: CORROSION


In September 2000, EUROBULKER X broke apart while loading cement
at Lefkandi, in Greece. A fifteen month inquiry pointed to a variety of
causes, one of the largest being severe corrosion. Lower deck plating
was wasted 30-40% and upper ballast tanks ranged from 50% to
completely wasted in some areas. In addition, the loading sequence
allowed cargo to be loaded amidships with the fore and aft holds empty.

Source: United States Coast Guard Ship Structure Committee

CASE STUDY: DAMAGE DURING LOADING


A handysize vessel loaded steel scrap from Portland, USA to Penang on
her second voyage after delivery from the yard. The loading rate was
8000 mt per day. Upon discharge at Penang, the crew found several
instances of structural damage in the holds including a breach of
watertight integrity of the transverse bulkhead between holds 1 and 2,
rendering the vessel unseaworthy to resume its voyage without class
approved repair and survey.

Source: Pacific Basin Shipping (HK) Limited

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL

2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON


THE HULL

2.1 THE STRUCTURE OF A BULK CARRIER

Typically, a bulk carrier is a single deck ship with topside tanks, a double
bottom, hopper tanks, a side shell with vertical frames, corrugated bulkheads,
and hatchways above.

The holds are a series of large spaces separated by transverse bulkheads.

It is not a rigid structure, as it must have the capacity to flex.

Loading and discharging cargo puts the structure under stress, and there are
other forces that affect the hull while the ship is at sea.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL

2.2 THE DIFFERENT FORCES TO WHICH THE SHIP


IS SUBJECTED
From the point of loading, the bulk carrier comes under hydrodynamic
pressure, ‘shear force’ and ‘bending moments’.

Hydrodynamic pressure
Hydrodynamic pressures are the forces exerted on the hull by ocean waves,
which could act on any weakness in the shell plating or framing.

Shear Force

Shear force
Shear force is caused when two opposite forces act against each other. In this
case the forces are:
the downward vertical force that comes from the weight of the hull and
cargo
the opposing upward action, which is the vessel’s buoyancy and
hydrostatic pressure

Shear forces occur when these two opposing forces are not in balance at every
point along the length of the vessel.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL

Bending moments

Sagging

Hogging

A bending moment is a force that bends the vessel along its length.

If the weight is concentrated in the middle of the ship, bending of its structure
will cause ‘sagging’.

If the weight is concentrated at opposite ends of the ship, the bending is called
‘hogging’.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL

2.3 HOW MUCH FORCE THE SHIP CAN WITHSTAND


The ship’s Loading and Stability Manuals set out the maximum permissible
shear forces and bending moments. There are ‘Harbour’ limits, when the ship
is in port, and ‘At Sea’ limits, that take into account the extra forces that act
when the ship is in a seaway.

If the maximum limits are exceeded, the ship will be at serious risk of
structural failure. That is why it is of the utmost importance to calculate shear
force and bending moments accurately at each stage of any loading or
unloading sequence. If there is a deviation from the plan, the figures must be
verified before acceptance.

2.4 THE EFFECTS OF WEATHER, TEMPERATURE


AND MOVEMENT
In extreme weather, green seas may come onboard and strike hatch covers,
coamings and other weather deck fittings with the potential to cause physical
damage. The vessel’s passage should be planned to avoid extremes of weather
and sea conditions. If bad weather is encountered, speed and course should be
adjusted to minimise the effects of the prevailing conditions.

Weather conditions must be carefully monitored when in port and at sea, to


avoid the possibility of water ingress.

Any cargo where moisture content or chemical reaction to water is a critical


factor, as may be described in the cargo’s IMSBC schedules, should not be
loaded when it is raining or snowing.

While at sea, chemical reactions could take place in the hold unseen. Any
increases in moisture, temperature, or the build-up of gases will need to be
monitored and controlled.

Depending on the cargo, the hold may either have to be:

not ventilated at all


made gastight

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 2 : FORCES THAT ACT UPON THE HULL

ventilated by opening the ventilators or by operating mechanical


ventilation if fitted, or
placed under inert conditions

Some cargoes will require the means of measuring the temperature while on
passage. Accurate records must be kept, in order to monitor any variations or
increases in temperature as the voyage progresses.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS

3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS

3.1 TOOLS FOR MANAGING CARGO HANDLING


OPERATIONS SAFELY
The ship’s officers must be able to produce an accurate loading or discharge
plan, and to take into account water ballast management and stability. They
must be capable of accurately calculating the shear force and bending
moments for all loading and discharge conditions, and must be aware of the
permitted Harbour and At Sea limits.

For this purpose, they have the ship’s loading manual, and a loading computer.

The loading manual


On board ship, the approved loading manual will specify:

the ship’s designed cargo loading condition and distribution


its allowable local loading limits
the structural operational limits

The loading computer


The ship should be equipped with a designated Class approved loading
computer and appropriate software, and officers must be familiar with, and
competent in, using this equipment.

3.2 NUMBERING OF HATCH COVERS


The hatch covers should be marked with identification numbers that
correspond with the loading manual, loading software and loading or discharge
plan.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS

The identification numbers must be visible to terminal personnel operating


loading or discharge equipment.

3.3 CODES OF PRACTICE


The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargo (IMSBC) Code

Many solid bulk cargoes have serious risks associated with them that can affect
ship stability, cause structural damage, pose health hazards to those on board
or lead to dangerous situations as a result of chemical reactions taking place in
the hold. Sometimes the gases generated are odourless and colourless. Other
cargo risks (liquefying or self-igniting cargoes, for example) are difficult or
impossible to control once they have become a real hazard.

Prevention is always better than cure, and the mandatory IMSBC Code enables
ship’s personnel to identify and handle many different types of cargo, and to
assess the acceptability of particular goods. It replaces the Code of Safe
Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (the BC Code).

At the heart of the Code are the individual schedules of solid bulk cargoes
found in Appendix 1. The cargoes are listed in alphabetical order using their
Bulk Cargo Shipping Name. Each schedule follows the same format describing
the cargo’s characteristics, hazards, stowage and segregation requirements, as
well as any precautions to be taken during loading, carriage and discharge
along with any necessary clean-up or emergency procedures.

Classification of cargo
Under ‘Characteristics’, each cargo is classified into one of three groups:

Group A are cargoes which can liquefy in the hold while on passage if the
moisture content is too high, with the consequent threat to ship stability. Of
particular significance is the Mineral Concentrates group. Any one of these
dense cargoes has the potential to liquefy if shipped with a moisture content
in excess of its TML.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS

Group B cargoes have chemical properties, which, unless handled correctly,


could lead to a hazard onboard ship, such as a gas that is toxic or explosive.
Many of these cargoes also have a Dangerous Goods classification.
Group C cargoes are ones which are neither liable to liquefy (Group A) nor to
possess chemical hazards (Group B). Regardless of group, stability must
always be considered. The schedules provide figures for bulk densities,
stowage factors and, where applicable, the ‘angle of repose’.

Angle of Repose

Free-flowing cargoes are liable to


shift if not correctly distributed.
The angle of repose is the maximum
slope angle of non-cohesive (i.e.
free-flowing) granular material
between a horizontal plane and the
cone slope of the material.

The BLU Code

In 1997, the IMO recognised that a number of bulk carrier accidents had
occurred as a result of improper loading and discharge of bulk carriers, and
adopted the ‘BLU Code’ – the Code of Practice for the Safe Unloading and
Loading of Bulk Carriers (resolution A.862(20)).

The BLU Code provides guidance to Masters of bulk carriers, terminal


operators and other parties concerned with the safe handling, loading and
discharge of solid bulk cargoes. Its main focus is on procedures between ship
and shore:

before the ship arrives


before cargo handling commences
during cargo loading and handling of ballast

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 3 : TOOLS AND PUBLICATIONS

during cargo discharge and handling of ballast

It includes a sample loading or discharge plan, a ship/shore safety checklist,


guidelines for completing the ship/shore checklist, and a form for cargo
information.

The BLU Code is in the supplement section of the IMSBC Code and provides
guidance to ships' Masters and terminal operators on the safe handling,
loading and discharge of solid bulk cargoes.

The BLU Manual

The BLU Manual supplements the BLU Code by providing more detailed
guidance to terminal personnel.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

4.1 SHORE OFFICE/SHIP COMMUNICATION


As soon as possible after arranging a charter or commercial voyage, the shore
office must provide the ship with information about the prospective cargo, so
that loading or discharge can be planned.

In the case of bulk cargo, the information should include:

the stowage factor


trimming procedures
likelihood of shifting
any other relevant special properties

See Appendix 5 of the BLU Code (or Section 10 Appendix of this workbook) for a
form for cargo information.

4.2 CARGO DOCUMENTATION


The ship requires a cargo declaration for all types of cargo.

Cargo information must be provided as required under SOLAS Chapter VI, Part
A, Regulation 2 and the IMSBC Code Section 4, including shipper’s declaration.

For Dangerous Goods further documentation is required under SOLAS Chapter


VII, Part A-1, Regulation 7-2.

For cargo that may liquefy, the information must specify the moisture content
and its TML.

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BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

4.3 LOADING/DISCHARGE PLAN


An accurate loading or discharge plan must be produced, and it is mandatory
under SOLAS regulation VI/7.3 that it is understood and agreed by both the
terminal representative and the Master.

The plan should take into consideration:

loading sequences, bearing in mind the requirements of the IMSBC Code,


e.g. segregating dangerous cargoes where appropriate
total time to load (to include enough time for ensuring the cargo in each
hold is trimmed)
appropriate loading and discharge rates for solid bulk cargoes to prevent
over-stressing of the ship’s structure, and to allow synchronisation of
ballasting operations
local loading criteria in the loading manual

See Appendix 2 of the BLU Code (or Section 10 Appendix of this workbook) for a
sample loading/discharge plan.

When planning the arrival condition, the ship’s manoeuvrability should also be
considered. See MSC.1/Circ.1357 ‘Additional considerations for the safe loading
of bulk carriers’.

4.4 SHIP/TERMINAL COMMUNICATION


The ship will have to communicate with the terminal in good time so that
terminal personnel can make preparations for cargo operations.

There must be at least one officer on board who is proficient in the common
language used at both the loading and discharge ports.

The Master should let the terminal know the ship’s ETA (Estimated Time of
Arrival) as early as possible, and should email through the preliminary loading
or discharge plan.

27
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

The ship should also provide details of:

its mooring arrangements


location, number and position of holds
requirements for any special treatments or coatings to protect the holds

If loading, the ship should confirm as soon as possible that all holds into which
cargo is to be loaded are clean, dry and free from any previous cargo residues
that might create a hazard when combined with the cargo to be loaded. (The
IMSBC Code provides guidance in relation to specific cargoes, for example,
whether some may require special hold treatment involving the use of
protective barrier coatings to guard against damage from corrosive substances.)

Timing
Ship and terminal must also agree on the estimated times for the completion of
loading or discharge, as well as any characteristics of the cargo handling
equipment and expected loading or unloading rates.

It is a SOLAS requirement that, although a terminal may have a high nominal


loading rate, the time taken for loading should also be influenced by the steps
required to load the ship safely so that structural stresses are kept within
permissible limits.

4.5 TERMINAL/SHIP COMMUNICATION


The terminal should communicate to the ship:
the name of the berth
the berth’s availability
the estimated times for berthing
the name of the nominated terminal representative, who will oversee the
operation and act as the main contact ashore
information on tides
water depth at the approach and departure channels

28
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

water depth at the berth


the availability of tugs
mooring and fendering arrangements
air draught

In addition to which, the Master should obtain the name and position of
authority of the terminal representative who will sign the ship/shore safety
checklist (Appendix 3 of the BLU Code).

4.6 MINIMUM BALLAST CONDITION


Lightly ballasted ships are vulnerable to the risk of collision or grounding, as
the result of manoeuvring difficulties, especially in high winds and strong
currents. This is because the efficiency of the rudder and the propeller is
decreased and windage is increased.

The proposed arrival or departure draughts, as well as any restrictions or time


requirements relating to deballasting operations, must therefore be closely
checked and agreed by ship and terminal. Any conditions applied must take into
account the capabilities and safe working limits of the ship and terminal.

CASE STUDY: INSUFFICIENT BALLAST FOR HEAVY


WEATHER
On 23 May 2007, the Panamanian registered bulk carrier Pasha Bulker
anchored 2.4 miles off the coast near Newcastle, New South Wales. The
ship had sufficient water ballast on board for the good weather at the
time, and was not expected to load its coal cargo for about three weeks.

At midday on 7 June, Pasha Bulker’s Master veered more anchor cable


after a gale warning was issued. The weather deteriorated and shortly
after midnight, the wind had reached gale force.

At 0500 on 8 June, the wind had increased to strong gale force and the weather

29
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 4 : BEFORE ARRIVAL

was severe. At 0625, Pasha Bulker started to drag its anchor. The Master decided
to put to sea and at 0748, the anchor was aweigh. The ship was now 1.2 miles
from the shore and, with the southeast wind fine on the starboard bow, it made
good a north-easterly course. At 0906, the Master altered the ship’s course to
starboard to put the wind on the port bow in an attempt to make good a southerly
course on a south-southeasterly heading. However, its heading became
south-westerly and, with the wind on the port beam, the ship started to rapidly
approach the coast.

At 0931, with Nobbys Beach 0.8 of a mile away, the Master attempted a
starboard turn. The manoeuvre did not succeed and at 0946, with
grounding imminent, he requested assistance from authorities ashore.
At 0951, Pasha Bulker grounded on Nobbys Beach and the ship’s
momentum carried it further onto the beach. The crew were evacuated
by helicopter during the afternoon.

On 2 July, Pasha Bulker was successfully refloated. The ship was


temporarily repaired in Newcastle and on 26 July, taken in tow to
Vietnam to undergo permanent repairs.

The ATSB investigation found that Pasha Bulker’s master did not
appropriately ballast the ship and did not weigh anchor until it dragged
in severe weather. The unwise decision to not ballast the ship for heavy
weather and remain at anchor were the result of his inadequate knowledge
of issues related to ballast, anchor holding power and local weather.

Furthermore, the Master incorrectly assumed that Newcastle VTIC


would, if necessary, instruct ships to put to sea and the fact that most
other ships also remained at anchor reinforced, in his mind, the initial
unwise decision to remain at anchor. Consequently, he ignored signs of
the dangerous situation developing. After the ship got underway, the
Master became increasingly overloaded and affected by fatigue and
anxiety and his inappropriate control of the ship at critical times
inevitably led to its grounding.

Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau

30
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE

5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE


5.1 SHIP/TERMINAL MEETING BEFORE THE
START OF CARGO OPERATIONS
Once alongside, the Master or Chief Officer and the terminal’s nominated
representative must meet to discuss and approve the final cargo plan.

During the meeting, the joint checklist must be completed and countersigned
by both parties. This checklist must cover:

an agreed system of communication between designated liaison contacts


aboard and ashore
confirmation that the atmosphere is safe in the holds that may require
access
whether the shipper has provided the Master with information on the
properties of the cargo
whether any testing certification relating to cargo characteristics is
complete and accurate

See Appendix 3 of the BLU Code (or Section 10 Appendix of this workbook) for a
sample checklist form.

5.2 AGREEING THE PLAN


The Master is ultimately responsible at all times for the safe loading and
discharge of the ship. This includes controlling the safe and efficient
synchronisation of cargo operations and ballast operations.

Cargo should be appropriately trimmed so as to avoid problems such as


asymmetric loading (i.e. more cargo on one side than the other) that could lead
to the ship’s hull twisting.

The ship must ensure that the cargo loading or discharge plan has been

31
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE

calculated for all stages of the operation, including ballasting or deballasting.

Both parties should make sure that the sequence of holds to be worked has
been clearly identified and agreed in the plan.

The loading or discharge plan must be agreed and countersigned by both the
ship and the terminal. Communication and agreement between the two parties
must be maintained throughout the operation.

5.3 EXTRA SAFEGUARDS


The procedures agreed by terminal and ship before loading should include specific
extra safeguards relating to certain cargoes, such as the stopping of all hot
work on deck and in adjacent areas, and the placing of restrictions on smoking.

If there are dust hazards, sensitive equipment will need to be protected, and
those involved in loading will need to wear the appropriate personal protective
equipment (PPE) including masks.

CASE STUDY: DEVIATION FROM THE LOADING AND


DEBALLASTING PLAN
At about 2345 local time, 01 June 2000, while loading a cargo of
aggregates at Bruce Mines, Ontario, the hull of the Canadian bulk
carrier Algowood buckled in way of hold No. 3. The vessel flooded, sat
on the bottom alongside the dock, and was later salvaged and towed to
dry dock for repairs.

According to the loading plan, the after draught of the vessel was near
the maximum allowable of 6.858 metres (22 feet 6 inches). At this time,
the duty officer deviated from the loading sequence and directed the
shore rig loader to load cargo into hatch No. 9 instead of hatch No. 13.
The shore rig loader, who was provided with a copy of the intended
loading plan for clarification, questioned and acknowledged the sudden
change to the loading plan.

32
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE

Loading into hatch No. 9 commenced at 2044. Pumping of No. 2 and No.
1 P & S ballast tanks started at 2111 and 2130 respectively. By 2126,
1756 tons of cargo had been loaded into cargo hold No. 3. Starboard
ballast tank No. 3 was completely pumped out between 2032 and 2145.

At this time, the vessel had reached the maximum draught aft and
shifting of the vessel aft began. The vessel came to a sudden and abrupt
stop, indicating that the after end of the vessel might have touched
bottom near the end of the slip. The loading rig was just able to reach
into hatch No. 2 of cargo hold No. 1, in which loading commenced at
2132. While loading hatch No. 2, the vessel trimmed forward and the
draught aft was reduced. The duty officer shifted the vessel further aft
so that the loading rig could begin loading into hatch No. 1. At
approximately 2145, the Master returned to the ship and inquired briefly
about the vessel’s condition of loading with the duty officer, after which
he proceeded to his cabin.

At 2202, pumping of P & S ballast tanks Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped. Ballast
tanks No. 1 P & S were pumped again from 2240 to 2242. Pumping of No.
2 P & S ballast tanks resumed at 2242 and finished at 2315.

Reading draughts in the dark was difficult at this time because visibility
was further reduced by rain showers. The after draught was 6.477
metres at this time and was decreasing as loading forward continued. At
2242, pumping of P & S ballast tanks No. 2 resumed. The loading of
cargo hold No. 1 was almost completed, with an additional 1800 tons
loaded through hatches Nos. 1, 2, and 3 at 2322. Draughts at this point
were 6.096 metres aft, 4.801 metres at midship, and 3.962 metres
forward. According to the duty officer, the vessel was hogged by
approximately 0.229 metre. The rig operator indicated that there would
be a shut down for minor repairs. At 2315, P & S ballast tanks No. 2 were
pumped out.

At 2345, while continuing to load into hatch No. 3 of cargo hold No. 1, the
ship made a very loud wrenching sound and buckled between hatches
Nos. 13 and 14, in way of the transverse bulkhead, between frames 117

33
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 5 : WHEN THE SHIP IS ALONGSIDE

and 119. Loading was stopped and the general alarm sounded.

At 0010, all crew members were evacuated to shore with the exception
of the Master and the Chief Engineer.

Conclusions
The intended loading and deballasting sequence was not adhered to
and the vessel was subjected to excessive bending stress which
resulted in structural failure of the hull. The disposition of the cargo
and ballast at the time of the failure caused a harbour bending
moment about 2.3 times the maximum permissible.

A lack of feedback communication, after deballasting instructions


had been given, resulted in the duty officer not being kept current
with the progress of deballasting.

The frequency and accuracy with which the draught marks were read
during loading were insufficient to closely monitor the hogging of the
hull. Draught mark readings became estimates as the weather
deteriorated, and not all the means available to assist in accurately
reading draughts were utilised.

The magnitude of the stresses imposed on the Algowood, as a result


of deviating from the intended loading sequence, were not known nor
appreciated by shipboard personnel.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Report No. M00C0026, 01 June 2000.

34
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE

6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE
6.1 LOADING CONDITIONS
Loading conditions vary, depending on the type of cargo to be carried and
classification society approval.

Homogeneous Loading

Homogeneous loading
This is where cargoes are evenly distributed in all holds.

Alternate Loading

Alternate loading

35
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE

Large bulk carriers often stow high-density cargoes, such as mineral ores, in
every other hold.

When high-density cargoes are stowed using alternate loading, the weight of
the cargo in each hold is approximately double that carried in a homogeneous
load distribution, and so the vessel must be strengthened and classified for this
loading configuration. Under SOLAS Chapter XII Regulation 14, vessels over
150m and older than 10 years are forbidden to use alternate loading unless
certain conditions are met.

Block Loading

Block loading
Block loading is where cargo is loaded in two or more adjacent holds with the
neighbouring holds remaining empty. This arrangement is often used when the
ship is only part loaded or carrying more than one commodity. It requires
classification society approved conditions as specified in the loading manual.

To avoid over-stressing the hull structure, careful consideration should be


given to the amount of cargo loaded in each hold and to the sailing draught.

6.2 MONITORING THE OPERATION


Whatever loading method is used, the hull stress limits must always be kept at
or below permissible limits throughout the operation.

36
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE

At the end of each sequence, the observed draft must be checked to confirm
that the cargo loaded in each pour is as per the plan. The plan must be closely
followed at all times!

Loading and deballasting rates must also be monitored throughout to ensure


that the ship’s structure is not overstressed and that shear force and bending
moment limits are not being exceeded. To verify whether the ballasting/
deballasting rate is constant, the ballast tanks must be sounded.

Draught surveys
Ship’s personnel must carry out draught surveys at regular intervals to check
the calculated ship’s loading condition, the cargo weight and its distribution.
The recorded readings should be checked against the loading plan.

Cargo weight
The weight of the cargo must be frequently monitored and compared with the
cargo plan and the ship’s calculations and draught marks. The safety limits
must not be exceeded.

Using the information to maintain the ship’s watertight integrity


The above information together with loading rates, ballast synchronisation,
stress and displacement calculations all help to balance the forces acting on
the hull and maintain the integrity of the ship structure.

6.3 WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A DEVIATION


FROM THE PLAN
If ship’s officers are not satisfied with the cargo handling activity or there is a
sudden deviation from the agreed plan, the Master should be informed
immediately. The Master must stop the loading or discharging at any time if the
cargo distribution is likely to adversely affect either the ship’s stability or cause
stress to the ship’s structure.

37
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 6 : LOADING/DISCHARGE

Corrective action should be taken and the plan modified to ensure that the
stress and operational limits of the ship are not exceeded.

For example, conveyor belts offer a very efficient method of loading, with
standard loading rates varying between 1,000 and 16,000+ tons per hour. At
these high rates, it is difficult to control synchronisation of the loading and
deballasting, and if the operations become unsynchronised the ship and
terminal must suspend loading until the deballasting has caught up, as set out
in the loading plan..

6.4 REDUCING THE RISK OF DAMAGE DURING


LOADING OR DISCHARGE
Particular care should be taken at the start of any loading operation into empty
holds, especially when loading steel and scrap steel cargoes.

Grabs and hydraulic excavators used in the final stages of unloading can cause
damage to the hold or its protective coatings. It is the terminal’s responsibility
to alert the Master to any individual grab loads or pours that are large or heavy
where there could be the risk of a high impact drop.

Officers and crew members should be on the lookout for damage during cargo
operations at all times, and report any damage to the ship’s structure caused
by terminal handling equipment immediately to the Master.

Detailed guidance on damage reporting procedures is contained in the BLU


Manual Annex 3.

38
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 7 : CARGO COMPLETION

7 : CARGO COMPLETION
7.1 SHIP/TERMINAL COMMUNICATION
It is the Master’s responsibility to let the terminal know when final trimming
has to start, so that there is enough time for conveyor run off. Loading
equipment and conveyor designs vary, so the time taken to halt the operation
must be taken into account to avoid overloading the ship.

7.2 TRIMMING
Trimming is the partial or total levelling off of cargo within a cargo space.

Trimming a cargo reduces the likelihood of the cargo shifting (e.g. if the cargo
is free-flowing or ‘non-cohesive).

A further reason for trimming is, in the case of certain cargoes such as coal, to
minimise the surface area of the cargo that is exposed to air, which could lead
to spontaneous self-heating and possible fire.

Cargo spaces should be filled as full as practicable without resulting in


excessive loading on the bottom structure. Cargo should be spread as widely as
possible to the boundary of the cargo space.

It should be trimmed level by the most effective means, e.g. loading spouts or
chutes, portable machinery, equipment or manual labour.

Trimming must be closely supervised and carried out in line with the IMSBC
Code requirements.

Non-cohesive bulk cargoes with an angle of repose less than or equal


to 30º
These cargoes, such as grain, which flow freely should be carried according to
the IMSBC Code provisions that apply to the stowage of grain cargoes. Refer

39
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 7 : CARGO COMPLETION

also to chapter VI of SOLAS, and the International Code for the Safe Carriage of
Grain in Bulk (MSC.23(59)), as amended.

Non-cohesive bulk cargoes with an angle of repose from 30° to 35°


inclusive
These cargoes should be trimmed according to the following criteria:

the unevenness of the cargo surface measured as the vertical distance


(Dh) between the highest and lowest levels of the cargo surface should
not exceed B/10, where B is the beam of the ship in metres, with a
maximum allowable Dh = 1.5 m
where Dh cannot be measured, bulk shipment can also be accepted if
loading is carried out with trimming equipment approved by the
competent authority

Cargoes with an angle of repose greater than 35°


The aim is to distribute the cargo in a manner which eliminates the formation of
wide, steeply sloped voids beyond the trimmed surface within the boundaries of
the cargo space. The cargo should be trimmed to an angle significantly less
than the angle of repose.

7.3 HOW TO CALCULATE THE ANGLE OF REPOSE


There are various methods in use to determine the angle of repose for non-
cohesive bulk materials. Two common ones are:

The tilting box method. This laboratory test method is suitable for non-
cohesive granular materials having a grain size not greater than 10 mm. It is
not appropriate for cohesive materials (all damp and some dry materials). In
this test, a box containing a level quantity of the commodity is inclined. The
angle of repose is represented by the angle between the top of the box and the
horizontal at the point where the commodity just begins to slide in bulk. See

40
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 7 : CARGO COMPLETION

IMSBC Code sub-section 2.1 of Appendix 2.

The shipboard test method. If the ship does not have a tilting box apparatus, an
alternative procedure for determining the approximate angle of repose is given
in IMSBC Code sub-section 2.2 of Appendix 2. In this test, samples of the
commodity are carefully poured into a conical shape and the slope angle
measured half way up the cone slope.

7.4 THE FINAL STAGES


The terminal representative should advise the Master when unloading has been
completed from each hold.

The Master should make sure that the final stages of the unloading operation
are closely supervised to ensure that all cargo has been discharged and holds
cleaned, as appropriate.

7.5 CLEANING THE HOLDS/DECKS


When cargo is discharged from a hold, it leaves behind a residue. This has to be
removed in order to prevent it contaminating the next cargo/damaging the hold
itself.

It is the ship’s responsibility to ensure that holds are clean and ready for
loading when it arrives in port. The carrier has an obligation to ensure that the
ship’s holds are fit to receive and carry any particular cargo.

MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships)


Annex V regulates the disposal of cargo residue from holds to be cleaned and
from deck sweepings and wash water.

41
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 7 : CARGO COMPLETION

7.6 CARE WHEN ENTERING CARGO SPACES (OR


SPACES ADJACENT TO CARGO)
Bulk cargoes can give off toxic gases as a result of chemical reactions taking
place, others (such as iron ore, coal, wood and grain) absorb oxygen; others can
create a dust hazard, and some cargoes may be flammable.

Every enclosed space should be treated with caution and considered at risk of
oxygen depletion or toxic atmosphere. And that includes recently opened holds
that may not have been well ventilated.

Every ship should have clear procedures for entering an enclosed space
(including testing the atmosphere), and personnel must wear the appropriate
PPE.

Make sure you refer to the IMSBC Code and any Material Safety Data Sheets for
information about the hazards of the cargoes you will be handling.
For more information, see Resolution A.864(20) Recommendations for Entering
Enclosed Spaces.

7.7 INSPECTING THE WIDS


When cargo has been discharged, the WIDS alarms must be inspected, and
recalibrated as required, as there is a risk that they may have been damaged.

7.8 ON COMPLETION
When the operation is over, the Master and terminal representative should
agree in writing that the ship has been loaded or discharged in accordance with
the plan, including any agreed variations.

Any damage that has been caused to the ship during the discharge operation
should also be recorded and noted by both parties.

42
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 8 : CONCLUSION

8 : CONCLUSION
On bulk carriers, the number one hazard is structural damage that could lead
to flooding and catastrophic failure. It is vital to maintain the ship’s watertight
integrity - your life, and the life of everyone else on the ship, could depend on it.

Keeping the ship’s structure safe means:

Understanding the effect of different forces on the ship


Knowledge of the cargo’s properties and characteristics
Maintaining the holds, bulkheads and other parts of the hull in good
condition
Watching out for cracks, corrosion and wastage of steel structures
Planning the cargo operations carefully and keeping to the plan
Good communication between ship and terminal before, during, and at
the end of the cargo operation

43
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 9 : REFERENCE SECTION

9 : REFERENCE SECTION
Regulations and publications
IMSBC Code, 2009 Edition
SOLAS, especially Chapters VI, VII and XII, amendments entered into force 1 July 2006
MSC/Circ.947, 1 June 2000. Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers
MSC.1/Circ.1357, 19 June 2010 Additional Considerations for the Safe Loading of Bulk Carriers
MSC/Circ.1143, 13 December 2004. Guidelines on Early Assessment of Hull Damage and
Possible Need for Abandonment of Bulk Carriers
MSC/Circ.995, 11 June 2001. Advice on the Dangers of Flooding of Forward Compartments
Common Structural Rules for Bulk Carriers, IACS July 2009
IACS Recommendation 46 Guidance and Information on Bulk Cargo Loading and
Discharging to Reduce the Likelihood of Over-stressing the Hull Structure
Bulk Carrier Practice by Captain Jack Isbester ExC FNI, 2nd Edition, published by The
Nautical Institute

Videotel programmes
Dangerous and Difficult Bulk Cargoes: Best Practice and the IMSBC Code (Code 1101)
The Claim Game – Dry Cargo, Legal Responsibility and Loss Prevention. Part 1: Rights,
Duties and their Understanding (Code 535)
The Claim Game – Dry Cargo, Legal Responsibility and Loss Prevention. Part 2: The Master
Under Pressure (Code 536)
Hatch Covers – A Practical Guide (Code 938)
Safe Mooring Practice (Code 1105)
Entering into Enclosed Spaces (Code 682)

Useful websites
IMO (International Maritime Organization) – www.imo.org
Intercargo (International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners) – www.intercargo.org
IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) – www.iacs.org.uk
ICHCA International (International Cargo Handling and Co-ordination Association) -
www.ichcainternational.co.uk

44
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS

10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE
FORMS AND CHECKLISTS
1. Loading/Unloading Plan
(Appendix 2 BLU Code, or p.363 of IMSBC Code)

The loading or unloading plan should be prepared in a form such as shown on


page 49. A different form may be used, provided it contains the essential
information enclosed in the heavy line box.

2. Ship/Shore Safety Checklist


(Appendix 3 BLU Code)

Ship/Shore Safety Checklist for Loading or Unloading Dry Bulk Cargo Carriers
Date: ___________________
Port: ____________________ Terminal/Quay: ______________________
Available depth of water in berth: _______ Minimum air draught*: ______
Ship’s name: _________________________________
Arrival draught (read/calculated): _______ Air draught: _______________
Calculated departure draught: __________ Air draught: _______________

The Master and terminal manager, or their representatives, should complete


the checklist jointly. Advice on points to be considered is given in the
accompanying guidelines. The safety of operations requires that all questions
should be answered affirmatively and the boxes ticked. If this is not possible,
the reason should be given, and agreement reached upon precautions to be
taken between ship and terminal. If a question is considered to be not
applicable write “N/A”, explaining why if appropriate.

45
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS

CHECKLIST SHIP TERMINAL

1. Is the depth of water at the berth, and the air draught,


adequate for the cargo operations to be completed? ❑ ❑
2. Are mooring arrangements adequate for all local effects of
tide, current, weather, traffic and craft alongside? ❑ ❑
3. In emergency, is the ship able to leave the berth at any time? ❑ ❑
4. Is there safe access between the ship and the wharf?
Tended by ship/terminal: __________________________ ❑ ❑
(cross out as appropriate)
5. Is the agreed ship/terminal communications system
operative?
Communication method: ________________________
❑ ❑
Language: ___________________________________
Radio channels/phone numbers: ___________________

6. Are the liaison contact persons during operations positively


identified?
Ship contact persons: ____________________________
❑ ❑
Shore contact person(s): __________________________
Location: ____________________________________

7. Are adequate crew on board, and adequate staff in the


terminal, for emergency? ❑ ❑
8. Have any bunkering operations been advised and agreed? ❑ ❑
9. Have any intended repairs to wharf or ship whilst alongside
been advised and agreed? ❑ ❑
10. Has a procedure for reporting and recording damage from
cargo operations been agreed? ❑ ❑
11. Has the ship been provided with copies of port and
terminal regulations, including safety and pollution ❑ ❑
requirements and details of emergency services?
12. Has the shipper provided the master with the properties of
the cargo in accordance with the requirements of chapter ❑ ❑
VI of SOLAS?
13. Is the atmosphere safe in holds and enclosed spaces to
which access may be required, have fumigated cargoes
been identified, and has the need for monitoring of ❑ ❑
atmosphere been agreed by ship and terminal?

46
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS

14. Have the cargo handling capacity and any limits of travel
for each loader/unloader been passed to the ship/terminal?
Loader: _____________________________________ ❑ ❑
Loader: _____________________________________
Loader: _____________________________________

15. Has a cargo loading or unloading plan been calculated for


all stages of loading/deballasting or unloading/ballasting? ❑ ❑
Copy lodged with: ______________________________

16. Have the holds to be worked been clearly identified in the


loading or unloading plan, showing the sequence of work,
and the grade and tonnage of cargo to be transferred each ❑ ❑
time the hold is worked?
17. Has the need for trimming of cargo in the holds been
discussed, and have the method and extent been agreed? ❑ ❑
18. Do both ship and terminal understand and accept that if
the ballast programme becomes out of step with the cargo
operation, it will be necessary to suspend cargo operation ❑ ❑
until the ballast operation has caught up?
19. Have the intended procedures for removing cargo residues
lodged in the holds while unloading, been explained to the ❑ ❑
ship and accepted?
20. Have the procedures to adjust the final trim of the loading
ship been decided and agreed? Tonnage held by the ❑ ❑
terminal conveyor system: _________________________

21. Has the terminal been advised of the time required for the
ship to prepare for sea, on completion of cargo work? ❑ ❑

THE ABOVE HAS BEEN AGREED:

Time: _______________________ Date: ____________________________


For ship: ____________________ For terminal: _____________________
Rank: _______________________ Position/Title: _____________________

47
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS

3. FORM FOR CARGO INFORMATION


(Appendix 5 BLU Code)
Form for Cargo Information (Recommended layout)
Note: This form is not applicable if the cargo to be loaded requires a declaration under the requirements
of SOLAS 1974, chapter VII, regulation 5; MARPOL 73/78, Annex III, regulation 4; and the IMDG Code,
General Introduction, section 9.

Shipper: Reference number(s):

Consignee: Carrier:

Name/means Port/place Instructions or other matters:


of transport: of departure:

Port/place of destination:

General description of the cargo: Gross mass (kg/tonnes):


(Type of material/particle size)* ❑ General cargo
*For solid bulk cargo ❑ Cargo unit(s)
❑ Bulk cargo

Specification of bulk cargo*:


Stowage factor
Angle of repose
Trimming procedures
Chemical properties† if potential hazard
* If applicable. † e.g., IMO class, UN No. or BC No. and EmS No.

Relevant special properties of the cargo: Additional certificate(s)*:


❑ Certificate of moisture content and
transportable moisture limit
❑ Weathering certificate
❑ Exemption certificate
❑ Other (specify)
* if required

DECLARATION Name/status, company/organisation of


I hereby declare that the consignment is fully and signatory:
accurately described and that the given test results and
other specifications are correct to the best of my Place and date:
knowledge and belief and can be considered as
Signature on behalf of shipper:
representative for the cargo to be loaded.

As an aid to paper documentation, Electronic Data Processing (EDP) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
techniques may be used. This form meets the requirements of SOLAS 1974, chapter VI, regulation 2;
the BC Code and the CSS Code

48
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 10 : APPENDIX: SAMPLE FORMS AND CHECKLISTS

Example Loading/Unloading Plan:

49
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 11 : GLOSSARY

11 : GLOSSARY
Angle of repose - The maximum slope angle of non-cohesive (i.e. free-flowing) granular
material. It is the angle between a horizontal plane and the cone slope of the material.

Bending moment - A force that bends the vessel along its length.

BLU Code - The IMO Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers.

BLU Manual - The IMO Manual on loading and unloading of solid bulk cargoes for terminal
representatives.

Cargoes that may liquefy - Cargoes that contain at least some fine particles and some
moisture, usually water, although they need not be visibly wet in appearance. They may
liquefy if shipped with a moisture content in excess of their TML.

Excitation - Movement, when caused by vibration of the ship’s engine.

Hogging - If the weight is concentrated at opposite ends of the ship, the bending moment
is called ‘hogging’.

Hydrodynamic pressure - Pressure on the ship’s hull caused by waves.

IMSBC Code - International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code.

Sagging - If the weight of the cargo is concentrated in the middle of the ship, the bending
of its structure will cause ‘sagging’.

Shear force - Caused by two opposing forces acting against each other.

Solid bulk cargo - Any cargo, other than liquid or gas, consisting of a combination of
particles, granules or any larger pieces of material generally uniform in composition,
which is loaded directly into the cargo spaces of a ship without any intermediate form of
containment.

TML (Transportable Moisture Limit) - The maximum moisture content considered safe for
carriage.

Trimming - Any levelling of the cargo within a cargo space, either partial or total.

UST® (Universal Surface Tester) measurement - An instrument that determines the


micromechanical properties of materials and surfaces.

50
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 12 : ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

12 : ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

1. When restrictions on the carriage of b) The angle between the vertical plane
cargoes are imposed, the ship should and the slope down from the cone
be permanently marked with: c) The angle between the horizontal plane
a) A solid square on its side shell aft and the slope up to the cone
b) A solid triangle on its side shell at d) The angle between the vertical plane
midships and the slope up to the cone
c) A hollow triangle on its side shell
5. The TML is:
forward
d) A hollow square on its side shell at a) The maximum moisture level allowed
midships for carriage
b) The average moisture content of the cargo
2. SOLAS Chapter XII Regulation 14 c) The difference between the average
Restrictions from Sailing with Any moisture content and the maximum
Hold Empty defines an ‘empty hold’ as allowed for carriage
one that is loaded to: d) The extra moisture that is sweated out
a) Less than 10% of the hold’s maximum of the cargo in hot weather conditions
allowable cargo weight
6. ‘Shear force’ is when:
b) Less than 25% of the hold’s maximum
allowable cargo weight a) The hold is overloaded
c) More than 10% of the hold’s maximum b) The angle of repose is exceeded
allowable cargo weight c) The ship bends or twists
d) There is no minimum or maximum d) The upward and downward forces are
allowable cargo weight for a hold not in balance along the length of the
vessel
3. What is the result of overloading of
the holds? 7. ‘Sagging’ is when:

a) Liquefaction of the cargo a) The weight is concentrated at the ends


b) Oxygen depletion of the ship, bending its structure
c) Stress on the hull structure b) The weight is concentrated in the
d) A build-up of toxic gases middle of the ship, bending its
structure
4. The angle of repose of a free-flowing c) A hold is overloaded
bulk cargo in the hold is: d) Liquefaction of the cargo causes it to
a) The angle formed by the cone at the top increase in weight

51
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 12 : ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

8. ‘Hogging’ is when: d) Security on ships longer than 150m


a) The weight is concentrated at the ends
13. The BLU Code relates to:
of the ship, bending its structure
b) The weight is concentrated in the a) Security on ships longer than 150m
middle of the ship, bending its structure b) The carriage of grain
c) A hold is overloaded c) The safety of life at sea
d) Liquefaction of the cargo causes it to d) The safe loading and unloading of bulk
increase in weight carriers

9. In the event of loss of hull integrity in 14. Which of the following does NOT need
way of the cargo holds, bulk carriers to be included in the loading plan?
should be evacuated as quickly as a) Loading sequences, segregating
possible. dangerous cargoes where appropriate
TRUE OR FALSE? b) Distance between conveyor belt and the
holds
10. Trimming (of cargo) is: c) Total time to load
a) Loading the cargo slowly and at a d) Appropriate loading and unloading
steady rate rates for solid bulk cargoes
b) The partial or total levelling of the cargo e) Local loading criteria in the loading
c) Stowing the cargo in accordance with manual
the loading plan
15. The ship requires a cargo declaration
d) Cleaning the hold of cargo residue after
for all types of cargo.
discharge
TRUE OR FALSE?
11. The ship’s hatch covers must be
marked with: 16. The loading or discharge plan must be:

a) A solid equilateral triangle a) Agreed and countersigned by the ship


b) The ship’s IMO number and the terminal
c) Hold identification numbers that b) Signed by the ship only
correspond with the loading manual c) Signed by the terminal only
and loading/discharge plan d) Agreed and countersigned by the ship,
d) Hold identification numbers that the terminal and the charterer
correspond with the relevant cargo
17. Homogeneous loading is where cargo is:
numbers as set out in the IMSBC Code
a) Stowed in every other hold
12. The IMSBC Code relates to: b) Evenly trimmed
a) The carriage of solid bulk cargo c) Loaded in two or more adjoining holds
b) The handling of grain with neighbouring holds remaining empty
c) The safety of life at sea d) Loaded in every hold

52
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 12 : ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

18. Block loading is where cargo is:


a) Stowed in every other hold
b) Evenly distributed
c) Loaded in two or more adjoining holds
with neighbouring holds remaining
empty
d) Loaded in every hold

19. While loading, what should happen if


the loading and deballasting no longer
synchronise?
a) The loading must be speeded up
b) The deballasting must be slowed down
c) The ship and terminal must hold a
meeting to discuss how best to proceed
d) The ship and terminal must agree to
suspend cargo operations until the
ballasting has caught up

20. How should cargoes with an angle of


repose greater than 35° be loaded?
a) Trimmed so that the angle of repose is
significantly less than 35°.
b) Trimmed so that the angle of repose is
significantly more than 35°.
c) Loaded asymmetrically
d) Cargoes with an angle of repose
greater than 35° should never be
loaded

21. The terminal representative should


advise the Master when unloading has
been completed from each hold.
TRUE OR FALSE?

53
BULK CARRIERS - HANDLE WITH CARE EDITION 2 > 13 : ASSESSMENT ANSWERS

13 : ASSESSMENT ANSWERS
1: b

2: a

3: c

4: c

5: a

6: d

7: b

8: a

9: True

10: b

11: c

12: a

13: d

14: b

15: True

16: a

17: d

18: c

19: d

20: a

21: True

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