Solid bulk cargoes are defined as any cargoes that are
transported in a loose form without any packaging. The
IMO defines these as:
"any material, other than a liquid or gas, consisting
of a combination of particles, granules or any other
larger pieces of material, generally uniform in
composition, which is loaded directly into the cargo
spaces of a ship without any intermediate form of
Bulk cargoes commonly transported on ships include
fertilisers, coal, grains, sugar, ores, minerals etc.
The master should ensure he receives
from the shipper of the intended cargo details
of the nature of the cargo required by
chapter VI of SOLAS 1974, as amended.
Where additional details, such as trimming or
continuous measurement of the water in the
cargo, etc., are required, the master should
inform the terminal accordingly.
Before commencement of loading of a
solid bulk cargo, the shipper must provide the
master with the characteristics and properties of
the cargo, including:
i) Stowage factor, angle of repose, trimming
procedures, and likelihood of shifting.
ii) The transportable moisture limit and
average moisture content where
Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes - BLU code)
iii) Flammability, toxicity, corrosiveness,
chemical, oxygen depletion and any other
hazards of the cargo, as applicable.
The terminal representative should verify
that the master has received the relevant cargo
declaration form information, as applicable, in
The master should inform the terminal
representative of any particular precautions to be
taken with the loading or unloading of the cargo.
Ship master should aware that a bulk cargo may be carried as the only cargo on his ship
or as one of a number of different commodities carried
in different holds.
The ship is responsible for loading
the cargo at all times. The safety
of the ship and those onboard is
paramount. In preparing for any
cargo loading operation,
commercial understanding and cooperation with the
loading terminal is essential to ensure maximum
The loading of the ship must be done in
accordance with the ship's instructions, not those of
the terminal. In the event of any unresolved
differences involving safe loading or the safety of the
ship after loading, it is recommended the master should inform immediately to ships agent, the port safety services or the
coastguard where appropriate.
For any remarks please
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"Sea going Bulk carriers are ship types intended primarily to carry dry cargo
in bulk, including such types as ore carriers and
Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea.
Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal.
- Additional cargo documents required for bulk cargo loading
What is ship sweat or cargo sweat - action required at sea
- Bulk carrier acceptability of loading regulation
- Preparation for ships carrying bulk cargo & standard loading condition
- Information to ship from terminal prior loading bulk cargo
- Local loading criteria defining maximum allowable cargo weight in each cargo hold
- High loading rates by shore terminal and potential problems for bulk carriers
- Requirement for ballast exchange ar sea
- Risk of partially filled ballast tanks
- Bulk carrier design limitations - Over stressing on ships structure & countermeasures
- Causes of structural damage and countermeasures
- Deterioration of ships hull and consequences of hull damage /forward flooding
- Bulk carrier hull damage - causes and preventive measures
- How to avoid damage during cargo operation
- How to arrange repair of damage during cargo loading/unloading
- Bulk carrier water ingress problem