What is meant by solid bulk cargo ?What information required by ship master prior handling such cargo

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 containment".

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 (Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes - BLU code) applies.

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 good time.

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 efficiency.

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.





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A Bulk carrier underway
"Sea going Bulk carriers are ship types intended primarily to carry dry cargo in bulk, including such types as ore carriers and combination carriers"

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.








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