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Agreement between ship and terminal in respect of bulk cargo loading

Cargo loading in a bulk carrier involved some limitations. Before loading commences there should be an agreement between the master and the terminal representative as to the rate of loading and order in which the cargo is to be distributed so as to achieve the final loading plan. In general, this agreement should be based on ship specific loading / unloading restrictions.

Prior loading a solid bulk cargo there should be a clear understanding between the terminal and the ship in respect of cargo loading:

the master and terminal representative should indicate agreement to the loading plan before commencement of loading by signing the plan in the spaces provided;

The master should state on the agreed loading plan, the order in which the holds are to be loaded, the weight of each pour, the total weight in each hold and the amount of cargo for vessel trimming purposes, if required;

The terminal representative, on receipt of the ship's initial loading plan should advise the master of the nominal loading rate at which the ship may expect to receive the cargo and the estimated time required to complete each pour.



Where it is not practical for the ship to completely discharge its ballast water prior to reaching the trimming stage in the loading process, the master and the terminal representative should agree on the times at which loading may need to be suspended and the duration of such suspensions;

The loading plan should be prepared so as to ensure that all ballast pumping rates and loading rates are considered carefully to avoid overstressing the hull.

The quantities of cargo required to achieve the departure draft and trim should allow for all cargo on the terminal's conveyor systems to be run off and empty on completion of a loading. The terminal representative should advise the master of the nominal tonnage contained on its conveyor system and any requirements for clearing the conveyor system on completion of loading.

The communication arrangements between the ship and terminal should be capable of responding to requests for information on the loading process and of prompt compliance in the event that the master or terminal representative orders loading to be suspended. Consideration should be given to the disposition of cargo on the conveyor systems and to the response time in the event of an emergency stop.


The following are considered important procedures in respect of cargo loading

.1 the master and terminal representative should indicate agreement to the loading plan before commencement of loading by signing the plan in the spaces provided;

.2 the master should state on the agreed loading plan, the order in which the holds are to be loaded, the weight of each pour, the total weight in each hold and the amount of cargo for vessel trimming purposes, if required;

.3 the terminal representative, on receipt of the ship's initial loading plan

should advise the master of the nominal loading rate at which the ship may expect to receive the cargo and the estimated time required to complete each pour;

.4 where it is not practical for the ship to completely discharge its ballast water prior to reaching the trimming stage in the loading process, the master and the terminal representative should agree on the times at which loading may need to be suspended and the duration of such suspensions;

.5 the loading plan should be prepared so as to ensure that all ballast pumping rates and loading rates are considered carefully to avoid overstressing the hull;

.6 the quantities of cargo required to achieve the departure draft and trim should allow for all cargo on the terminal's conveyor systems to be run off and empty on completion of a loading. The terminal representative should advise the master of the nominal tonnage contained on its conveyor system and any requirements for clearing the conveyor system on completion of loading; and

.7 communication arrangements between the ship and terminal should be capable of responding to requests for information on the loading process and of prompt compliance in the event that the master or terminal representative orders loading to be suspended. Consideration should be given to the disposition of cargo on the conveyor systems and to the response time in the event of an emergency stop.



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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. For any remarks please Contact us

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