It is important to emphasise again that every stage
of loading ballast should be considered, keeping the
longitudinal stresses in mind.
When the discharge plan has been prepared, a
signature should be obtained from the stevedores to
confirm their agreement. The watchkeeping officers
should then be fully briefed about the operation to
ensure their understanding and compliance at all
The plan should be amended only by the chief
officer, who should also inform the relevant personnel.
The watchkeeping officers should be extra vigilant
in the completion of discharging from any cargo
hold, particularly if grabs, bulldozers or other similar
equipment is being used within the hold. This is to
ensure that the stevedores do not cause any damage
and, if any damage is caused, that the chief officer/
Master is immediately notified and an entry made in
Once the discharging is complete, the watchkeeping
officer should inspect the cargo hold to ensure
completion of discharging and that the ship's structure
has not been damaged in any way. Many ports
require Masters to issue an empty hold certificate
on completion of discharge, while
the P&I Clubs recommend obtaining the same from
receivers or stevedores. Normally, one party prepares
the certificate and the other signs to acknowledge it.
Arrival at the Discharge Port
Upon arrival port some preparations that need to consider:
Notice of Readiness
- Once the appropriate paperwork has been
completed, usually the first task is to conduct
the draught survey. If the consignee has not
appointed a draught surveyor, the chief officer
should still carry out the calculations for the ship's
- to safeguard the shipowner's interests, it is
important to inspect the cargo's condition as soon
as the hatches are opened. Where cargo damage
is suspected, taking pictures before commencing
cargo operations is highly recommended. Any
damage to the ship's structure or the cargo
should immediately be noted
- if the receiver has appointed a draught surveyor
and the charterparty does not specify anything
about opening of hatch covers prior to berthing,
then these should be opened in his presence to
obtain evidence if needed.
The requirements for tendering the NOR apply to the
discharging port in the same manner as for the loading
port. The laytime commences only if the NOR has been
Cargo Samples when Discharging
Similar to the cargo sampling requirement at the
loading port, the receiver may ask the ship to provide
samples of the cargoes prior to discharging operations.
Cargo Calculation - Draught Survey
Cargo quantity discrepancies are quite common in
the bulk cargo trade, even though there may be no
obvious reason for a discrepancy. There are a number
of possibilities for the final quantity of cargo:
i)An ideal situation is where the quantity of cargo
loaded is exactly the same as the quantity of
cargo discharged, there are no discrepancies and
no likelihood of disputes
ii) another situation is where the cargo quantity
established in the discharging port draught survey
is more than that for the loading port. In this case,
either the cargo may have absorbed moisture or
more cargo was loaded than intended
iii) the third situation is where there is a short landing
of cargo. In this case, the receiver usually files
a claim against the carrier. The Master should
immediately inform the charterer, managers and
P&I Club as appropriate to seek advice.
In the majority of cases, if the cargo has been loaded
in one port and discharged in another port, the cargo
quantity discrepancy is merely a paper exercise without
any factual exchange of finances. However, if the cargo
has been discharged in more than one port, to resolve
the issues, surveyors are called in by all concerned
parties to estimate the quantities based on figures
obtained by draught surveys, etc.
During a voyage, a surprising amount of water can
be discharged from the bilge depending on what
cargo is carried, the location and the weather at the
time of loading. Cargo stored in the open ashore can
accumulate and retain water for many weeks prior
to loading. Over a prolonged voyage a considerable
weight, ie in excess of 100 tonnes on a 4 week voyage,
can be discharged. This illustrates this necessity of
keeping a bilge water drainage log.
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.
- Cargo damage survey guideline
- Cargo handling guideline for bulk carrier
- Classification of various dry bulk commodities