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Loading instrument for a bulk carrier -Why it is mandatory to use a loading manual or a loading computer ?

It is a statutory requirement of the International Load Line Convention that, noting exemptions, "the Master of every new vessel be supplied with sufficient information, in an approved form, to enable him to arrange for the loading and ballasting of his ship in such a way as to avoid the creation of any unacceptable stresses in the ship's structure." Where the Master feels that he has insufficient information regarding the structural limitations or requires advice on the interpretation of the classification society's structural limitations imposed on his ship, advice should be sought from the ship's classification society.



The cargo stowage plan should be prepared considering some basic check items such as Seasonal Load Line Zones,Port restrictions , Shipboard limits, e.g. Draft, Cargo capacity, Stability, Stresses, etc. & Loading rates. The ship's approved loading manual is an essential onboard documentation for the planning of cargo stowage, loading and discharging operations. This manual describes:

i) The loading conditions on which the design of the ship has been based, including permissible limits of still water shear force and bending moments.

ii) The results of calculations of SWSF and SWBM for each included loading condition.

iii) The allowable local loading of the structure.

iv) Operational limits.

The ship's loading manual is a ship specific document, the data contained therein is only applicable to the ship for which it has been approved.


Loading Computer for bulk carrier

The loading computer is an invaluable shipboard calculation tool which assists the ship's cargo officer in:

i) Planning and controlling cargo and ballasting operations.

ii) Rapidly calculating SWSF and SWBM for any load condition.

iii) Identifying the imposed structural limits which are not to be exceeded.

It is important to note that the loading instrument is not a substitute for the ship's loading manual. Therefore, the officer in charge should also refer to the loading manual when planning or controlling cargo operations.

A loading instrument or loading computer can be either an analog or digital system. Modern loading instruments consist of approved computational software operating on a shipboard digital PC. The ship's loading instrument is a ship specific onboard equipment and the results of the calculations are only applicable to the ship for which it has been approved.

The operation manual is an essential part of the loading instrument and should be kept onboard at all times. The ship's deck officers should familiarise themselves with the operation of the onboard loading instrument.

It is recommended ship's Master to check the accuracy of the loading instrument against the test cargo loading conditions at regular intervals.



Related Information

Care of cargo during loading- Trimming pours

Unloading cargo & handling of ballast

Risk of Heavy cargoes & Monitoring Ship's Loading limits

Preparation for cargo operations -Cargo and Port Information

Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes

How to monitor ships loaded condition

Limitations of overloading of cargo holds & countermeasures

How to monitor safe cargo operation

Unloading cargo -handling of ballast and other safety issues

International grain code for bulk cargo loading



External links




Cargo ship procedure

Container ships procedure




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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 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
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