Monitoring the Ship's Loaded Condition- Bulk carriers cargo operation guideline

The officer in charge should closely monitor the ship's condition during cargo operations to ensure that if a significant deviation from the agreed loading/unloading plan is detected all cargo and ballast operations must stop.

The officer in charge should ensure that,
i) the cargo operation and intended ballast procedure are synchronised.
ii) draught surveys are conducted at appropriate steps of the loading plan to verify the ship's loading condition. The draught readings, usually taken at amidships and the fore and aft perpendiculars, should be in good agreement with values calculated in the loading plan.
iii) ballast tanks are sounded to verify their contents and rate of ballasting/deballasting.
iv) the cargo load is in agreement with the figures provided by the terminal.
v) the shearing forces /bending moments and, where appropriate, hold cargo weight versus draught calculations are performed at intermediate stages of the cargo operation. These results should be logged, for recording purposes, against the appropriate position in the loading plan.



Following a deviation from the loading plan, the officer in charge should take all necessary corrective actions to:

a) Restore the ship to the original loading/unloading plan, if possible, or

b) Replan the rest of the loading/unloading operation, ensuring that the stress and operational limits of the ship are not exceeded at any intermediate stages.

The modified loading/unloading plan should be agreed by both the officer responsible for the loading plan and the cargo terminal representative. Cargo operations should not resume until the officer in charge gives a clear indication to the terminal of his readiness to proceed with the cargo operation.

Hull Damage Caused by Cargo Operations

All damages should be reported to the ship's Master. Where hull damage is identified, which may affect the integrity of the hull structure and the seaworthiness of the ship, the ship's owner and classification society must be informed.

A general inspection of the cargo spaces, hatch covers and deck is recommended to identify any physical damage of the hull structure. Any structural damage found is to be reported to the classification society and for major damage, cargo operations are not to be undertaken.



Related Information

Risk of exceeding shearing forces & bending moments limitations

How to avoid bulk carrier structural damage from grab operation

Risk of Heavy cargoes & Monitoring the Ship's Loading limits

Inadequate cargo weight measurement during loading - How to avoid shortfall

  • Ventilation requirement for bulk cargo loaded


  • Local loading criteria defining maximum allowable cargo weight in each cargo hold

    Suitability of Shore Terminals for handling bulk cargo

    Preparation for ships carrying bulk cargo & standard loading condition




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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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