This test should not be a substitute for proper laboratory testing using an appropriate methodology. However, if can tests carried out on a cargo presented for loading indicate a propensity for liquefaction, this is a major warning sign that the cargo as a whole may be unsafe for carriage.
Fig:stage 3( after a failure on this occasion )
Expert advice should then be sought. If shippers present significant amounts of material that fails the can test, this is an indication that the cargo as a whole is unsafe, and that documentation provided may be flawed. It should also be borne in mind that a negative result from the can test (i.e. no free moisture or fluid condition is seen) does not necessarily mean that the cargo is safe for shipment.
Advice to Owners and Masters on Loading
Although it is the shippers duty under SOLAS to test and certify that a cargo is safe to load experience has shown that in some cases this does not always occur. Therefore, the actions of owners and masters before arrival and, most importantly, at the load port are crucial in ensuring that a vessel is protected from loading a cargo that may liquefy. Masters and ship operators should always bear in mind the possibility that the information contained within the shippers declaration, for whatever reason, may not accurately reflect the true condition of the cargo.
Documentation and Information
Members must ensure that cargo interests have provided the necessary cargo documentation, that the information is up to date (moisture content should be taken within 7 days of loading for cargo that may liquefy) and takes into account any recent events (e.g. heavy rain) that may change the characteristics of the cargo.
The master should be made fully aware of the characteristics of the cargo to be loaded. The provision of the information to the vessel should ideally take place well in advance of loading to enable the master to prepare for the planned loading, including the appointment of surveyors and or cargo specialists to protect Members interests if thought necessary.
Master to be aware of any known problems with a particular cargo or of any recent abnormal precipitation at the load port or point of origin of the cargo. There are no circumstances in which it is considered prudent to load cargo liable to liquefy without first having received the appropriate cargo documentation relating to the cargo to be shipped on that vessel i.e. a properly completed shippers declaration, and a signed TML and moisture content certificate indicating that the cargo is safe to load.
Decision to Load
The masters decision to commence loading is critical in avoiding the problems associated with cargoes that liquefy. High loading rates mean that vessels can have many thousands of tonnes of cargo loaded in just a few hours.
To safeguard a vessel and its crew and to avoid the delays, disputes and other problems associated with discharging a cargo that is unsuitable for transportation the master must satisfy himself, as far as can be reasonably determined, as to the suitability of the cargo for loading. If at all practicable the master should arrange to view the cargo stockpiles to be loaded onboard as the condition of the stockpiled cargo may indicate potential problems with liquefaction. Samples collected from these stockpiles may be Can Tested for signs of liquefaction before loading.
Where doubt exists as to the characteristics of the cargo to be loaded the master should delay the start of the loading operation and contact his owners. In such circumstances it is advisable to appoint an independent surveyor or cargo specialist for advice. Always remember that removing unsuitable cargo from the vessel can be highly problematic. In the case of cargoes known to liquefy and which have resulted in problems for vessels, e.g. iron ore fines ex India during the South West Monsoon season, it will be to owners advantage to appoint independent surveyors to sample and inspect the cargo to be loaded prior to a vessels arrival and to assist the master throughout the load.
Awareness During Loading
As the first cargo comes aboard the vessel the master and his officers should endeavour to take samples and test them using the Can Test as described in Section 8 of the IMSBC Code. Ideally, further such testing should take place at regular and frequent intervals during loading to ensure that the condition of the cargo coming onboard is safe throughout the loading operation. The location of the sample may be critical. A wet cargo exposed to sunshine for a few days may be dry on the surface but still have a high moisture content at the base or at intermediate layers. It is therefore important that a cross section of the cargo is sampled.
The characteristics of the cargo within the hold should also be monitored for signs of excess moisture. Cargo monitoring throughout the loading operation is necessary to try to detect cargo that may liquefy being loaded. Where a master is in any doubt as to the suitability of the cargo for transportation loading should suspended, owners informed, the Association contacted and an independent surveyor or cargo specialist called in to assist the master with the further assessment of the cargo. Weather conditions during the load may also require the suspension of the loading operation. Loading cargoes liable to liquefy during heavy rain is an unnecessary risk. Where the vessel is engaged in carrying a cargo that is not listed in the IMSBC Code then Section 1.3 of the Code should be followed.
Cargo Unsuitable for Shipment Already Aboard
Suspect cargo should be sampled by an independent laboratory and, if found to be beyond its TML, then the safest option is to discharge the cargo. This sounds simple but unfortunately experience has shown that once a vessel has loaded wet cargo getting rid of it at the load port can be highly problematic for the vessel.
Commercial reluctance on the part of the shippers and ports to accept/unload the unsuitable cargo can lead to severe delays and larges costs. In the worst cases these situations can drag on for months. There may also be damage to valuable commercial relationships should such a dispute arise. It is always best for the vessels safety and in the owners interest that iron ore fines unsuitable for shipment are identified before they come onboard.
Our detail pages illustrated many safety aspects of Bulk carrier
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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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