Preparation for bulk carrier loading - shipside loading plan & responsibility
Solid bulk cargo means any material, other than liquid or gas , consisting of a combination of particles , granules or any larger piece of material, generally uniform in composition, which is loaded directly into the cargo spaces of a ship without any immediate form of containment. Example of
such dry cargo are grain, sugar and ores in bulk.
How to make a loading plan in accordance with the ship's loading manual
The ship's approved loading manual is an essential onboard documentation for the planning of cargo stowage & loading operation.
For each step of the loading operation the
loading plan should also show the amount
of ballast and the tanks to be deballasted,
the ship's draught and trim, and the
calculated shear stress and bending
moments.Exceeding the permissible limits specified in the ship's approved loading manual will lead to over-stressing of the ship's structure and may result in catastrophic failure of the hull structure.
It is imperative to carry out draft checks
at regular intervals during the loading, and
particularly when between about 75-90%
of the cargo is loaded. The tonnage
loaded should be compared with the
terminal's weight figure, and adjustments
to the final trimming figures determined
and agreed accordingly.
Any changes to the loading plan required
by either terminal or ship should be made
known as soon as possible and agreed by
the master and terminal representative.
Stresses resulting from any changes must
remain within the ship's hull stress
High impact cargo drops and exceeding
maximum load limits on tanks tops should
To avoid over-stressing the ship:
a) Cargo should be distributed evenly
within each hold and trimmed to the
boundaries of the cargo space to
minimize the risk of it shifting at sea.The quantity of cargo to be trimmed into the fore and aft holds should be delivered exactly as required to ensure the ship finishes with the required fore and aft draughts and trim. This will ensure it will be able to depart from the load port and proceed to and arrive at its unloading port safely and with the required under keel clearance.
b) Cargo should not be loaded high
against one hold bulkhead or one side,
and low against the other.
c)Each hold should be loaded using at
least two separate pours per hold.
d) The terminal should maintain an
accurate record of the tonnages loaded
in each pour into each hold.
e) Sudden increases in the loading rates
causing significant overloading should
The amount of cargo remaining on the
belts depends on the loading rate at the
time. This should be known by the loader
operator and the terminal representative
Ship/shore communications arrangements
should be confirmed when completing the
ship/shore safety checklist, giving all
necessary details and contact details for
both ship and terminal including:
a) Language and terminology to be used.
b)Location of telephones and terminal
offices, normal communications
procedures and telephone numbers.
c) Emergency communications
procedures and telephone numbers.
d) Designated port VHF Channels
Clarify procedures for providing the duty
officer with the tonnage loaded and the
loading rate as required.
Clarify arrangements for stops to carry out
Clarify arrangements for reporting ship
damage by stevedores.
The ship should provide the terminal with
its proposed unloading plan in advance of the
The terminal representative should
co-ordinate with the master and agree upon a plan
before operations begin.
Agreeing the unloading plan prior to
arrival simplifies matters for all concerned when
the ship does arrive, as there usually is little time
for the master to re-calculate the unloading plan
after the ship has arrived and is ready to
Master should ensure that the terminal
representative is provided with accurate
information in good time so as the loader/
unloader operator can be notified of the
Ships responsibility during cargo operation:
The ship is responsible for loading
the cargo at all times. The safety
of the ship and those onboard is
paramount. In preparing for any
cargo loading operation,
commercial understanding and cooperation with the
loading terminal is essential to ensure maximum
efficiency. The loading of the ship must be done in
accordance with the ship's instructions, not those of
the terminal. In the event of any unresolved
differences involving safe loading or the safety of the
ship after loading, in addition to advising owners agent or
operating office it is recommended that the situation
is discussed with the port safety services or the
Terminal preparation prior loading /unloading
Responsibility of terminal representative for handling bulk cargo
Ship-terminal information exchange for handling solid bulk cargo
Required information from ship to terminal prior loading / unloading bulk cargo
Required information from terminal to ship prior loading / unloading bulk cargo
Suitability of Shore Terminals for handling bulk cargo
Preparation for ships carrying bulk cargo & standard loading condition
Checklist to Show stability, hull strength, draft and trim of the vessel
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
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"A ship which is intended primarily to carry dry cargo
in bulk, including such types as ore carriers and
- Cargo information required by ship master prior handling bulk cargo
- Care of cargo during loading- Trimming pours
- Terminal information required by ships handling bulk cargo
- Checklist for confirming stabilty and hull stress prior loading
- Cargo loading agreement between ship and terminal
- Bulk carrier loading manual
- Handling of deballasting (ship duties) during high loading rate
- Cargo and ballast handling guide
- Responsibility of ship during cargo operation
- Shipboard hazards & bulk carriers safety guideline
- Asymmetric cargo and ballast distribution for bulk carriers
- Limitations on exceeding load lines
- Risk of deviation from the loading limitations
- Cargo handling guidance for deck officers