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Cargo stowage plan for general cargo ships

What is a cargo plan

A ship’s cargo plan shows the distribution as well as the disposition of all parcels of cargo aboard the vessel.The plan is formulated usually from the workbooks of the ‘deck officers’, a fair copy being produced before departure from the final port of loading. This allows copies of the plan to be made before the vessel sails.The copies are forwarded to agents at ports of discharge to allow the booking and reservation of labour, as appropriate.

It is important to plan in advance, both at the shore terminal and offshore to aid effective cargo securing. The objective of pre-planning is the safe and practical restraint of cargo carried on the deck of offshore support vessels so that personnel, ship and cargo may be reasonably protected at all stages of carriage, and during cargo operations offshore.

The cargo plan should include relevant details of cargoes, i.e. total quantity, description of package, bales, pallets etc., tonnage, port of discharge, identification marks and special features if and when separated.The port of discharge is normally ‘highlighted’ in one specific colour, reducing the likelihood of a parcel of cargo being overcarried to the next port. Cargoes which may have an optional port of discharge are often double-coloured to the requirements of both ports.

Additional information, such as the following, generally appears on most plans:
The plan provides at a glance the distribution of the cargo and shows possible access to it in the event of fire or the cargo shifting. Its most common function is to limit overcarriage and the possibility of short delivery at the port of discharge. It also allows cargo operations, stevedores, rigging equipment, lifting gear and so on to be organised without costly delays to the ship.

All cargo should be stowed having due regard to the order of discharge. When planning the position of cargo and the order of loading and unloading, the effects that these operations will have upon access and the safety of personnel should be considered. The following points should be taken into account:
Deck cargo should be stowed in accordance with the statutory regulations, and kept clear of hatch coamings to allow safe access. Access to safety equipment, fire fighting equipment (particularly fire hydrants) and sounding pipes should also be kept free. Any obstructions in the access way such as lashings or securing points should be painted white to make them more easily visible. Where this is impracticable and cargo is stowed against ship's rails or hatch coamings to such a height that the rails or coamings do not give effective protection to personnel from falling overboard or into the open hold, temporary fencing should be provided .

General Stowage

Charter Parties normally call for the cargo to be loaded under the supervision and/or responsibility of the Master who must ensure that the stowage is safe and does not endanger his ship. The charterer, of course, may have time considerations foremost in his mind and not be as concerned about a safe stowage as the Master. However, should the Master be dissatisfied with the stow for any reason, loading should be stopped and the matter brought to the attention of the superintending stevedore and the charterer's representative. Tallies and mates receipts must accurately record the quantity and condition of the cargo. To issue a Bill of Lading that does not accurately reflect the condition of a cargo is fraud .

When loading in several ports, the stowage is likely to be carried out by different stevedoring companies and, unless supervised by the Master and his officers, there may be a tendency for the stevedores to choose easily accessible stows for their cargo. The loading stevedore may have despatch at his end more in mind than speed of operation at the port of discharge. Thus, if left without firm guidance and control, he may find it to his advantage to confine to one or two holds cargo which would discharge twice as fast if stowed in three or four.

Stowage should aim at distributing the cargo for any particular load or discharge port equally in every hold, such that all the cargo handling equipment is employed to full capacity throughout loading and discharging operations. It is best to ensure that the "heavy" hatch does not have to remain working for extensive periods after all other hatches are finished and have been battened down, with the added restriction, probably, of only one gang and one hook being able to get access to the space being worked.

Where foodstuffs and fine goods are stowed (i.e. goods such as carpets, clothes, etc., which may be easily damaged or take on taint) only clean nail-free dunnage should be used and stowage should be found in separate compartments away from such obnoxious commodities as creosote, aniline, essential oils, petroleum, copra, hides, manures, cassia, certain chemicals, turpentine, newly sawn or most kinds of timber, green fruit, onions, etc.

Weighty packages such as cases of machinery, railway bar or plate iron, blocks of stones, ore billets, ingots or pigs of metal, etc., should always be stowed on the tanktop or floor with lighter cargo on top. As a general rule, fragile and light packages should be stowed in `tween deck spaces­the deck of such being, if necessary or advisable, covered with weighty goods­where they will not be subjected to excessive top weight.

The nature of the packages sometimes calls for them to be kept in a certain position, i.e. coils and rings on the flat, etc. Avoid stowing bale and light goods on top of cargo which has life and spring, or against bulk head stiffeners, deck beams, brackets, frames, stanchions or other projections, using plenty of dunnage to protect them from contacting such projections and rough surfaces.

Each tier should be kept as level as possible (with packages of uniform size it should be perfectly level). Packages should not be stowed in such a manner or position that they tilt either way, as will occur at the turn of the bilge or with the rise in floor in the fore part of the forward hold, etc. Properly placed dunnage or bridging will ensure that this does not occur.

Broken Stowage

Any break in stowage­or broken stowage­caused by the presence of pillars, stanchions, brackets, web frames, etc., for the filling of which certain packages are not available, or space which is unsuitable to receive a package of cargo, should be packed firmly with suitable dunnage or airbags, in order to prevent movement of cargo in a seaway and to afford a stable and level platform for the next tier.

The loss of valuable cargo space, where the nature of the cargo justifies economy, is best avoided by:
  1. Compactness of stowage.
  2. Selecting packages which, by the nature and value of their contents and their construction, are suitable for filling broken stowage. Reels of barbed wire, bales of binder twine, coils of small wire, for example, are very useful for this purpose.
  3. Always keeping a supply of such packages, or of low freighted goods, ready at hand in the holds, for use when wanted.
  4. Stowing casks and drums upright rather than on their sides.
  5. Nesting and/or stowing pipes "bell and cantline". Blocking in spaces left between large cases with smaller packages. Care should be taken that these packages cannot become crushed.
  6. Special selection of cargo suitable for filling beam spaces, i.e. cargo which is not liable to chafe or damage by sweat, if moist or heated cargo is carried in the same compartment, or refrigerated cargo in the compartment above. It should be borne in mind that 6­8% of the hold capacity in `tween decks may be contained between the deck beams.

Summarized below some more details on general cargo ship cargo handling procedure and operational info:
  1. Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  2. Suitable safety nets or temporary fencing should be rigged where personnel have to walk or climb across built-up cargo, and are therefore at risk of falling .
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  3. Various cargo handling techniques

  4. (a) Technological advances in ship design and lifting equipment (b) Rapid development and increase in the tonnages of bulk cargo (c) The impact of unitisation, and (d) The new and modern techniques of refrigeration, particularly with container carriage.
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  5. Cargo information rules

  6. The MS (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/336) [Regulation 4(1)] specifies that the shipper must provide such information to the operator or master sufficiently in advance of loading to enable them to ensure that: • the different commodities to be carried are compatible with each other or suitably separated;.
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  7. Cargo packaging - general cargo ships procedure

  8. To achieve compatibility between cargo owners and the owners of the means of transport requires knowledge of the cargo-handling procedures in transport. These procedures are described with reference to major characteristics of commodities and cargoes. .
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  9. Cargo stowage plan

  10. The copies are forwarded to agents at ports of discharge to allow the booking and reservation of labour, as appropriate. Relevant details of cargoes, i.e. total quantity, description of package, bales, pallets etc., tonnage, port of discharge, identification marks and special features if and when separated .
    More .....

  11. Shipment procedure for cargoes in different forms

  12. General cargo is a term that covers a great variety of goods. In regard to modern cargo handling it refers to loose cargo that has not been consolidated for handling with mechanical means such as unitised or containerised cargo. It refers to individual items of any type of cargo, bagged or baled items, cases or crates, individual drums or barrels pieces of machinery or small items of steel construction. .
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  13. Information exchange on cargo stowage and planning

  14. Advance planning, exchange of information, and continuous ship to shore communication are all critical. All cargoes should be stowed and secured in a manner that will avoid exposing the ship and persons on board to unnecessary risk.
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  15. Lifting and carriage of deck cargo

  16. The safe securing of all deck cargoes should be checked by a competent person before the vessel proceeds on passage. The master is responsible for ensuring that it is correctly stowed and adequately secured for the intended voyage. Areas on the deck which are not to be used for cargo stowage should be clearly marked or otherwise indicated. .
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  17. Safe use of pesticides on board cargo ships

  18. Ship's personnel should not handle fumigants and such operations should be carried out only by qualified operators. Fumigation should only be carried out with the agreement of the ship's master..
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  19. Types of packaging & stowage methods for break bulk cargo

  20. The rigging time being negligible, and the crane is able to pick up and land permitted loads anywhere within its working radius. .
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  21. Various commodities carried by general cargo ships

  22. Cargoes should be stowed and secured in a manner that will avoid exposing the ship and persons on board to unnecessary risk. The safe stowage and securing of cargo depends upon proper planning, execution and supervision by properly qualified and experienced personnel. .
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  23. Methods of ventilation

  24. The holds of most dry cargo ships are ventilated by a mechanical supply and natural exhaust system .
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  25. Carriage of containers on cargo ships

  26. The process of loading and securing of goods into a container should follow the IMO/ILO/UN/ECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs). Special care should be taken when lifting a container the centre of gravity of which is mobile, e.g. a tank container, bulk container or a container with contents which are hanging..
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  27. Working in cargo spaces safely

  28. Safety arrangements prior to working cargo should ensure that adequate and suitable lifting plant is available, in accordance with the register of lifting appliances and cargo gear, .
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  29. Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  30. Suitable safety nets or temporary fencing should be rigged where personnel have to walk or climb across built-up cargo, and are therefore at risk of falling .
    More .....

  31. Bgged cargo handling various technics

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