marine engineering

Home page||Ship employment ||

Shipment procedure for cargoes in different forms - general cargo ships guideline

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.

If general cargo is to be loaded on a ship in general stow it is usually man handled into place. Hence the reason why general cargo is rarely seen in developed countries today, the cost of handling such items is prohibitive and the time taken is unacceptable for most maritime operations.

In stow, general cargo is susceptible to crushing damage from other items of cargo or damage from the ship's steel work, general handling damage, sweat damage and from pilferage. Hence cargo stowed in this state must be protected with suitable dunnage depending on the type of cargo and the risk of such cargo in stow.

For example, bagged cargo if susceptible to moisture damage should never be stowed against the steel in the cargo compartment, some type of dunnage or cargo battens must be placed between the cargo and the steel work.

Cargo susceptible to crushing General cargo must be appropriately labelled. Usually with the port of destination and must be placed in top stow. Food stuff can often taint other cargoes so must be stowed apart. Some cargoes need ventilation and must be stowed accordingly.

Cargo that has a value to any individual must be protected from pilferage, examples of this are shoes and clothing, beer and spirits, grocery items and electrical goods. the consignee's identification, this is called the ‘cargo mark’. And it is this mark that is also shown on the Bill of Lading and the Cargo Manifest.
 International sysmbol for cargo stowing
International sysmbol for cargo stowing

Shipment of ore in a general cargo ship

While it is now very uncommon for ore to be carried in a `tween deck cargo ship, it should be noted that the cargo should be spread between both the hold and the `tween deck(s) and trimmed into the ends and wings of each space to ensure that stresses are kept to a minimum. Great care must be taken to ensure that prescribed tanktop and deck loadings are not exceeded.

Should the ore be forming only part of the cargo, it must be levelled off and a substantial separation laid to ensure that any overstowing cargo is completely protected from contact with the ore. Such separation should consist of at least dunnage and plastic sheeting. Great care should be taken in selecting cargo to overstow ore as it is likely to prove impossible to provide complete protection from contamination and/or wet damage. Oils or acids should never be stowed on or over ore.

It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure that general cargo is presented for shipment suitably packaged to prevent damage in handling. If there is any risk in handling damage then the items should be clearly marked with the international symbols as shown above.

Due to the numerous small parcels making up general cargo, it is usual to tally such cargo onto the vessel while loading and in some instances discharge tallies are also conducted. Cargo quantity on board is confirmed by the ship's officers signing a Mate's Receipt, details from the Mate's Receipt then make up the information on the Bill of Lading.

Tallies, Mates Receipts and thence Bill of Ladings must accurately record the quantity and condition of the cargo. The ship is then obliged to discharge the cargo at its destination in the same quantity and condition as stated on the Bill of Lading. If it does not then the carrier (the shipowner) is liable.

It is important therefore, that any defects, damage, lack of suitable packaging, or any deterioration whatsoever to general cargo sighted by the ship during or prior to loading is outlined on the Mates Receipt. The Bill of Lading must then be suitably claused prior to signing by the ship's Master or his agent.

Obviously the usual type of ship carrying general cargo are general cargo vessels, although it is not unusual for bulk carriers to carry certain types of general cargo such as forest or steel products. In addition it is fairly common for bulk carriers to also carry large quantities of bagged cargo, although this is often referred to a specialised or particular bulk cargo.
Cargo handling at conventional berth
Cargo handling at conventional berth

Carriage of cargo rules for merchant ships

The MS (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/336) specifies that the master and terminal representative must agree a loading plan before bulk cargoes are loaded. The plan must be adhered to, and the master may stop loading if the permissible limits are or might be breached.“Cargo” is defined in regulation 2 as any cargo which, owing to its particular hazard to ships or persons on board, may require special precautions, with the exception of liquids carried in bulk and gases carried in bulk. (The Regulations do not, therefore, apply to oil, gas and chemical tankers or ships carrying noxious liquid substances in bulk.)

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 .
    More .....

  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.
    More .....

  5. Cargo liquefaction countermeasures

  6. Liquefaction may be a particular problem with moisture-laden cargoes such as some ores, fines and mineral concentrates. It occurs when the motion of the ship (vibration caused by machinery, rolling and pitching) causes the cargo to compact and the consequent reduction in space between cargo particles causes an increase in water pressure in the reduced space which then reduces friction between cargo particles thus allowing the cargo to behave like a liquid, i.e. to liquefy. more

  7. Cargo information rules

  8. 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;.
    More .....

  9. Cargo packaging - general cargo ships procedure

  10. 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. .
    More .....

  11. Cargo stowage plan

  12. 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 .....

    Cargo handling procedure for heavy indivisible loads
    Heavy indivisible loads may be defined as those which, because of their mass and/or shape cannot be handled by the normal gear available on board ship or on the quay alongside.
    More .....

  13. Livestock handling brief procedure

  14. The transport of animals is subject to legislation in many countries. Where risk of disease may exist this legislation is rigorously enforced. In most cases the legislation not only covers the importation of animals, but also the transit of animals, through a port.
    More .....

  15. Unitised cargo handling technics for general cargo ship

  16. A grouping together of two or more items (usually of a homogeneous nature) and securing them with banding, glue, shrinkwrap, slings (e.g. clover leaf), to form a unit which, .
    More .....

  17. Bagged Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  18. Bagged commodities need to be sufficiently robust to withstand external pressure and compression, as the bag is designed to contain the contents rather than provide any substantial protection against external damage. .
    More .....

  19. Bales & bundles handling procedure for general cargo ship

  20. Most baled commodities are impervious to damage from rolling or dropping from limited heights. However, it can be dangerous to drop bales of rubber due to their ability to bounce in any direction..
    More .....

  21. Cases,Crates,Cartons, Drums,Barrels,Casks, etc.Handling technics

  22. Cases and crates are usually constructed of plywood or thin low grade timber. Heavier cases may be built up of 150mm×5mm (6×1) planks with strengthening pieces internally and externally while some are built in a skeletal fashion to allow air to permeate through the contents and/or to reduce the weight. .
    More .....

  23. DG Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  24. The IMDG Code recognises nine broad classes of Dangerous Goods. For the correct classification and labelling of Dangerous Goods reference should be made to the IMDG Code. .
    More .....

  25. Methods of ventilation used in general cargo ships

  26. Ventilation of cargo may be necessary to remove heat, dissipate gas, help prevent condensation and/or remove taint. Heat may be generated by live fruit, wet hides, vermin, and commodities liable to spontaneous combustion .
    More .....

  27. Methods of stowage used in general cargo ships

  28. The stowage factor of any cargo is the volume which a certain amount in weight of that cargo occupies. It is usually measures in cubic feet per long ton or alternatively in cubic metres per metric ton. If the stowage factor is 20, it indicates a heavy cargo. If it is 100, it indicates that the cargo is light.
    More .....

  29. Special cargo handling in general cargo ships

  30. Ventilation of cargo may be necessary to remove heat, dissipate gas, help prevent condensation and/or remove taint. Heat may be generated by live fruit, wet hides, vermin, and commodities liable to spontaneous combustion .
    More .....

  31. Intermediate Bulk Containers ( I.B.C.)handling technics - general cargo ship procedure

  32. An I.B.C. is a disposable or re-usable container designed for the carriage of bulk commodities in parcels of between 0.5 and 3.0 tonnes.
    More .....

  33. Dunnage requirement for general cargo ships

  34. The traditional reasons for the use of dunnage have been largely superseded with the introduction of containers and general cargo ships with shallower decks and holds.
    More .....

  35. Methods of refrigeration used in general cargo ships

  36. Refrigeration is essentially the removal of heat through the process of evaporation. We choose to refrigerate commodities such as fruits and vegetables because we want to prolong their “practical shelf life” – the time from harvest until the product loses its commercial value.
    More .....

  37. Deck Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  38. A large variety of goods, because of their inherent properties (length, height, weight, etc.) may be carried on deck. "On deck" means an uncovered space and includes deck houses having doors which can be continuously open (except in heavy weather)..
    More .....

  39. Information exchange on cargo stowage and planning

  40. 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.
    More .....

  41. Lifting and carriage of deck cargo

  42. 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. .
    More .....

  43. Safe use of pesticides on board cargo ships

  44. 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..
    More .....

  45. Types of packaging & stowage methods for break bulk cargo

  46. The rigging time being negligible, and the crane is able to pick up and land permitted loads anywhere within its working radius. .
    More .....

  47. Various commodities carried by general cargo ships

  48. 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. .
    More .....

  49. Methods of ventilation

  50. The holds of most dry cargo ships are ventilated by a mechanical supply and natural exhaust system .
    More .....

  51. Carriage of containers on cargo ships

  52. 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..
    More .....

  53. Working in cargo spaces safely

  54. 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, .
    More .....

  55. Cargo handling procedure for general cargo ship

  56. 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 .....

  57. Bgged cargo handling various technics

Machinery system main info pages

Home page||Cooling ||Machinery||Services ||Valves ||Pumps ||Auxiliary Power ||Propeller shaft ||Steering gears ||Ship stabilizers||Refrigeration||Air conditioning ||Deck machinery||Fire protection||Ship employment ||

Home ||

General Cargo provide information on cargo ships various machinery systems -handling procedures, on board safety measures and some basic knowledge of cargo ships that might be useful for people working on board and those who working in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

Copyright © 2010-2016 General Cargo All rights reserved.
Terms and conditions of use
Read our privacy policy|| Home page||