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Prior to the loading and unloading of dry bulk cargoes the Master should agree a plan with the shore terminal, in line with the Code of Safe Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers 1998 edition and the procedures under the vessel’s SMS to ensure that the permissible shear forces and bending moments are not exceeded. Such a plan should include
  • the quantity, sequence and rate of loading or unloading
  • the deballasting or ballasting capability of the vessel.

    If the vessel’s permitted stress limits are exceeded during loading, the Master should call the Company to arrange for a surveyor to attend and examine the vessel’s structure.

    The plan should be lodged with the appropriate authority of the port State. If the Master encounters any difficulties with the charterer or local authorities in submitting such a plan, he/she should contact the local correspondents for assistance.

    During loading, an inspection to ascertain the condition of dry bulk cargo is essential to identify contaminated, wet or deteriorated cargo and taking any necessary and appropriate action, such as stoppage of loading, collecting evidence and, if required, unloading.

    If portable bulk heads are required, reference should be made to the vessel’s documents and stability information.

    If different bulk cargoes are to be loaded in the same hold, appropriate separation material should be used. Particular care and attention is required to prevent stevedores damaging the separation material and causing admixture of the cargo.