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Even the shortest voyage at sea may involve the greatest hazards to the safety of the vessel, crew, drivers and the cargo carried. Time pressures in this tightly scheduled trade may lead to trailers and cargo being improperly or insufficiently lashed, which can lead to cargo shifting during sudden violent movements of the vessel. A sudden alteration in course may cause considerable heeling of the vessel, exposing rolling stock and cargo on trailers to significant danger.

To prevent accidents caused by the shifting of cargo or rolling stock, it is most important that proper lashing and securing devices are used. Due consideration must be given to the strength of the securing points and the lashings. The Master and his/her officers should refer to the

  • IMO MSC Circular 812, Amendments to the Guidelines for Securing Arrangements for the Transport of Road Vehicles on Ro-ro ships (IMO Resolution A.581(14)), and the
  • Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (IMO Resolution A.714(17)).

    The vessel’s Cargo Securing Manual should also be consulted to ensure that the lashings are of an appropriate size, strength and material.

    If poor weather causes the vessel to roll the use of stabilisers should be considered.