Swedish Club publishes booklet on preventing wet damage to cargo on bulk carriers

The Swedish Club has highlighted how to avoid wet damaged cargo on bulk carriers in a 32 page pdf booklet, which can be downloaded below. The Club says that heavy weather in combination with leaking hatch covers is the most common cause of wet damage on cargo. However, the main concern is the incorrectly applied and poorly maintained cargo hatch covers and sealing systems.

As a result of information collected from its claims handling, many cargoes of steel and steel coils, grain, peas and solidified cement were damaged by sea and rainwater enabling the report to be produced. In fact, 34% of all insured bulk carriers suffered a cargo claim in 2017 and this has increased by 75% since 2014. For 2017, the average cargo claim on a bulk carrier was almost USD 70,000.

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First judgement of Hague and Hague Visby rules tested in the English courts

Britannia P&I Club referred to the English supreme court that presented its first authoritative judgement in English law, addressing the question of whether it is the carrier or cargo interests who bears the burden of proof under the Hague and Hague-visby rules.

The case had to do with a low value claim for condensation damage to coffee beans.

In the first trial the judge ruled in favour of the cargo deciding that where goods shipped in apparent good order and condition show loss or damage on discharge, there is an evidential inference that the loss or damage is caused by the fault of the carrier.

The carrier then has the burden of showing that it has not breached any of its obligations.

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Unsafe transfer of cargoes of wood pellets increases the possibility of fire

Photo by Steve Pomeroy, Empire Shipping Agency, Vancouver, B.C.
Photo by Steve Pomeroy, Empire Shipping Agency, Vancouver, B.C.

Peter Hazell, Assistant Vice President and Head of FDD Skuld, has looked at former coal fired power stations that have started to burn biomass as feedstock in order to enhance sustainability of fuel sources. This results in increased shipments of wood pellets intended to be burned.

Most of these shipments are completed without incident but there are significant hazards associated with the carriage of wood pellets that surveyors should be aware of.

Generally, to have safely transfer wood pellets the Club advises always to follow standard enclosed space entry procedures.

The wood pellets can include a binder additive but not all do so. Each of these types can self-heat when in bulk form.

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Crack in cargo hold cover leads to wet damage described in latest Swedish Club bulletin

In its monthly safety scenario, April edition, the Swedish Club describes a case of cargo damage caused by water ingress due to a crack in the hatch coaming.

The incident resulted in several days of delay for the ship to get the wet cargo off the vessel, while most of the cargo was refused by the buyer.

The bulk carrier had a full cargo of zinc concentrate onboard and was sailing from the west coast to the east coast of South America.

When the vessel passed Cape Horn, it experienced heavy weather of Beaufort scale 9 with green sea covering the cargo hold covers 1, 2 and 3.

This continued for 4 days as the vessel battled the waves. The vessel had no weather routing.

When the weather had calmed down the master asked the chief officer to inspect the cargo holds. The chief officer found that water had Continue reading “Crack in cargo hold cover leads to wet damage described in latest Swedish Club bulletin”

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