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Break / Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey/Inspection

Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey

Break / Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey/Inspection: (Part I)

AIM Control’s bulk cargoes holds condition survey procedure is aimed at helping masters, ships’ cargo officers, shore superintendents and chartering managers understand the requirements of hold preparation before loading bulk cargoes. Such awareness will assist in preventing claims for cargo loss, cargo contamination, additional survey costs, delay to ships, and in preventing disputes over on-hire, off-hire and charter party issues.

AIM Control’s bulk cargoes holds condition survey of a cargo hold is not just a question of sweeping, cleaning odors the hold. There are a number of matters to consider, and failing to adhere to good practice can result in substantial claims. A lack of knowledge, often originating in chartering or commercial departments, can also be the underlying cause of major claims.

AIM Control's Break & Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition survey inspection surveyors

The bulk cargoes holds condition survey:

Hold cleaning:

a.  Cargo contamination problems

b.  Problems stemming from previous cargo

c.  Cargo stain

d.  Rust, rust scale and paint flaking

e.  Unsanitary conditions

f.  Wetness

g.  Odours

h.  infestation

i.    Safe

Various cargoes hold cleaning requirements:

•   Coke general

•   Green delayed petcoke

•   Met coke

•   Bulk cement and clinker

•   Anthracite coal

•   Bituminous coal

•   Bauxite

•   Manganese ore

•   Salt

•   Soda ash

•   Sulphur

•   Fertiliser

•   Woodchips

•   After loading

•   Before arrival

•   Other cargoes

Hold structure:

The conventional bulk carrier has a box construction with Tank top, internal shell plating, wing tank plating, coating, frames, bulkheads, top brackets, foot brackets, u/side cross deck, ladders, platforms, sounding pipes (dark sides), air pipes ( dark sides ), pipe protections, bilges and suctions, lighting, manhole covers, fire detectors, electrical cables, electrical connections, electrical switches, co2 pipelines, co2 discharge heads, ventilation, ventilation trunks/grills, booby hatches.

These frames can retain traces of old cargo: corrosion, scale and residues of previous cargo can collect and fall, and contaminate the next cargo.

Some bulk carriers, including many smaller coastal-type ships, are built with box holds. This means that the hold sides are ‘boxed’ in with smooth steel sides, making discharge and cleaning much easier as there are no frames.

Cargo contamination problems:

Whatever the previous cargo, all holds should be swept clean, and loose scale and rust removed. When reloading the same cargo commodity, there is a tendency to leave the holds un-swept. In general terms, this is not good practice since the residual cargo can hide damage to the hold or tank top. Traces of previous cargoes, such as sulphur, sulphur traces in coal cargoes and some fertilizer cargoes may corrode bare steel plate.

It is recommended that holds are swept clean after every cargo and the residues removed or, if reloading the same cargo type, placed to one side so that a tank top and hold inspection can be carried out. Large amounts of cargo remaining onboard may not only cause outturn problems, but hide damage to the tank top plate.

The level of cleanliness of the hold required will vary from port to port, and shipper to shipper. As a general rule, if nothing specific is stated, a double sweep, with a saltwater wash followed by freshwater wash, is a sensible option

In order to avoid delays or off-hire of the ship, hold cleaning requires proper planning.

This is evidence of AIM Control Ship Bulk Break Cargoes Holds Condition Survey / Inspection while Vessel anchorage at Cam Pha, Quang Ninh, Vietnam:



Holds & Hatches survey and supervision (before loading)

-           Supervision and survey to find free from ANY previous cargo residues

-           Supervision and survey to find free from loose rust, scale or paint.  Painted surfaces must be properly applied and cured

-           Supervision and survey to find dry and clean

-           Supervision and survey to find free from odours

-           Supervision and survey to find in all ways in a suitable condition, fit and safe to receive and preserve the intended cargo

-           Supervision and survey to find particular emphasis on previous cargo residue on overhead beams, hatch-end beams, hatch joints and hinges, frame brackets, pipe brackets, ladder ways, manhole covers etc


Although not part of a vessel cleanliness survey inspection it is requested that the following is also checked and reported on:

-           Supervision and survey to find all bilge covers, access covers, tank-top covers should be inspected and properly secured

-           Supervision and survey to find bilge wells should be clean and dry with pumps in good working order

-           Supervision and survey to find tank-tops should be free from protrusions, container fittings, pad eyes and the like

-           Supervision and survey to find hatch covers must be demonstrably watertight with all seals and sealing faces in position and properly maintained.

The importance is to be given solution to solve the remained problem for ship's condition is suitable for loading asap but only surveyor's finding these issues.

See next bulk cargoes holds condition survey at Part II


Contact us

Dr Capt. Nguyen Te Nhan / G.D
Agriculture - Industry - Marine Survey & Inspection Group
Tel     : +84-8-3832-7204
Fax    :  +84-8-3832-8393
Cell.   :  +84903615612 

MSN  :
Skype:  aimcontrol



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Break / Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey/Inspection
Break and Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Inspection Surveyors
Break / Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey/Inspection
Bulk Carrier HOLD inspection / HATCH watertight survey / consultant

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