The Master has the overall responsibility for the loading and discharging of his vessel however he may delegate tasks and duties to his officers, for example to the Cargo Officer for the preparation of loading/discharging plans and general supervision of cargo operations.
Weight of Cargo to be Loaded With a deadweight cargo, the Master shall take account of the following factors before planning the stowage and agreeing the weight that can be loaded:
- Bunkers and freshwater to be taken;
- Draft restrictions in loading ports and discharging ports;
- The loadline zones (including seasonal zones) through which the ship will pass;
- The ship’s trim requirements.
Check of Equipment
Before arriving at the load port all facilities for proper carriage shall be checked, including (where applicable):
- State of ventilation system and spare parts;
- Adequacy of any instruments required for monitoring:
- -cargo temperature
- -humidity or moisture content;
- Adequacy of dunnage (including airbags), sideshorings, and separation nets or other separation materials;
- Adequacy of lashing materials, including container twistlocks and lashing rods;
- Check of bilge alarm system.
In conjunction with the Master, the Cargo Officer shall prepare a loading plan for discussion with the stevedores. The plan shall show the commodities and amounts to be loaded in each cargo compartment.
Whenever a recommendation is made from ashore concerning loading and stowage the Cargo Officer and the Master shall carefully review the recommendation, considering trim and stability etc., and shall make alternative proposals when necessary.
In the case of bulk carriers the loading plan shall also show the sequence in which the holds are to be loaded, and the sequence in which tanks are to be deballasted.
The plan shall take account of:
- Expected loading rates;
- Underkeel clearance throughout the operation;
- Ship’s stability (including list & trim limits) throughout the operation;
- Stresses (bending moments and shear force limitations) upon the ship throughout the operation.
In the case of ships carrying deck cargoes, the loading plan shall ensure that there remains a safe access between the accommodation and the forecastle.