What are information master should obtain prior to bulk cargo loading operations?

Obtaining cargo specifications

The Master is responsible for obtaining all relevant cargo information necessary for a correct cargo plan and pre calculation of stress, stability and trim, the loading sequences of holds and the ballasting sequence during loading.

The following items are to be provided by the charterers or shippers or their agents:

  • Exact name / type and description of cargo;
  • Number of IMDG or BC code (if listed);
  • Stowage factor in cubic metres per metric tonne (or other specified unit);
  • Laboratory test procedures used for determining the following:
    1. the moisture content, flow moisture point and transportable moisture limit of materials which may liquefy;
    2. the angle of repose of granular materials;
    3. the self-sustaining exothermic decomposition of fertilisers containing nitrates (the trough test);
    4. resistance to detonation; and
    5. self-heating of charcoal.

It is strongly recommended that these tests be conducted only by suitably trained personnel. Tests which may be employed by the ship’s personnel should only be used in circumstances where the master doubts whether the condition of the material is such as to ensure safe shipment.


If a cargo not listed in the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes is offered for bulk carriage, the master should consult the appropriate competent authority or the company for further information