What are Precautions while loading Grain Cargo on ships?

Prior loading:
  1. Get cargo information from the shipper.
  2. Calculate the stability criteria complies with the requirement of International grain code.
  3. Planning, calculation and loading to be made for ship’s stability at all stages of loading.
  4. Clean  cargo holds for loading grain.
  5. Test cargo hold bilges.
  6. Check weather tightness of hatches.
  7. Initial draft survey to be carried out before loading grain.

During loading:

  1. Check stresses on hull are within the limit.
  2. Trimming of cargo to be carried out as per loading plan
  3. Check cargo for any sort of damage.
  4. Check moorings at frequent intervals

Prior sailing:

  1. Securing cargo as per grain code, to reduce grain heeling moment.
  2. All cargo holds to be closed and properly secured.
  3. Prevent entering of sea water during adverse weather condition.
  4. Calculate final state of stability after completion of loading
Points to pounder for grain loading:
  1. Most grains have an angle of repose (slip angle) of about 20° from the horizontal, which means that if the ship rolls more than 20° the cargo will shift. Then this happens the ship will develop a large list, lying on her side and still rolling will obviously cause a greater shift of cargo which in turn will capsize the vessel.
  2. To avoid shifting of cargo, the grain surfaces must be reasonably trimmed:
    • Filled compartment, trimmed ­ the cargo should be trimmed so that all spaces under deck and hatch covers are filled to the fullest extent possible.
  3. If the cargo is stowed only in the lower compartment, the lower compartment hatch covers should be secured in the approved manner.
  4. In partly filled compartments, the surface of bulk grain should be secured by over-stowing except in cases where heeling moments due to grain shift have been calculated and taken into consideration for stability of the vessel.
  5. Longitudinal divisions may be fitted to reduce heeling moments due to shift of grain in filled compartments, trimmed, filled compartments, untrimmed and partly filled compartments.
Note :-

This Code applies to ships regardless of size, including those of less than 500 tons gross tonnage, engaged in the carriage of grain in bulk, to which part C of chapter VI of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, applies.
The term grain covers wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and processed forms thereof, whose behavior is similar to that of grain in its natural state.
For the purpose of this Code, the expression “ships constructed” means “ships the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction”.
The term filled compartment, trimmed, refers to any cargo space in which, after loading and trimming as required under grain code, the bulk grain is at its highest possible level
The term filled compartment, untrimmed, refers to a cargo space which is filled to the maximum extent possible in way of the hatch opening but which has not been trimmed outside the periphery of the hatch opening either by the provisions of grain code  for all ships or  for specially suitable compartments.
The term partly filled compartment refers to any cargo space wherein the bulk grain is not loaded in the manner prescribed in grain code i.e(neither filled compartment, trimmed nor filled compartment , untrimmed).

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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