Carriage of grain safe procedure - bulk carriers recommended guideline

Carrying Grain :One of the most difficult and dangerous cargoes to carry in bulk are grain cargoes. 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.
Most authorities therefore request that the master proves that his ship is capable of remaining stable even if the
grain cargo shifts. This is done by the compiling of the Grain Loading Form which fully outlines the ships
stability at the worse condition on passage.

Fig: Bulk grain loading
Because grain cargoes are liable to shift, heavy emphasis is placed on the stability of ships that carry them. The
main reason is the variation in the types of grain, including its size and its ability to develop a free flow state
when loaded in bulk. Each ship carrying grain has to provide grain specific stability information, including
grain heeling moments, to the terminal. This section looks at various problems, methods and precautions that
must be taken when carrying grain cargoes. Grain cargoes carried in bags are not considered as bulk cargo.
The bulk carriers' grain loading manual contains Volumetric Heeling Moments (VHM), which are values based
on an assumed surface grain shift of 15° (for a full compartment) and 25° (for a partially full compartment).
1. To avoid shifting of cargo, the grain surfaces must be reasonably trimmed:
a) Filled compartment, trimmed the cargo should be trimmed so that all spaces under deck and hatch
covers are filled to the fullest extent possible.
b) Filled compartment, untrimmed the cargo should be trimmed within the hatchway but may be left at
its natural angle of repose on the surrounding area of the hatchway. The same can be applied for a filled
compartment, trimmed if:
o dispensation is granted from trimming by the authority issuing the Document of Authorisation
on the basis that the cargo can flow freely to underdeck empty areas through feeder ducts,
perforated decks, etc, or
o The compartment is designated a `Specially Suitable Compartment', in which case exemption
may be granted from trimming the compartment ends.
2. If the cargo is stowed only in the lower compartment, the lower compartment hatch covers should be secured
in the approved manner.
3. If the cargo is stowed in the upper compartment above a tween deck whose covers are not grain- tight, the
covers should be made grain-tight using sealing tape, tarpaulins or separation cloths.
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

Preparation for grain loading  Australian stowage requirements for vessels loading grain  Presence of contaminants & handling other defective grain  Grain terminology from IMO grain code  . All spaces should be padlocked and sealed to prevent anyone from entering the space. It is recommended that an expert chemist declares whether the space is safe to enter. b. Is constructed according to the Grain Code standards. trimmed. and requirements for personal protective equipment and monitoring equipment. Fuel oil tanks precautions  masters and officers must be aware of the location of the heated fuel oil tanks  masters and officers should monitor the tank top temperature above the fuel oil tanks as this can affect the integrity of certain cargoes – particularly grain cargoes  fuel oil temperatures can be monitored on the fuel oil transfer pumps  masters and chief engineers should manage the fuel oil onboard to reduce heat damage to cargoes loaded in holds above heated fuel oil tanks  heat only fuel oil tanks in use Related articles on grain transport  Hold cleaning in bulk carriers. b. untrimmed and partly filled compartments. Always carry out a risk assessment. If the cargo requires ventilation after fumigation. If this is to be done during the voyage or before or after loading.5. filled compartments. Is made grain-tight. c. Is upright before proceeding to sea. Refer to IMO Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides on Ships. advice should be sought from fumigation experts in respect to crew safety. c. Has all the paperwork completed and onboard. Longitudinal divisions may be fitted to reduce heeling moments due to shift of grain in filled compartments. application dangers. d. method of handling. Before loading. can comply with intact stability criteria at all stages of the voyage. provided that each division: a. No-one should enter a space that has been fumigated until after it has been thoroughly ventilated. These instructions should refer to product data sheets and the correct procedures and safety advice. Fumigation requirement Charterers and shippers may require the cargo to be fumigated. The Master shall ensure that the ship: a. 6. full and clear instructions should be received from the charterers and shippers. A qualified fumigator should be engaged by the charterers when fumigation is to be done in port. Extends from deck to deck in tweendecks. Extends downwards from the underside of the hatch covers.

The master should clarify what standard is expected. all ladder rungs and undersides of hatches. There are a number of matters to consider. concentrates. or ‘ stringent’ cleanliness 2. rice in bulk. sulphur. This standard will commonly be required where a ship is trading continuously with the same commodity and grade of that commodity. hospital clean. . A ship will be required to be grain clean for the majority of bulk and break bulk cargoes. It will rarely be required in the tramp trades. alumina. This will typically occur when a ship is employed under a Contract of Affreightment to carry. bauxite. Signing a bill of lading & relevant guideline Cargo hold cleaning standards in bulk carrier -Surveyors requirement prior Grain loading Preparation of a cargo hold prior grain loading is not just a question of sweeping. rutile sand. that is. With load on top. this means ‘grab cleaned’. there are essentially five grades of hold cleanliness: 1. The standard of hospital clean is a requirement for certain cargoes. barytes. Shovel clean means that all previous cargo that can be removed with a ‘Bobcat’ or a rough sweep and clean with shovels by the stevedores or crew. Normal clean means that the holds are swept clean. Bulk carrier voyage agreement . In the dry bulk trades. mineral sands including zircon. soya meal and soya products. including the tank top. With such a trade. a single grade of coal over a period. cleaning or washing down the hold.Function of bill of lading 2. Some ports and shippers may allow a different standard of cleanliness. shovel clean 5. chrome ore. guidance may be necessary for the master on any cleaning requirements. soda ash. Load on top means exactly what it says – the cargo is loaded on top of existing cargo residues. these high standards of cleanliness will only be met by vessels trading exclusively with such cargoes. such as all grains. grain clean. cleaned sufficiently for taking cargoes similar to or compatible with the previous shipment. and each cargo is simply loaded on top of any remaining residues from the previous cargo. for example kaolin/china clay. there is no commercial need for holds to be cleaned between successive cargoes. load on top Hospital clean is the most stringent. Generally. and bulk fertilisers. What is international grain code and why it is used in bulk carriers ? Cargo docs: 1. depending on charterer’s requirements). fluorspar. and washed down (or not. for example. with no residues of the previous cargo. including the use of bulldozers and cleaning gangs. normal clean 4. ilmenite. Usually. Grain clean is the most common requirement. requiring the holds to have 100% intact paint coatings on all surfaces. or high cleanliness 3. and high grades of wood pulp. bulk cement. and failing to adhere to good practice can result in failure to pass cargo hold inspection.

therefrom to be for owners’ account”.” The definition is clear:  all past cargo residues and any lashing materials are to be removed from the hold  any loose paint or rust scale must be removed  if it is necessary to wash the hold. odour. the ship to be placed off hire until accepted in all holds. as it generally will be. Oxidation rust will typically form on bare metal surfaces but will not flake off when struck or when light pressure from a knife is applied. residue of previous cargo (incl. odour-free. the presence of hard-adhering scale within a hold is acceptable in a grain clean hold. swept.What is Grain clean ? The most common cleanliness requirement for bulk carriers is that of grain clean. the United States Department of Agriculture permits a single area of loose paint or loose scale of 2. The usual instructions a master of a tramping conventional bulk carrier will receive. coal petcoke. clinker. In practice. All loose scale is to be removed. light atmospheric rusting). dried up and ready to receive charterers’ intended cargo subject to shippers’/relevant surveyors’ inspection. “Compartments are to be completely clean. there are certain cargoes. What is ‘loose scale’? It is important to differentiate such scale from oxidation rust (i. The scale should not fall during the voyage or during normal cargo operations. no such material is permitted. Countries apply different standards to what constitutes an acceptable amount of loose scale or loose paint. The industry accepted definition of grain clean is provided by the National Cargo Bureau (NCB). such as kaolin. If the ship fails hold inspection by shipper/relevant surveyor. the hold should be free of loose scale as each surveyor’s interpretation of the required ‘standard’ may vary. is Clean to grain clean on completion of discharge.26 sq m. which are cleaned to a grain clean standard. Generally. before a hold is deemed to be unfit. which require the higher standard of cleanliness or hospital clean. washed down by fresh water and free from insects. It means “clean. the holds must be dried after washing  the hold must be well ventilated to ensure that it is odour-free and gas-free Points to consider  management must take a close interest in hold cleaning  take photographs  officers must fully understand what level of cleanliness is required for various cargoes .e.)/loose rust scale/paint flakes etc. While in some countries.32 sq m. dry. As noted above. particularly if his ship is unfixed for next employment. Loose scale will break away when struck with a fist or when light pressure is applied with a knife blade or scraper under the edge of the scale. and any extra costs/ expenses/time included stevedores’ stand-by and/or cancelling charges. or several patches that in total do not exceed 9. The guideline here is aimed at the majority of bulk carriers engaged in the carriage of ‘usual’ bulk cargoes in conventional ships. and gas-free.

preventing stevedore damages & safety aspects Cargo hold inspection -Reasons for failing hold inspections Chief officers final inspection prior cargo hold survey Maintenance procedure for mechanical steel hatch covers Grain loading standards for seagoing bulk carriers .g.[1] Soft flour is usually divided into cake flour. barley. Soft flour is comparatively low in gluten and so results in a finer or crumbly texture. is high in gluten. Hard flour." "white. More wheat flour is produced than any other flour. and has elastic toughness that holds its shape well once baked. Fig: Bulk carrier cargo hold cleaned for loading grain Contaminants Contaminants are defined individually in these Standards and consist of the following: 1. maintenance requirement." or "brown" if they have high gluten content. with 12% to 14% gluten content. Wheat flour is a powder made from the grinding of wheat used for human consumption. is carried in bulk. although products like maize and rice are also considered under this heading. or bread flour. additional measures Cargo holds readinesss. especially wheat and maize (corn). and pastry flour.Limitations involved Grain is the collective name for the edible seeds of various plants. which is the lowest in gluten. e. Many of them are also called cereals. Bread wheat (in durum deliveries only) . which has slightly more gluten than cake flour. and they are called "soft" or "weak" flour if gluten content is low. Wheat varieties are called "clean. wheat. an independent survey can be useful to confirm if the ship is ready to load – particularly if there is a long waiting time before loading Related information Cargo hold cleaning problem and related guideline Cargo hold maintenance guideline Hold preparation checklist -Cleanliness/preparation. Most grain.

Insect Damaged 6. as outlined in these Standards. Heat Damaged. Chemicals in excess of the MRL 5. Other Non-Objectionable Material 13. Frost Damaged 4. Chemicals not Approved for Wheat 4. Insects – Large 9. Pickling Compounds 14. Field Fungi 3. Bin Burnt. Storage Mould Affected or Rotted 5. Snails 17. Foreign Seeds 8. Insects – Small 10. Sand 16. Cereal Ergot 3. Dry Green or Sappy 2. They include the following: 1. Defective Grains Defective grains refer to wheat that has been damaged to some degree. Over-Dried Damaged .2. Earth 7. Non vitreous kernels (Durum only) 7. Loose Smut 11. Stored Grain Insects and Pea Weevil – Live Contaminants may be referred to as foreign material. being all material other than whole or broken seeds or hulls of the wheat being assessed. Earcockle 6. Ryegrass Ergot 15. Objectionable Material 12.

This cargo shall be kept as dry as practicable. Bilge wells of the cargo spaces shall be protected from ingress of the cargo. Dry and covered as appropriate. This cargo shall not be handled during precipitation. Takeall Affected Hazard: It may sift when aerated. This cargo shall be so trimmed to the boundaries of the cargo space that the angle of the surface of the cargo with horizontal plane does not exceed 25 deg. This cargo is non-combustible or has a low fire risk Hold cleanliness: Clean and dry as relevant to the hazards of the cargo Stowage & segregation: No special requirement Ventilation: The cargo spaces carrying this cargo shall not be ventilated during voyage. as necessary. Stained 12. Fig: Bulk grain loading Loading The ship shall be kept upright during loading of this cargo. to prevent ingress of the cargo. Bilge wells shall be clean. Person who may be exposed the dust of the cargo shall wear protective clothing.8. Carriage After completion of loading of this cargo. all non working hatches of the cargo spaces into which the cargo is loaded or to be loaded shall be closed Precautions Appropriate precautions shall be taken to protect machinery and accommodation spaces from the dust of the cargo. Bilges in the cargo spaces carrying this cargo shall not be pumped unless special precautions are taken. During handling of this cargo. . goggles or other equivalent dust eye protection and dust filter masks. Pink Stained 9. the hatches of the cargo spaces shall be sealed as necessary. All vents and access ways to the cargo spaces shall shut during the voyage. Smut 10. Sprouted 11.

the bulk grain is at its highest possible level. which cannot be closed weathertight. During the discharge of an Argentinean wheat cargo at Umm Qasr. The term partly filled compartment refers to any cargo space wherein the bulk grain is not loaded in the manner prescribed in A 2.Phu May/ Vietnam PnI Case Members should be aware that there is a strong risk of spurious cargo claims being made on grain cargoes in Iraq.Discharge No special requirement Clean up In the case that the residues of this cargo are to be washed out. i. The Member had a cargo sample analyzed by Solomon and Seaber in the UK and the result was negative. the Iraqi receivers claimed that cargo in one hold was contaminated with e-coli bacteria. The term filled compartment. trimmed. In applying this definition. longitudinal. The fixed bilge pumps shall not be used to pump the cargo spaces. Terminology Used in the Carriage of Grain in Bulk Carrier The following definitions are from the IMO International Grain Code The term grain covers wheat. whose behaviour is similar to that of grain in its natural state. immerse. The cargo was analyzed three times by a local health authority laboratory and on each occasion the tests were positive.3. pulses. no allowance shall be made for lost space when the cargo space is nominally filled. Example : Loading Port .e.2 for specially suitable compartments. seeds and processed forms thereof. for the purposes of calculating the grain heeling moment caused by a shift of grain.3. superstructures or deckhouses. because this cargo may make the bilge system inoperative.1 for all ships or A 10. untrimmed. small openings through which progressive flooding cannot take place need not be considered as open.2 or A 2.3. means the volume per unit weight of the cargo as attested by the loading facility. 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 A 10.Geraldton / Australia Discharging port . the cargo spaces and the other structures and equipment which may have been in contact with this cargo or its dust shall be thoroughly swept prior to washing out. refers to any cargo space in which. oats. The term specially suitable compartment refers to a cargo space which is constructed with at least two vertical or sloping. barley. Particular attention shall be paid to bilge wells and framework in the cargo spaces.tight divisions which are coincident with the hatch side girders or are so .2. after loading and trimming as required under A 10. The term angle of flooding (1) means the angle of heel at which openings in the hull. The term filled compartment. maize (corn). rice. grain. rye. The term stowage factor.

and must be accepted as evidence that the ship is capable of complying with the Code (A 3.1 (Requirements for cargo ships carrying grain) provides that a cargo ship carrying grain must hold a Document of Authorization as required by the International Grain Code. to which part C of chapter VI of the 1974 SOLAS Convention. whose behaviour is similar to that of grain in its natural state . oats. engaged in the carriage of grain in bulk. The BLU Code refers to loading and discharging operations and develops an understanding of procedures. If sloping. It applies to ships regardless of size. maize. rye. barley.positioned as to limit the effect of any transverse shift of grain. pulses. that the ship will comply with the requirements of the International Grain Code in its proposed loaded condition (regulation 9. The International Grain Code was written at a time when grain was predominantly carried onboard general cargo vessels. Grain Code defines “grain” as including wheat.23(59). rice. A compartment may be full when the cargo is loaded but. as amended.1). applies (A 1.2). The Document of Authorisation certifies that a ship is capable of loading grain in accordance with the requirements of the International Grain Code. Grains have a tendency to settle and shift within a ship's cargo compartments. Bulk carrier guide for international grain code requirements Grains such as wheat.1). including those of less than 500gt. However. maize (corn). This space allows cargo to move from side to side in conjunction with the rolling and pitching of the vessel. the divisions shall have an inclination of not less than 30° to the horizontal. Fig: Hold of a bulk carrier that is grain clean and ready to load As the cargo shifts the vessel lists to one side. seeds and processed forms thereof. SOLAS regulation VI/9. The International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk is commonly called the “International Grain Code” was adopted by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee by resolution MSC. seeds and their processed forms have been commonly transported by ships. and for the purposes of regulation 9. the requirements of the Code should be treated as mandatory. due to ship's vibration and other movements. or the SOLAS Contracting Government of the port of loading on behalf of the Administration. A Document of Authorization must be issued by or on behalf of the flag State Administration for every ship loaded in accordance with the Code. A ship without a Document of Authorization must not load grain until the master satisfies the flag State Administration. rice. employing methods including saucering. bundling and strapping. oats. the grain settles leaving space at the top of the cargo. The Document of Authorization must accompany or be incorporated into the Grain Loading Manual provided . modern bulk carriers are designed and constructed taking the problems of carrying grain into consideration. rye.

Information in printed booklet form (i. to enable him to arrange for the loading and ballasting of his ship in such a way as to avoid the creation of any unacceptable stresses in the ship's structure. grain loading stability data and associated plans may be in the official language or languages of the issuing country. The flag State Administration.3. while the information in A 6.g. grain loading stability data and associated plans must be placed on board so that the master. advice should be sought from the ship's classification society. If the language used is neither English nor French. noting exemptions. loading and discharging operations. Shipboard limits. iv) Operational limits.1). ii) The results of calculations of SWSF and SWBM for each included loading condition.2 must be acceptable to the flag State Administration (or a Contracting Government on its behalf). a Grain Loading Manual) must be provided to enable the master to ensure that the ship complies with the Code when carrying grain in bulk on an international voyage (A 6. The cargo stowage plan should be prepared considering some basic check items such as Seasonal Load Line Zones. The Document of Authorization. in an approved form. may exempt individual ships or classes of ship from particular requirements of the Code if it considers that the sheltered nature and conditions of the voyage are such as to render their application unreasonable or unnecessary.e. Stresses. Loading instrument for a bulk carrier -Why it is mandatory to use a loading manual or a loading computer ? It is a statutory requirement of the International Load Line Convention that. the text must include a translation into either English or French.1).to enable the master to meet the requirements of A 7 (A 3. Information to be in the booklet is listed in A 6. & Loading rates.Port restrictions . etc. Stability. The ship's approved loading manual is an essential onboard documentation for the planning of cargo stowage.2). This manual describes: i) The loading conditions on which the design of the ship has been based.3 (A 3. or a SOLAS Contracting Government on its behalf. may produce them for inspection by the SOLAS Contracting Government at the loading port (A 3. if required.2 and A 6. The ship's loading manual is a ship specific document." Where the Master feels that he has insufficient information regarding the structural limitations or requires advice on the interpretation of the classification society's structural limitations imposed on his ship. Draft. . including permissible limits of still water shear force and bending moments. A copy of the Document of Authorization.3 must be approved by that body. Cargo capacity. The information in A 6. e. iii) The allowable local loading of the structure. The Manual must meet the requirements of A 6.2). the data contained therein is only applicable to the ship for which it has been approved. A ship not having on board a Document of Authorisation issued in accordance with A 3 of the Code may be permitted to load bulk grain subject to certain conditions.4). one of which is that the total weight of the bulk grain does not exceed one third of the ship’s deadweight (A 9. "the Master of every new vessel be supplied with sufficient information.

The ship's deck officers should familiarise themselves with the operation of the onboard loading instrument. It is recommended ship's Master to check the accuracy of the loading instrument against the test cargo loading conditions at regular intervals. ii) Rapidly calculating SWSF and SWBM for any load condition. The operation manual is an essential part of the loading instrument and should be kept onboard at all times. Modern loading instruments consist of approved computational software operating on a shipboard digital PC. The ship's loading instrument is a ship specific onboard equipment and the results of the calculations are only applicable to the ship for which it has been approved.Trimming pours Unloading cargo & handling of ballast Risk of Heavy cargoes & Monitoring Ship's Loading limits Preparation for cargo operations -Cargo and Port Information Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes How to monitor ships loaded condition Limitations of overloading of cargo holds & countermeasures How to monitor safe cargo operation Unloading cargo -handling of ballast and other safety issues International grain code for bulk cargo loading . A loading instrument or loading computer can be either an analog or digital system. Therefore. iii) Identifying the imposed structural limits which are not to be exceeded. Related Information Care of cargo during loading. the officer in charge should also refer to the loading manual when planning or controlling cargo operations. It is important to note that the loading instrument is not a substitute for the ship's loading manual.Loading Computer for bulk carrier The loading computer is an invaluable shipboard calculation tool which assists the ship's cargo officer in: i) Planning and controlling cargo and ballasting operations.