When bulk cargoes shift, liquefy, catch fire or explode as a consequence of poor loading procedures, the consequences can be considerable. Ships may capsize, lose stability or sustain severe structural damage.
Such happenings enhance the risks and the occurrence, of death, injury, insurance claims, operational delay and considerable expense.
A review of recent incidents has highlighted a failure of not only ship’s crew, but also charterers and shippers, to comply with the mandatory requirements of SOLAS Chapter VI and the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.
The IMSBC Code became mandatory for all SOLAS vessels carrying solid bulk cargoes from 01 January 2011. The operators of these vessels must ensure that cargoes are loaded and carried in accordance with the requirements of the IMSBC Code to maintain the structural integrity of the vessels, and safety of the crew at all times.
It is the responsibility of cargo vessel operators to ensure that all cargoes are carried in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements.