Cargo shortage disputes especially of agriculture products are frequent at discharge Ports. We come across with these cases very often especially when vessel has loaded cargo at load port by shore scale and cargo is discharged at multiple discharge Ports by draft surveys. Ship staff often unaware of discharge conditions at Indian Ports falls prey and this results in cargo shortage claims against vessel/owners.
We shall be able to avoid cargo disputes by following measures:
AT LOAD PORT
Accurate calculation of constant
First step on arrival load port has to be accurate calculation of vessel’s constant. For this accurate draft survey to be carried out.
Vessel must not go by previous constants records. We come across many cases where bunkers have been wrongly declared . Vessel declares constant from its previous record and which finally result in cargo disputes at discharge port.
Density of DW/Hydrometer
Vessel must use accurate & certified hydrometers and carry out exact draft survey calculations to determine cargo quantity loaded.
Shore Scale Loading
Agriculture products are usually loaded at ports like Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil by shore scale. Though in Australian ports the shore scales are very accurate but even then shore scale must be compared by vessel’s draft survey.
In case of shortage of cargo from shore scale, draft survey quantity to be mentioned on mates receipt.
In case Clean MR/Bill of lading is to be issued , owners must ask charterers to provide LOI for difference in shore scale and draft survey quantity.
P&I attendance must be arranged at load port to ascertain cargo quantity and hatch sealing. There opinion must be taken in case of ship/shore discrepancy of cargo.For example West of England P&I club shall allows for a cargo discrepancy of 0.3% .Different clubs have different regulations in this matter.
Remarks in cargo documents
To safeguard owner’s interests.SOF /MR/BL to be properly remarked at port of loading .LOP to be issued for fumigation.
Multi port discharge
In case of multiple port discharge vessels must issue a protest letter for multiple port discharge stating that vessel shall be responsible for total discharged quantity only. Vessel shall not be responsible for individual port quantities/any overlanding/short landing at any of disport.
Charterers must be asked to issue LOI to owners in this matter.
U tubes must be used especially at load ports to check accurate drafts.
Record of cargo parameters to be carried out. Fumigation precautions to be taken. Ventilation to be carried out based on parameters to avoid cargo damage.
Port Captain Attendance
EDIN Maritime start attending vessels at first discharge port itself till her final discharge port and guide ship staff with our expertise and experience of Indian Ports. We continuously monitor her discharge operations at all discharge ports to ensure that she discharges her nominated quantity at every disport.
Swell conditions- Vessels must fabricate and use wave dampers on board especially at anchorage port in-order to avoid errors in draft survey.
This will assist minimise errors in draft reading. Also vessel should put remarks regarding swell height in draft survey report.
This to be arranged for draft survey/hatch unsealing.
Frequent draft surveys must be carried out while discharging & care need to be taken to avoid any over-discharging.
Ballast must be properly handled at load/discharge ports. A discrepancy in ballast calculation result in cargo discrepancy.
Theft of cargo
Theft of cargo is common in many ports. Ship staff must be vigilant.
Photographic evidence of any cargo spillage must be taken and LOP issued stating that vessel shall not be responsible for any cargo short landing.
Remarks in cargo documents
To safeguard owner’s interests.SOF /MR/BL to be properly remarked at port of loading .
With the above stated precautions, we shall be able to avoid cargo disputes.
EDIN Maritime are experts in taking care of interests of concerned parties .
About Capt Chander Vart
Capt Chander Vart is Director of Edin Maritime Limited and has vast experience of sailing on tankers and dry bulk carriers. He also worked as Marine Superintendent with a ship management company before being appointed as the Director of Edin Maritime limited. Capt Chander Vart can be reached at email@example.com, +91-9996068120 or through www.edinmaritime.com