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How to Prepare a Cargo Plan

Preparation of Cargo Plan

Cargo planning is required to ensure that the optimum utilization of cargo spaces is carried out to earn maximum fright and also to ensure the safety and economy of cargo operation.

Basic Concept must be considered for preparing cargo plan

Stability of Ship 

  1. Improper loading can cause excessive stresses on the ship's structure or inadequate stability during the voyage and must be taken care of during the planning stage.
  2. Cargo must be distributed thoroughly to the ship in such a way that the ship has the ability to remain stable at all times and all stages i.e., loading, discharging, in transit.
  3. Due consideration should be given to the load density and stresses caused due to uneven and improper loading.
  4. Loading should not overstress any part of vessel.
  5. Poor distribution of cargo may stress the vessel and result in possible structural damage and loss of ship.
  6. Cargo lashing must be done in such a way that it will not shift during voyage. Because, shifting can cause unwanted list/trim.
  7. Slack tanks should be kept minimum thereby reducing the Free Surface Effect.
  8. Heavy lift should be stowed at the bottom therefore increasing the ship's GM.

Protection of Cargo 

  1. By proper use of dunnage, cargo lashing equipment and hold preparation.

Optimum use of Cargo Spaces

  1. Vessel is to load up to her load line mark, to earn maximum freight.
  2. Thus, the planning and stowage of cargo be such that no space within the hold is left unoccupied.
  3. There are conditions, when the space left inside hold due to the uneven shape of cargo, uneven shape of hold, different size of cargo. here, the skill and experiences of duty officers and full knowledge of hold, cargo dimensions and proper planning can limit the broken stowage of hold.

Minimizing Port Stay

The ship earns while carrying cargo from load port to destination. But the expenses at load port or discharging port are more, if ship stay longer than required. So, this is particularly expensive to the ship owner/charters. In order to achieve fast turnaround; -

  1. Complete and up to date booking list should be available.
  2. Cargo for different ports should be marked and loaded under supervision of duty officer.
  3. Palletised cargo may be pre slung to reduce port time.
  4. Proper use of Gear for loading all type of cargo and readily available.

Safety of Personnel

  1. Risk of life or injury can be considerably reduced, if ship's crew and stevedores are aware of potential hazards related to cargo handling.
  2. Numerous publications issued by various organisation are available and should be consulted before carrying out any operation such as

  • Code of Safe Practice for Merchant Seaman
  • IMO Codes for carriage of different type of Cargo
  • International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminal

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