Container ‘stuffing’ is a poor term to use when considering filling a container with cargo. Almost any product within size limit may be containerized. C&G offer valuable advice as to sound methods of correctly stowing and securing cargo within a container.
Points to note are:
- Weight distribution
- Securing method
- Atmosphere within the container that may change with ambient conditions
Any of the above if not made correctly can result in damage or right-off of the contents.
All cargo must be secured. This is an obvious fact, but C&G are well aware of the forces that can act on a piece of cargo within a ship in a seaway. So as well as securing being adequate and strong for the purpose, the securing of cargo is also important for the purposes of not actually damaging the cargo. Some cargo will have custom securing points, others may not. Some cargo will have pre-planned securing paraemeters, others not. Some cargo will have to use ‘soft’ securing to prevent damage, others wire, chain, or welding. Timber, or airbag chocking, the combinations of potential problems are overcome by good planning and experienced advice.
Many cargo claims may come from a failure of the vessel. Watertight integrity is an absolute, and whilst a vessel may appear to be watertight in a sheltered harbor this may not be the case in a seaway.
Apart from hatch covers, there are other ways in which a vessel may itself be the cause of a problem. Holed ballast tanks, leaking manholes at ballast tanks, poorly seating ventilators.
In addition to this, and very relevant to organic (liable to spontaneous heating) or steel products is the effect of ship or cargo sweat. C&G are engaged in several trades where the possibility of ship or cargo sweat may be an issue. C&G in such cases examine vessel’s monitoring equipment and provide guidance as to best ventilation practice.
A pre-shipment inspection of cargo is a vital starting point when transporting any break bulk, or in some cases bulk cargo. If the cargo arrives at end destination, the shipper will have proof positive that the cargo was shipped and secured, in good condition. The chain of responsibility can be established from this point. This total service is often carried out of behalf of insurers or fright forwarders.