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Pocket guide focuses on safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes

by admin

(UK P&I Club, Lloyd’s Register, Intercargo)

When bulk cargoes shift, liquefy, catch fire or explode as a consequence of poor loading procedures, the consequences can be massive. 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.

This has prompted the UK P&I Club, Lloyd’s Register and Intercargo to produce a pocket guide and checklist for ships’ officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading and present/introduce  same members of the media in London earlier today at the UK P&I Club premises in Fenchurch Street.

Carrying solid bulk cargoes safely: Guidance for crews on the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code outlines the precautions to be taken before accepting solid bulk cargoes for shipment; sets out procedures for safe loading and carriage; and details the primary hazards associated with different types of cargoes. A quick reference checklist and flowchart summarise the steps to be followed.

The guide reflects the compliance requirements of the IMSBC Code, which became mandatory on January 1st 2011 under the SOLAS Convention. It addresses the Code’s three key groups: A (which may liquefy), B (chemical hazards) and C (all others). Appendices cover IMO regulations and guidance relating to the transport of solid bulk cargoes and provide an overview of the IMSBC Code.

It comes in a laminated flipover format for on-the-spot use and for enhancing awareness among operators, shippers and charterers.

Sam James, Lloyd’s Register’s Global Head of Fire and Safety, said the guide would be extremely useful to crew members as an aide memoir. “This guide will heighten awareness of seafarers, managers, charterers and shippers to the hazards associated with carrying solid bulk cargoes. Everyone involved has a responsibility to ensure cargo is accurately declared and the hazards mitigated.”

Interacargo's Tech.Manager Ian Harrison, Nigel Cardin, Lr's Sam James, Joanna Towsend, Karl Lumbers and Rob Lomas

Interacargo’s Tech.Manager Ian Harrison, Nigel Cardin, Lr’s Sam James, Joanna Towsend, Karl Lumbers and Rob Lomas

Intercargo Secretary General Rob Lomas said “Intercargo is pleased to have contributed to this useful publication which highlights the key responsibilities of industry stakeholders and the importance of the IMSBC Code. The guide underlines the importance of proper cargo declarations and will be a useful tool for the wider maritime community, including shippers and charterers and those who do not regularly carry dry cargoes in bulk. Getting the checklist on board ships will help expand seafarers’ knowledge, which will be of great value.”

Nigel Cardin introducing the event

Nigel Cardin introducing the event

UK Club Loss Prevention Director Karl Lumbers emphasises that the new Code has significantly increased the obligations on both suppliers and recipients of solid cargoes. “The main purpose of the Guide is to provide on the spot references to help in practical situations. It outlines the precautions to be taken before accepting cargoes for shipment and the procedures to be followed for safe loading and carriage, and details the primary hazards associated with different solid bulk cargoes. In giving all parties a better appreciation of the IMSBC Code, the Guide provides greater confidence in managing the risks of carrying solid bulk cargoes and achieving compliance with SOLAS.”

Lloyd’s Register and the UK P&I Club have produced a number of checklists to aid safety and regulation compliance. Subjects have included Port State Control detention, marine fire safety and the Maritime Labour Convention – see relevant article/link:  https://allaboutshipping.co.uk/2012/12/06/mlc-pocket-checklist-and-smartphone-app-launched-by-lloyds-register-and-uk-pi-club/.

Nicholas Brown

Nicholas Brown

The event was introduced by Nigel Carden from the UK; Nicholas Brown, LR’s Marine Communication Manager emphasized the importance as well as the continued cooperation between the three entities. Joanna Townsend, LR’s Head of Fleet Services spoke too and an interesting Q and A session followed. Charterers, Shippers and Receivers as well as Shipbrokers should join-in to improve overall safety for the benefit of human life and insurance too!

At a lovely buffet lunch which followed many interesting pints where heard and more views exchanged. Understand that over 22, 000 pocket guides are about to be distributed! Excellent; watch this space!

For further information, the Carrying solid bulk cargoes safely guide is available via the following links:




The main presenter Sam James LR's Global Head of Fire and Safety

The main presenter Sam James LR’s Global Head of Fire and Safety

Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register provides independent assurance to companies operating high-risk, capital-intensive assets in the energy and transportation sectors. We enhance the safety of life, property and the environment by helping our clients to ensure the quality construction and operation of critical infrastructure.


Intercargo represents over 160 bulk carrier owners/operators (vessels engaged in the transport of dry bulk commodities such as coal, grain and iron ore) and associates. With Non-Governmental Organisation status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Intercargo’s objective is the creation of a “safe, efficient and environmentally friendly” dry cargo sector. Intercargo, founded in 1980, works within the Round Table of international maritime associations comprising BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo and Intertanko.

UK P&I Club

The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Limited is generally known as the UK P&I Club. As a mutual association, the UK Club has no outside shareholders and no financial links with other organisations. Since its establishment in 1869, the Club has existed solely for the benefit of its members. Its structure as a mutual insurance association enables it to respond to the changing needs of its assureds and allows it to provide superior service, attention and coverage.

The UK P&I Club is directed by the members. Overall control lies with the directors, elected by the members from amongst themselves. The directors normally meet four times a year to formulate policy on calls, the scope of cover, finance, underwriting and claims matters, reinsurance and issues affecting the P&I world. They resolve specific claims which may not fall clearly within the cover.

Thomas Miller, the Club’s managers, is organised to respond promptly to requests for assistance and to provide informed advice and help with members’ claims. Individual support goes far beyond that normally provided by a commercial insurer.

Thomas Miller

The Thomas Miller Group manages a number of world-leading mutual insurance organisations or “clubs, ” providing insurance for shipping, transport and professional indemnity risks; and captive insurance companies in the Isle of Man and Bermuda. Thomas Miller provides risk management consultancy services and, through its regulated specialist subsidiaries, delivers a full investment management service to mutual clubs, captives and other clients. The firm incorporated in 1999 and is owned and controlled by its 550 employees worldwide.

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