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Safe carriage of steel cargo: Do’s and don’ts

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작성자 최고관리자 댓글 0건 조회 78회 작성일 20-11-17 18:36


Safe carriage of steel cargo: Dos and donts

The Standard P&I Club issued a a reference guide for masters, cargo officers and shore operations staff with best practice when shipping steel cargo. Steel is a high-value cargo, a cargo easily damaged by rough handling, water and moisture, while its weight presents substantial challenges with stowage and securing.

Safety | 13/11/20 


'The Masters Guide to The Carriage of Steel Cargo'(첨부참조) looks at key areas that cause steel incidents and gives practical guidance to avoid them. These incidents usually result from crew error, poor crew training or not following proper procedures.


Safety when working with steel


  • respect the hazards associated with steel. Work safely and use proper walkways/safe means of access

  • point out loose or poorly stowed steel to stevedores before they begin work

  • stand well back and away from fall or swing zones while steel is being moved

  • wear personal protective equipment

  • wear high-visibility clothing


  • enter a cargo hold unaccompanied or without support

  • enter a cargo hold without means to test the hold atmosphere for oxygen

  • stand in the fall or swing zone of lifted steel

  • enter a dark hold to examine steel without adequate lighting

  • enter a cargo hold in bad weather

  • tighten wire lashings to the wires breaking point

  • climb between stowed steel, especially steel coils

  • walk on or between wet steel

  • walk in the path of a coil that is not wedged it could move.


Basic advice on steel cargo loading

Coils should be stowed across the ship, on stout dunnage, with their axes fore and aft. Use wedges to safely locate coils during loading. Base coils should be loaded from the ships side inwards to the centre and wedged, with the wedges placed below the coils on their in-board side.


Once at sea, the ships motion will cause the coils to settle as the weight of the key coils tightens the stow. Wedges placed either side of a coil will prevent this. However, when more than one key coil is used, and to locate the position of the key coils during loading, double wedging is necessary on either side of the centre supporting coil(s).


Coils are secured with steel banding to each other in varying forms. Pneumatically tightened steel bands, which bind the coils to those stowed immediately below, are preferred.


Key coils are positioned so that their bottom edges are one-third of a coils diameter below the top of the coils in the tier being locked, in a gap that is not greater than 60% of the key coils diameter.


Wire coils should be stowed vertically, with their axes fore and aft, adjacent to each other in a similar configuration to the stowage of steel coils.

Plate should be stowed in the fore and aft direction, with dunnage running athwartships and between each tier. Stowage should be from one side of the ship to the other, leaving no voids, and the top layer secured with wire or chain _binding_s. When loading thin plate, stowage in subsequent tiers can be in alternate directions.

Long products, such as pipes, channels, angles, beams, flats, rounds and rebars, should be stowed in the lower holds in the fore and aft direction, with dunnage placed athwartships. Avoid mixing products of different types and lengths in the same stow. Place dunnage between the tiers. The top tier should be secured to the ship.

Semi-finished steel slabs should be stowed in the same manner as steel plate. California Steel Industries (CSI) recommends vertical stowage with tight lashing of top tiers:

  • Arrange a preloading survey of all finished steel before loading. Do not confuse finished steel with project cargo.

  • Avoid loading wet steel and wet dunnage. Wet steel has less friction. Both give off moisture.

  • Ships officers should monitor stevedores to ensure:

- they use the correct equipment and do not damage the cargo. Steel wire slings or chains when used incorrectly can damage bundles of pipe, plate or steel coils

- steel is not handled roughly - forklifts are fitted with proper lifting tines. Damage during lifting by a forklift is very common - stowage and securing is as per the cargo plan and the ships cargo securing manual

- cargo is not loaded wet or during periods of rain or left exposed in wet conditions

- details of cargo damage are correctly recorded on the stowage plan and in the cargo log.

  • Ships officers should monitor the surveyor performing the preloading survey and be available to assist.


Loading checklist

The guide to the carriage of Steel Cargo focuses, among others, on correct loading and contains valuable do's and don'ts for the loading checklist:


  • Pre-plan steel stowage. Make sure steel is stowed on solid floors and, when applicable, key coils are positioned correctly. Coil widths and/or cargo dimensions may not always permit textbook stowage.

  • Mark the location of solid floors in the cargo space to enable easy reference during loading.

  • Make sure cargo spaces are squared off by construction of a stout buttress or support. Use new timber and remember that No. 1 hold is most likely to be the hold where damage might occur.

  • Wash holds with fresh water before loading, remove all debris and hard objects, fully dry the holds.

  • When arranging stowage of steel coils, make sure the maximum tank top point load is never exceeded.

  • Arrange for key coils to be placed in such a manner that the coils bottom edge is one-third of its diameter below the top edge of the coil being locked. Stagger the position of key coils to avoid overloading the tank top.

  • Make sure sufficient dry dunnage of the correct type and thickness is used.

  • Use dunnage of uniform 2in thickness for coils. Remember, certain countries have import regulations that apply to ships dunnage. Check the regulations before taking dunnage and use only approved dunnage, especially if discharging in North American ports.

  • Record all pre-shipment damage on mates receipts or bills of lading by carefully describing the damage found and clearly identifying the damaged article.

  • Load steel dry, especially if steel is packaged (wrapped).

  • If required to load wet steel, endorse the bills with wet before shipment. Ensure hatch covers are weathertight before loading.

  • Segregate steel that must be kept dry, and load it in a different hold from steel that can be loaded wet or products that contain moisture.

  • Work with the surveyor to examine steel for preloading damage.

  • Double-check any cargo found damaged. Make an effort to understand what the surveyor is looking for.

  • Whenever surveyors visit to examine cargo, check their credentials to verify who they are acting for, before allowing access to the ship or cargo.

  • Minimise the amount of cargo stowed with metal-to-metal contact. If this type of stowage is unavoidable, make sure the cargo is not wet. Wetness reduces frictional resistance and increases the danger of cargo shifting during ship rolling. Special care is needed when loading during rain showers.

  • Try to avoid loading damaged cargo but accept that this may not be possible, in which case, stow this separately on top and endorse details of the damage on the bills of lading. Bent and buckled steel can be shipped for reprocessing, but the bills should not record the cargo as steel products.

  • Report to the P&I correspondent or ships owners when problems are found with cargo or cargo stowage.

  • Take daily dew point readings of hold and outside air, and ventilate or dehumidify when necessary. Keep detailed records of these measurements.

  • Remember the voyage ventilation mantra, cold to hot, ventilate not. Hot to cold, ventilate bold.

  • Calculate the ships GM and, if possible, take measures to reduce high values.

  • Follow weather routing and as far as practicable try to avoid swell conditions, as these can cause heavy rolling and wavelengths equal to half the ships length, which in turn can initiate parametric rolling in slender ships during pitching in head seas.

  • Remember that cargo has to be properly chocked and secured, and that only steel coils and semifinished steel slabs stowed in California block stowage are lashed to themselves. All other steel is lashed to the ship.

  • Point out any ship or cargo hazards or limitations to the stevedores.


  • Rely on stevedores to determine cargo stowage. They may opt for the easiest stowage rather than the best.

  • Use the maximum allowable tank top loading weight to determine the number of steel coils that can be safely loaded. Steel coils produce a point load. The maximum allowable tank top loading weight assumes a homogeneous weight distribution.

  • Be surprised if the textbook size and type of dunnage is not delivered to the ship. The dunnage supplied may be the best available, in which case, greater application of dunnage may be required.

  • Use wet or green timber for dunnage.

  • Sign, or allow the ships agents to sign, clean bills of lading or mates receipts for damaged cargo.

  • Allow coils to be loaded in a pyramid pattern.

  • Load steel before evaluating the strength of the tank top against the proposed weight distribution.

  • Ventilate when the relative humidity of ambient (outside) air is greater than that of the hold air or when the ambient airs dew point is greater than the temperature of the cargo. These conditions exist when cargo is cold, because it was loaded in winter (cold) conditions for discharge in, or passing through, summer (warm) conditions.

  • Ventilate if unsure that ventilation conditions are correct.

  • Stow steel products in the same compartment as cargo with different ventilation requirements.

  • Load steel in holds that have previously carried oxidising agents or acidic compounds, until the holds have been thoroughly washed with fresh water and dried.

  • Think that space remaining in the hold after loading steel needs to be filled with other cargo; it does not. When loading a full cargo of steel, the tank top maximum loading will be reached before the hold is full and often before the ship reaches her marks.






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