Cargo in focus: Bagged rice

In collaboration with the cargo experts at CWA International, The Swedish Club has published a circular on cargo advice that highlights the problems that can arise with bagged rice cargoes. It noted that one of the most common sources of cargo claims was the bagged rice trade from Asia to West Africa. The top three rice exporters are India, Thailand and Vietnam. Bagged rice cargoes from all Asian rice exporting nations were often subject to claims at discharge, the Club said.

It noted that this was partly due to the inherent risk of condensation associated with the voyage route.

Bagged rice was most at risk of ship’s sweat-type condensation wetting when the vessel sails from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via South Africa, the Club said.

The vessel experiences a large temperature change due to the much cooler Benguela Current, which runs up the south western coast of Africa.

The risk of condensation might be exacerbated if the vessel sails on this route during the Southern Hemisphere winter.

Bagged rice could also be at risk of cargo sweat type condensation on certain voyages. This was associated with the shipment of low temperature bagged rice from Northern China in winter. Moisture condenses the relatively cool cargo if the holds are incorrectly ventilated, with warmer air during the voyage or when the holds are opened for discharge in high temperature and humidity conditions at the destination.