CIS P&I issues advice on loading of bulk agricultural products in South Russia

UK P&I Correspondents CIS P&I has issued advice on aspects of quality and conditions to which vessels should pay attention during the loading of bulk agricultural products, as well as points to consider while arranging steel surveys in South Russian ports of the Black Sea.

Denis Shashkin, Deputy Manager of Novorossiysk Branch, CIS PandI Services Ltd noted that there were a number of cases within the season of bulk grain products (barley, wheat, corn, etc.) loading from ports of Southern Russian Black Sea coast where the Master and/or Chief Officer, based on visual examination, had expressed concern at the quality of cargo.

The problems usually related to foreign matter and impurities becoming visible on the surface of stacks of cargo during loading.

The correspondents noted that in the majority of the cases it was not the case. “While any concern of crew regarding loaded cargo is appreciated and quite needed to establish and prevent risk of potential losses, they must still understand correct approach to such estimation of cargo”, Mr Shashkin said, noting that the difference between condition and quality parameters of this type of cargo needed to be clearly understood.

Visual control for the condition of cargo with periodic measurement of its temperature and moisture content should be required from the vessel’s side. It is recommended to arrange onboard simple distance temperature measuring tool and moisture meter. This enables the crew to control important parameters of cargo for prevention of any consequent claim.

Brief assessment of moisture content can be done by hand as well. The testing cargo must be grasped in the palm and squeezed in the fist forcibly. After opening the palm, dry cargo will flow out of palm freely, while wet cargo with moisture content of more than 15% will remain in the hand either fully or partially.

Bulk Agricultural Cargo Quality cannot be determined visually. Often the cargo, that visually looks bad and appears to be not corresponding to required percentage, will in reality be in specification after the full consignment composite is analyzed.