651 - 8/09 - Ferrous Sulphate - Asia/Europe

The Club has recently been informed of a number of problems encountered with shipments of Ferrous Sulphate in containers from Shanghai to Germany via Rotterdam.

The cargo had been shipped in 20’ DV containers filled with 20 large bags (1,000kg each). The large bags appear to have leaked whilst inside the containers, which have been found in varying locations throughout the vessel both above and below deck. Each shipment of this cargo from the same shipper/consignee has contained leaking containers.

Name: ferrous sulphate,

a.k.a : Iron II Sulphate, sulphuric acid iron (2+) salt heptahydrate

UN number: not IMDG classed

CAS: 7782-63-0

Formula: FeSO4. 7H2O

Melting temp:  64°C

Appearance: green crystals

Hazards: the product is irritating to eyes, skin and respiratory tract the product is mildly acidic.

Leakage onboard has lead to the contamination of all containers stowed in the stack below, as well as those in the vessel’s hold. As this is a mildly acidic cargo, the paint coatings of the vessel and container have been affected by brown rust stains. Due to the contamination of the vessel and other containers, cleaning can prove to be costly.

Consignees are currently refusing to receive containers due to shipping companies requesting payment for the costs incurred during this process. At present about 150 containers are lying in Rotterdam waiting for this situation to be resolved. 

Despite containers being affected throughout the ship, "The Association would advise its members to stow this cargo in the lowest tiers and on deck where possible, additionally containers shall be kept out of direct sunlight when on deck and away from sources of heat in the hold i.e. bunker tanks as this can cause the cargo to lose moisture”. Crews should remain vigilant throughout and report any leakage immediately.

Source of information: 

Carefully to Carry Committee

With thanks to Van Ameyde Marine & Dutch P&I Services B.V.

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