We have been made aware of several claims arising at time of discharge in the Far East with cargoes of steel wire rod coils. These coils have been shipped by British Steel out of Teesport and Middlesborough and are not of standard packing.
The coils consist of a single strand, with a coiled length of about 1.4m, an outside diameter of about 1.25m and an inside diameter of 0.9m, ie a "wall thickness" of about 0.175m. Each coil weighs about 2 tonnes. The coils themselves are strapped with four axial bands and one radial band placed around the coil at mid point. We are advised that the radial band (flat steel signode) should be clipped to the axial bands to stop them slipping. (We understand the radial band is not clipped to the axial bands by shippers, but actually put on where possible by stevedores at a later date, indicating perhaps problems with the original packing as received from the shipper)
The length of coils relative to their diameter makes them act more like a spring and can allow them to flex and "rack", ie tilt so the windings are no longer vertical. With this thickness of wall material, sharp angles are formed where the axial bands are bent round the ends of the coil. When the coils are lifted they can flex enough to cause the axial bands to be put under excess tension. This then causes the bands to snap.
Coils from other places, eg Antwerp and Hamburg, are packed differently. Usually these coils consist of a smaller length of wire and are wrapped into a far shorter length coil, with less potential to spring, rack or flex. Two or four such coils may be consolidated into a bundle, but in this case the bundle usually has a total weight of only about 1 tonne; certainly no more than 1.5 tonnes. Individual coils are therefore no more than 0.75 tonnes each, ie about a third of the length/weight of a British Steel coil. The strapping here, both in the individual coils and the bundles is often wire of the type being shipped. This is a far more compact and rigid package.
We would suggest owners be alive to possible problems with this particular type of coil, especially at the moment where we anticipate a more aggressive claims environment in Asia due to the recent economic problems in the area.
For information we are advised that :
More detailed information can found on the Correspondent / Surveyor discussion forum under "Wire rod in coils" on the Club's website www.ukpandi.com Go to "On Line Services" to register for the Forum.
Or obtained from A Weatherill/S Brown, Mc Ausland and Turner Ltd, Hull, United Kingdom
Tel +44 1482 223832
Fax +44 1482 227001
Source of Information:
Trevor Elliston through Bill Kirrane (E5)