152 - 08/00 - High value cargo: Contamination of top quality kraft pulp by aluminium fluoride

A Member recently loaded a bulk cargo of high quality kraft pulp in Vancouver.  A film was placed over the cargo and then lumber loaded on top.

In Mexico the lumber was restowed, a plywood floor erected, and aluminium fluoride in 1.5 m/t bags was loaded on top. During the voyage the ship experienced heavy weather and some of the bags ripped contaminating the kraft pulp stowed underneath. The aluminium fluoride was discharged in Gladstone and the kraft pulp in Port Kembla. This grade of kraft pulp is the highest possible and it is used to produce a very expensive paper. Vacuuming the kraft pulp will reduce some of the contamination but unfortunately the aluminium fluoride is a white powder - the same colour as the kraft pulp and therefore very difficult to detect. This grade of kraft pulp has an extremely high value and whilst it can be downgraded its price would then be significantly diminished. In this particular case the claim is presently estimated at US$ 1 million.

Source of information: Katarina Folkson.

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Thomas Miller & Co Ltd

Date23/03/2009

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