393 - 12/04 - Improper Bulk Measurement - Chittagong (Bangladesh)

In a recent incident in India owners were found liable for a cargo shortage after the master was persuaded  to use ”grab capacity” to calculate discharge figures.

A cargo of bulk peas had been loaded homogeneously for two different receivers, under two different bills of lading, for discharge at two different ports - Chittagong (Bangladesh) and Visakhaptnam (India).

On arrival at the first port in Bangladesh, 75% of that consignment was bagged on board and that parcel quantified by draft survey before and after discharge. The remaining 25% of the cargo for that port was discharged by grab and the master was persuaded to allow quantification of this by the number of grab movements (being advised that the capacity of the grab was 2 tonnes).

On arrival at the next port, Visakhaptnam a draft survey revealed a shortage of some 514 tonnes under the second bill of lading.

The ship was arrested, a bank guarantee had to be given, and the owner had no effective defence to the claim.

Where several parties are involved with bulk parcels which are not separated, it is extremely important that all parties understand in advance the necessity for accurate measurement and to make allowance for any limitations. The use of grab capacity as a method of quantification is extremely unreliable especially with large parcels and should be avoided.

Source of information :

Mr R.K. Banerjee

Pandi Correspondents Pvt Ltd

Kolkata

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Thomas Miller

Date23/03/2009

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