399 - 02/05 - Bagged Cargo Handling Problems - Iraq

The Club has been informed by way of correspondents in Iraq, that their biggest problems at present are torn bags and shortage claims. The two problems are usually inter-related.

Bagged cargo is discharged directly onto trucks and typically, one might expect around 5,000 torn bags during the discharge of 15,000 mt of bagged cargo. The main cause is careless discharge, with stevedores dragging bags in the hold and brutally landing them on trucks. Shortage has been as much as 2,000 bags and sometimes more from shipments over 10,000 MT. Torn bags are not tallied directly and they are shifted to an area in the warehouse for re-bagging. Stevedore labour can be hard to control.

The crew can often assist to minimise problems, in particular by:

· Ensuring that stevedores do not load more than 40 bags per net/sling;

· Ensuring that the number of bags per net/sling is always the same; and

· Asking the stevedores at the beginning of discharge to avoid the worst practice, especially dragging bags from the wings to the hatch square, and careless use of cranes/derricks so that loaded nets slam against hatch coamings and truck sides.

Correspondents advise that in cases of serious problems of torn bags and spillage, extra labour for re-stitching on board can be supplied.

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Thomas Miller

Date23/03/2009

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