853 - 11/12 - Loading of bagged cargoes - Kakinada, India

Following the Club's bulletin 852 concerning bagged cargo, Shortages of bagged goods - West Africa, we have detailed advice from our correspondent in Kakinada, India where all the recent problematic shipments have originated from.

Kakinada is an anchorage port therefore all cargo operations are carried out by barges manoeuvring alongside vessels waiting at anchor. Bagged cargoes are handled using rope net slings and lifted using the ocean going vessels own lifting gear.

The Club's correspondent, being familiar with the operations of the port has reported to us the best practices to be taken to avoid shortage of cargo claims at the discharge port.


Inspection of the cargo prior to loading

Preliminary inspection of the cargo is ideally done on shore whilst the cargo is brought from the shippers inland godowns by trucks and loaded into the barges to eliminate the damaged, cut / torn and heavily stained bags if any brought by the trucks.

Barge coverings

Although the cargo loaded in the barges is suitably covered by tarpaulins during the barges transit to the vessels at anchorage, it is possible that some of the bags loaded in barges may get wet due to rough sea conditions and or rain. Hence it is essential that the cargo is inspected when the barges are placed alongside vessel and prior to loading of cargo on board the vessel.

Ships rail observations

Inspection on the condition of bags being loaded on board is essential to eliminate the cut / torn bags from the slings and from the hatches which normally result owing to the compressional pressure within the rope net sling loads of bags and sometimes due to poor quality of the bags themselves.


Although the vessel is responsible for the number of bags loaded and not the quality of cargo, it is advisable to keep a watch out for any visible signs of weevils or other infestation, if any, and take appropriate action.

Proper stowage

To ensure that dunnaging of cargo inside the hatches is undertaken by the Shippers under the supervision of the vessel's officers.

 Handling gear

It is needless to add that strict vigilance be maintained to ensure that no hooks are used for handling the bags under any circumstances.

Independent surveyor

It is highly recommended to appoint competent surveyors to carry out preloading inspection/continuous tally on board at Kakinada to ensure that only sound bags are loaded and reject the cut/torn bags and to meticulously carry out tally of the loaded bags.

Duration of port stay

Due to congestion at the Kakinada anchorage where a lot of vessels are loading rice in bags and due to lack of barges the loading takes longer time sometimes for more than a month to complete the loading operation. Therefore, adequate labour has to be employed by the surveyors all through the period of their tally/inspection.

Moisture content

Additionally, in some cases, we were asked to appoint surveyors for carrying out analysis of moisture content in the cargo and preloading sampling is done at the shippers' godowns/transit sheds.


In addition the Club would advise a draft survey be carried out and cargo hatches sealed in the presence of charterers representatives.

Source of Information:   

Loss Prevention dept.

UK P&I Club,




Staff Author