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Break Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey

Break Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey

Break Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey

Break Bulk Cargoes Holds Condition Survey

A break bulk cargoes holds condition survey procedure and actions of AIM Control’s is aimed at helping ship-master, cargo officers, marine superintendents and chartering understand the requirement of ship’s cargo holds preparation before loading of break and bulk cargoes.

Under AIM Control’s surveyors consult in preventing any claims on cargo loss, contamination, costs, delay, and disputes over on-hire, off-hire and charter party issues  

The break bulk cargoes holds condition survey is not just a question of sweeping, cleaning odors, there are a number of matters to consider and failing to adhere to good practice can result in substantial claims.

A lack of knowledge, often originating can be the underlying cause of major claims.


Cargo hold cleaning

  1. Cargo contamination problems

  2. Problems stemming from previous cargo

  3. Cargo stain

  4. Rust, rust scale and paint flaking

  5. Unsanitary conditions

  6. Wetness

  7. Odours

  8. Infestation

  9. Safe


Various cargoes – hold cleaning requirements

  • Coke – general

  • Green delayed petcoke

  • Met coke

  • Bulk cement and clinker

  • Anthracite coal

  • Bituminous coal

  • Bauxite

  • Manganese ore

  • Salt

  • Soda ash

  • Sulphur

  • Fertiliser

  • Woodchips

  • After loading

  • Before arrival

  • Other cargoes

Hold structure

The conventional bulk carrier has a box construction with Tank top, internal shell plating, wing tank plating, coating, frames, bulkheads, top brackets, foot brackets, u/side cross deck, ladders, platforms, sounding pipes (dark sides), air pipes (dark sides), pipe protections, bilges and suctions, lighting, manhole covers, fire detectors, electrical cables, electrical connections, electrical switches, co2 pipelines, co2 discharge heads, ventilation, ventilation trunks/grills, booby hatches.

This is evidence of AIM Control’s one Ship's cargoes holds condition survey while Vessel anchorage at Cam Pha, Quang Ninh, Vietnam:


The break bulk cargoes holds condition survey (before loading)

  • Supervision and survey to find free from ANY previous cargo residues

  • Supervision and survey to find free from loose rust, scale or paint.  Painted surfaces must be properly applied and cured

  • Supervision and survey to find dry and clean

  • Supervision and survey to find free from odours

  • Supervision and survey to find in all ways in a suitable condition, fit and safe to receive and preserve the intended cargo

  • Supervision and survey to find particular emphasis on previous cargo residue on overhead beams, hatch-end beams, hatch joints and hinges, frame brackets, pipe brackets, ladder ways, manhole covers etc



Although not part of a vessel cleanliness survey inspection it is requested that the following is also checked and reported on:

  • Supervision and survey to find all bilge covers, access covers, tank-top covers should be inspected and properly secured

  • Supervision and survey to find bilge wells should be clean and dry with pumps in good working order

  • Supervision and survey to find tank-tops should be free from protrusions, container fittings, pad eyes and the like

  • Supervision and survey to find hatch covers must be demonstrably watertight with all seals and sealing faces in position and properly maintained.

Problems stemming from previous cargo

The holds will be declared unfit for loading if any residue of the previous cargo, other debris or substances, dunnage residue or a need fo repair or hot work is found then the ship’s activities are to be sweeping and removing all residues, followed by a thorough wash-down using high-pressure air of water cleaning equipment

Cargo stain: cargo stains are not acceptable if they rub off and risks contaminating the next cargo. AIM Control surveyors give coal and petcock stains particular attention because these can blister and peel the pain work if the cargo holds starts to sweat then the ship’s activities are to be coal and pertcoke stains ban be removed by using spray jet system for applying chemicals from the tank top.

Rust, rust scale and paint flaking: all areas affected by rust and flaking paint will be checked then ship’s activities are to be loose rust and paint flakes should be removed using high pressure air or water.

Unsanitary condition: if a cargo hold inspection is be found out any sewage, animal filth and bird droppings, it must be treated appropriately.

Wetness: all cargo holds must be dried.

Odours: All grain storage areas must be odour-free. This includes odour from paint and cleaning chemicals. The hatch covers must be opened so fresh air, or ventilation can be used to remove odours

Infestation: Holds will be declared unfit to load grain if three or more insects, dead or alive, are found in one hold. The holds will also be declared unfit if larvae, the fumigation is done prior to being accepted.

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Written : @AIM Control
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