The carriage by sea of dangerous goods in solid bulk form can involve serious risks. The shipment of solid bulk cargoes is regulated by the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which became mandatory on 1 January 2011. The primary aim of the IMSBC Code is to facilitate the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes by providing information on the dangers associated with the shipment of certain types of bulk cargoes. The IMSBC Code provides guidance on procedures which should be adopted during loading, the voyage and at discharge; and also describes various test procedures to determine the characteristic cargo properties. The primary hazards from solid bulk cargoes that we commonly deal with include, damage to the vessel from aggressive or hot cargoes, liquefaction, self-heating, fires, explosions, chemical reactions and cargo degradation. At Hawkins, we have expertise and experience in dealing with IMSBC cargo investigations. We are corporate members of the Academy of Experts and all work is undertaken in accordance with their Codes of Practice for Experts.
Common problems that Hawkins have dealt with associated with the shipment of solid bulk cargoes include:
The IMSBC Code provides information on the dangers associated with shipment of solid bulk cargoes and procedures to be followed. Cargo is classified into one of the following groups:
Group A – cargoes which may liquefy
Group B – cargoes which possess a chemical hazard
Group C – cargoes which are neither liable to liquefy (Group A) nor to possess chemical hazards (Group B)
At Hawkins we have experience dealing with investigations related to liquefaction, self-heating cargoes and degradation of agricultural cargoes. Our specialists have also dealt with numerous fires and explosions related to solid bulk cargoes such as coal and DRI (direct reduced iron).