Principles of stowage

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Principles of stowage.

Stowage is the placing of the cargo into cargo spaces of ship. During this operation care should be taken because it can be damage to the cargo.

First that should be taken into consideration is ship's seaworthiness. Ship's seaworthiness is a fitness of the ship to withstand the actions of sea, weather and wind. It depends on the stability, unsinkability and other properties of the ship. Ship's stability is property of the ship to maintain position of equilibrium and return this position when the force which had displaced it cases of act. Stability depends on the metocentric height which can be provided by right stowage and trimming and reliable fastening and lashing the cargo. Lashing protects cargo from shifting, chaffing, breaking and crashing.

Next item is the safety of the cargo. The ship must be ready for loading in every respect. The holds must be clear, the dunnage must be sound. Every kind of cargo calls for appropriate clearing of holds, such as sweeping, washing, ventilation and if it necessary painting of the holds. Dunnage is the material which protects the cargo from damage. Dunnage must be dry, sound and free from stains. It can be boards, battens, carboards, cardwoods, tarpaulin, plywood etc. It means that ship must be cargo worthy. When loading the cargo the compatibility should be taken into account, because one cargo can be damaged by another neighbor cargo. There are a lot of publications about the characteristics and compatibilities of the cargoes.

It is seldom when loaded cargo of uniform dimensions and loss of space is one of the main problems of loading. Broken stowage is space which lost or unoccupied by cargo, between and round of package, occupied by dunnage, space at sides, ends and tops of cargoes. The loss of space can be avoided by compactness of loading, selection packages, keeping a supply of packages ready at hand and selection  packages to fill the beam space.

Another problem is the alteration of port rotation. It often happens when the ship is under way. It must be considered before loading by Master or Cargo Officer to avoid costs (demurrage) and delay in port of discharging. Every package must be easily accessible. The cargo for last port should be loaded first and cargo for the first port should be loaded last.

And the last and main item is safety of the crew and longshoremen. Everyone must  have protective clothes such as helmet, gloves, boots with non-slipped sole. And also everyone must be instructed properly and all dangerous  places must be enclosed.

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