Bulk carrier owners are warned to pay extra attention to the basics in a new report issued by The Swedish Club. The Club has found that for bulk carrier operators, wet damage is the most costly claim type and the second most common claim that they experience.
The report, Wet Damage on Bulk Carriers, which has been prepared in conjunction with DNV GL, and MacGregor, identifies heavy weather and leaking hatch covers as both the most common and the most costly type of wet damage claim. With the average cost for a wet damage cargo claim running at almost ZAR 1,549,031, this is sobering news.
Whilst weather routeing is used to minimise the effects of heavy weather, green sea on deck should be a surprise to no-one, and it is not unusual for cargo hatch covers to be fully immersed in sea water. Incorrectly applied and poorly maintained cargo hatch covers and sealing systems significantly increase the risk of cargo becoming damaged by water. Case studies have revealed that many of these claims could be avoided, with hatch components in poor repair, and applications of tape and seal-foam proving no substitute for good maintenance.
“Hatches leak for a variety of reasons, but mainly because of poor maintenance or failure to close them properly,“ explains Lars A. Malm, Director, Strategic Business Development & Client Relations. “Leaking or badly maintained hatch covers can lead to more serious consequences than wet cargo – flooding, accelerated corrosion or even loss of the ship.”
The most common wet cargo issues include leaking cross joints, and compression bars, rubber gaskets, hatch coamings, drain channels and cleats in poor condition.
Wet Damage on Bulk Carriers offers practical advice on how to avoid these pitfalls, providing simple checklists and explanations of the routine tasks that can be carried out as part of a vessel’s PMS. Proper maintenance will save money and improve safety on board.