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Container ship care -prevent for hull,cargo & wet damage -Lashing check at sea

Container ship as a carrier must perform sea voyage agreed in the contract of carriage, whether this is a contract evidenced by a bill of lading or a charterparty or other document.Where the contract of carriage is evidenced by a bill of lading or sea waybill and the Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules or Hamburg Rules are expressly incorporated by statute or agreement into the contract terms, the carrier’s duties will be those set out in the relevant rules

Most P&I clubs publish loss prevention literature aimed at reducing cargo claims, and masters should ask their companies to place this literature on board. Club managers will also readily provide information on cargo care when requested by a master of an entered vessel.

Carrier’s duties under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules

Article 3 of the Hague Rules and Article III of the Hague-Visby Rules require the carrier to “…..properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for, and discharge the goods carried”. This means, for example, maintaining proper procedures in relation to the care of the cargo, including usual seamanlike practices such as operating ventilation systems properly and sounding bilges regularly, and also includes taking any necessary special measures that may be required for particular commodities or items. The words “properly and carefully” mean what they say, and imply a greater degree of care than an obligation to “exercise due diligence”.

containership underway


Following are some basic check items during voyage:

A) Lashing check

Condition of Cargo (Container) Securing / Lashing shall be checked at least once daily and tightened as required.

In case of Heavy weather, more frequent lashing checks to be carried out and additional lashing taken as necessary, at masters discretion.

B) Prevent for Wet damage for Cargo

At sea, careful Sounding of Cargo Hold Bilges is paramount to early detection of potential damage to cargo due to ingress of sea water or leakages from water or oil systems on board.

Water accumulated inside Cargo Holds due to rain or other reason shall be removed well before it rises to a level where the lower tier containers are affected and cargo within may be subject to Wet damage.

Bilge sounding shall be carried out at least once a day, In port, cargo hold bilges shall be drained into a holding tank where provided and pumping overboard shall be avoided as far as possible.

Careful checks must be made before pumping Cargo Hold Bilges overboard to ensure no danger of Pollution by Oil or Contaminants.

C) Prevent for Cargo damage

Dangerous goods

Containers are to be visually checked at random to determine if they continue to remain in good condition. D.G containers require special attention and must be checked for Leakages/Damages.

D) Refer containers

All Reefer containers shall be monitored for condition and proper functioning at least Twice daily.

More frequent monitoring will be required in case of special/VIP reefer cargo containers and units giving trouble or suspected to be malfunctioning.

E) Cargo & Hull damage

If despite observing due diligence, damage to cargo or hull has occurred, the master shall take prudent action to minimize such damage and promptly report the facts to the company. The master shall make appropriate entries in the Ships Log Book and also preserve all relevant records including navigation charts, navigational and meteorological equipment records and print outs, weather reports and other related documents. Such documents and records may be required as evidence in case of claims.

The Master shall prepare a Masters Report on the damages sustained and also lodge a Sea Protest at the next port before a notary public and have it notarized.


Feeder service

Ships employed in services for carrying containers between major container terminals and other ports which are not served by the major shipping lines are called feeder service. Most Indian ports, for example, are served by feeder ships from Colombo, while the ports of Bangladesh are served from Singapore and Malaysia. The term "feeder ship" provides no indication as to the size of the vessels, nor as to whether they are equipped with on-board lifting gear. Most feeder ships, however, are relatively small or medium-sized vessels.

Confirmation and record of securing

The following checklists shall be used to confirm the securing condition:

Cargo ships preparation for sailing

Checklist for Navigation in Heavy weather

Checklist for Departure

How to maintain Water tightness, Seaworthiness, Fire integrity and Security of ship ?

Securing your vessel for sea passage - when to check and what to check

Confirming stability & hull strength prior sailing

Collecting Information and Data for Passage Planning




Related topics

2 in 1 container operation in cargo hold

How to load 45 feet containers

Container damage in ''2 in 1'' cargo Operation



Container handling more info pages:

  1. Definition of various containers in containership
    The exterior dimensions of all containers conforming to ISO standards are 20 feet long x 8 feet wide x 8 feet 6 inches high or 9 feet 6 inches high for high cube containers. Some of the most commonly used types are:Read more......


  2. Dimensions of various containers
  3. Containers are standardized cargo units. They are manufactured in a large variety of sizes and types, each designed to meet specific cargo and transportation requirements. Their length is usually 20 or 40 feet, although longer containers are used, principally in the US trade; these containers are 45, 48 and 53 feet long.
    Read more......

  4. Containership advantages : In principle they are boxes or containers within a box. These boxes or containers have dimensions of 2.60 x 2.45 m with lengths of 6.10, 9.15 and 12.20 m. Containers are made in steel, aluminium or GRP. They are also of refrigerated design, thus advantageous for long voyages between Australia or New Zealand and the UK. Read more......


  5. Containership cargo stowage and planning : When considering acceptability of a container cargo stowage plan, the following procedures / guidelines concerning cargo stowage shall be taken into account: Stacking Weights Restrictions, Lashing strength calculation, Dangerous goods stowage and segregation, Reefer Container Stowage , Out of Gauge Container Stowage , ....Read more......


  6. DG cargo handling - IMDG code guideline :The general provisions for segregation between the various classes of dangerous goods are shown in "Segregation table" (IMDG Code Chapter 7.2.1.16). In addition to the general provisions, there may be a need to segregate a particular substance, material or article from other goods which could contribute to its hazard. Read more......


  7. How to avoid irregular stowage of containers ? Stowage plan must be checked for any irregular stowage like those mentioned here : Stacking Weights, Lashing Strength, Special Container Stowage, Over-stow of Containers, Dangerous Cargo Stowage & Segregation, 20 or 40 or 45 feet Compulsory Stowage Locations, Hatch Cover Clearance (High cube containers Under Deck ), Out of Gauge Container Stowage etc.Read more......


  8. Measures against lashing failure : Lashing strength of deck cargo shall be ascertained by using the appropriate lashing strength calculation software where provided. All resulting values for lashing strength must be within the tolerance limits prescribed by vessels classification society.Read more......


  9. Reefer container stowage guideline : Reefer containers proposed for stowage must be accompanied by a reefer manifest. This reefer manifest should contain information regarding Container No., Stow position, Commodity, Temperature and Ventilation status. Read more......


  10. Care of Reefer container during sea passage :Reefer containers require special care after they are loaded on board ship. These containers need to be supplied with power, monitored closely for proper function and repaired as required in case of malfunction. Read more......


  11. Container ships procedures for securing for sea :All movable items on deck, inside accommodation and in E/R spaces, including under-deck passages and steering flat are firmly secured. Any unsecured items, in heavy weather, risk not only being damaged themselves, but could also pose a danger to vessel safety by violent contact with sensitive equipment or fittings.Read more......


  12. Deployment and monitoring of moorings and safety of crew :The Company’s Risk Assessment procedure shall be utilized to ensure that during all anticipated mooring arrangements and equipment use, the safety of crew is ensured. Read more......


  13. Cargo securing procedure for container ship :Securing equipment will vary depending on the type of ship but is likely to include; Twistlocks Lashing bars Turnbuckles Extension hooks Stacking cones (single and double) Twist Stackers Lashing D rings Shoes/Sockets for base twistlocks ...Read more......


  14. Containership operation -Check items upon completion of repair works : As the nature of container ship operation, it’s tread to be lack of stability, due to Top Heavy Load, the Master shall always take special attention for her stability. Also the Master should remind factors to cause reducing stability more such as Alternating course with Big angle of Rudder, Towing by tugs at the scene of Berthing / Un-berthing, etc. Read more......


  15. Containership operation -Cargo ventilation requirement : Cargo holds of container ships are fitted with two basic types of ventilation systems, namely natural and mechanical. Mechanical ventilation could be of either the supply or the exhaust type. Read more......


  16. Containership operation -How to avoid wet damage ? :Water entered into vessel cargo holds may cause wet damage to the cargo inside containers especially stowed on the bottom, unless the bilge water is drained in a proper and swift manner. Read more......





Other info pages !

Ships Charterparties Related terms & guideline
Stevedores injury How to prevent injury onboard
Environmental issues How to prevent marine pollution
Cargo & Ballast Handling Safety Guideline
Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
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