Mars Report 2013
Damage to refrigerated cargoes during sea transport can arise due to:
* Insufficient pre-cooling;
* Improper stowage that could restrict air circulation or lead to shifting/crushing;
* Improper ventilation;
* Improper packaging;
* Malfunction of the reefer machinery;
* Deviation from the required cooling temperature;
* Contamination or taint.
Many importing countries have strict health and sanitary regulations that prohibit damaged cargo from being landed, making it very difficult and costly to dispose of a spoilt consignment.
1 Written instructions should always be obtained from the shipper prior to loading refrigerated cargo. These instructions should include details of pre-cooling, carriage temperature, ventilation and stowage requirements;
2 The vessel should obtain a certificate from a class surveyor or other competent expert prior to loading, stating the condition and suitability of the refrigeration machinery and reefer compartments for the carriage of the specific cargo in question. For containers, pretrip inspections should be carried out;
3 Any confirmation, doubt or ambiguity must be queried and resolved in writing;
4 The vessel should never accept carriage instructions that the vessel will not be able to comply with;
5 Temperature ranges must be strictly adhered to, and in case of unavoidable deviation, the vessel’s P&I insurer must be immediately notified;
6 For controlled atmosphere (CA) shipments, the carriage instructions should include recommended concentration of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) and, if relevant, other gases (eg hydrocarbons);
7 Whether loaded inside containers or the ship’s hold, proper stowage with sufficient horizontal and vertical air gaps or channels must be ensured;
8 The floor/deck must be dry, clean and the drains must be clear;
9 Pre-cooling may take up to 24 hours before the set or desired carrying temperature can be maintained;
10 For containers, the air vent must be set or controlled as per shipper’s instructions.
Above article is Edited from Skuld P&I Club bulletin Apr 2011
For further information, please view Mars Report No10/2013 – Expert Advice can avoid reefer cargo damage
Source: The Nautical Instute