The report, Wet Damage on Bulk Carriers, which has been prepared in cooperation with DNV GL, and MacGregor, identifies heavy weather and leaking hatch covers as the most common and the most costly type of wet damage claim. With the average cost for a wet damage cargo claim being almost $110,000, this is alarming.


Whilst weather routeing minimises the effects of heavy weather, green sea on deck is surprising, and it is not unusual for cargo hatch covers to be fully immersed in sea water.

Wrongly applied and poorly maintained cargo hatch covers and sealing systems increase the risk of cargo becoming damaged by water. Case studies have shown that many of these claims can be avoided. However, hatch components in poor repair, and applications of tape and seal-foam proving aren't substitutes for good maintenance.

The most common wet cargo problems include leaking cross joints, and compression bars, rubber gaskets, hatch coamings, drain channels and cleats in poor condition.

Wet Damage on Bulk Carriers offers recommendations to avoid these pitfalls, simple checklists and explanations of the routine tasks that can be conducted as part of a vessel’s PMS.


  • 34% of all insured bulk carriers suffered a cargo claim in 2017. This is an increase of 75% since 2014.
  • For 2017 the average cargo claim on a bulk carrier was almost USD 70,000.
  • Wet damage is the second most common claim type on a bulk carrier and the most costly. The average cost for a bulk carrier wet damage cargo claim is almost USD 110,000.
  • Leaking hatch covers are the most common wet damage cause followed by heavy weather. These are usually closely connected as seawater has entered the cargo hold through leaking cargo hatch covers during heavy weather.
  • Proper weathertightness is a key factor in keeping cargo dry. To ensure that the hatch covers are weathertight the sealing system needs to be in a good condition.
  • It is important to ensure that the cargo hatch covers’ system components are in proper condition as this will reduce the risk of seawater entering the cargo holds.

You can see more information in the PDF herebelow