SHORE CONVEYOR BELT DAMAGE
A Panamax Bulk Carrier loaded Steam Coal from one of the African Ports. Prior loading, Holds inspected by Shippers Surveyors and found fit/clean to load Steam Coal in Bulk. A Hold Cleanliness Certificate was issued by Surveyors in this regard. The Cargo carted by rail (rakes) unloaded and loaded by shore cranes. The loading took 5 working days. Clean Mates Receipts were issued after loading the nominated quantity. Vessel arrived New Man galore Port and berthed at a Coal Terminal. After the usual arrival and Cargo formalities, unloading commenced. The following day, loading had to be stopped to carry out temporary repairs to Conveyor belt system as large metal pieces had damaged the Conveyor belt . Surprisingly, the metal pieces had passed through sieves (grating) two hoppers of the
A huge claim by Receiving Terminal (on behalf of the Receivers) followed. Hence, we were
appointed by Owners P & I Association.
Without Prejudice, Joint Survey with Terminal Surveyors followed, we had to ascertain Cause,
Nature, Extent and Estimate of the damage. With the Joint Survey Report findings and appropriate wordings, we were able to release the Vessel promptly after discharge operations without a LOU from the Owners P & I Association.
In our Investigation, we pointed out that the metallic pieces did not emerge from the Vessel Holds as no parts of the hold were missing or adrift besides holds clean at the commencement of loading.
It is to be noted Conveyor Belt being of synthetic material, age of some damages on belt could not be ascertained.
When all the cargo debris was collected at different points of the Conveyor Belt, the Cause was attributed to quality of Cargo loaded by Shippers at Load Port absolving Vessel of any liability.
It is understood that the assessed reasonable loss without prejudice was significantly lower amount than claimed by the Terminal.
Lesson to learn for all deck officers is that be vigilant when cargo is being loaded. Do not take it for
granted that Cargo characteristics matches the quality certificate. Keep an efficient and diligent