Keeping a Safe Cargo Watch


Guidelines and Procedures During Cargo Operations in Containership

Containership cargo operation need careful consideration at various stages .The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship. Please read our article below for safety onboard during cargo operations

1)Progress of cargo operations shall be monitored by cargo watch personnel to confirm operations are as per the approved loading and discharge plans. Any deviations must be brought to the attention of the terminal planner.

2)Close monitoring is especially required for special containers like reefer units, DG units, Out of gauge containers etc.


3) Progress of the Ballasting / De-ballasting operations shall be checked by the officer in charge of the cargo watch or chief officer / master if he is doing the operation.

4) Stability condition of the vessel shall be periodically monitored during cargo operations especially as to Draft (within applicable load line mark or port restrictions), Trim (not excessive), Heel (max. 2ºport or stbd) and GoM (more than 0.60m). The ship shall never be allowed excessively heeled or trimmed and the chief officer is responsible for ensuring good positive stability and acceptable condition of Heel / Trim at all times.

5) Opening/closing operation of hatch covers shall be supervised by cargo watch personnel. Prior operation, it must be confirmed that securing arrangements are cleared and no obstructions / loose material pose danger of damage to vessel.

6) Vigilance is to be maintained for any damage caused to vessel or cargo.

7) Cargo securing/lashing operations shall be continuously monitored by cargo watch personnel and not left for the end in order to avoid any delay after completion of cargo operations.

8) A log of all important events shall be maintained by the officer in charge of the cargo watch. Times of Commencing / Ceasing Cargo operations, Opening / Closing Hatch covers, Stoppages with Reasons, Number of cranes operating etc shall be clearly recorded in this port log.