10 ENSSENCIAL POINTS FOR CHIEF OFFICER OF CONTAINER VESSEL
1. Presently on container vessels, Chief Mate calculates Draft and GM by mean of using loading software. For enhancement of getting the result near to the actual, it should be taken into account that the software uses Geometrical Center of a container for calculation. Actually, almost all containers are very rarely filled up to the top, therefore actual Centers of Gravity of the containers are usually lower than its Geometrical Centers. It causes the result of the calculation by software to be less than the actual.
2. Normally, the weight of containers declared by cargo shipper is less than their actual weight, despite the case when it is determined by weight checking station, especially in Vietnam domestic lines. Therefore the calculated Draft is normally lower than the read draft after loading. Chief Mate should track and monitor the vessel’s draft at the final loading stage to avoid overloading.
3. Measures to be taken to ensure that Stack Weight to be within permissible values. It should be taken into mind that due to reason mentioned above in paragraph 2, when the calculated Stack Weight reach the permissible value, then actually you are loading with excessive Stack Weight.
4. Lashing work to be completed properly before vessel’s departure against any weather conditions and circumstances. Use as much as possible “bridge fittings” to secure top tiers since they secure all containers together as one unit, thus could avoid moving of each container alone.
5. Never use simultaneously twistlocks with different locking directions: it could lead to scenario that some of twistlocks may be not properly locked, other scenario is that during discharging the twistlocks or even container may be damaged.
6. Reefer Containers to be placed onboard with reefer-plant fan faced to aft ward, thus can prevent the reefer-plan from damage under influence of wind and water spray. Also when circumstance allows, avoid place the containers highly from 2nd tier or higher: thus makes inspection of crew easier and more comfortable when repair work needed on voyage.
7. Officers and crew on watch should carefully monitor loading operation; detect instantly any damage to containers or vessel’s construction (the issues often occur, especially when loading with vessel’s cranes). A proper Statement of Fact (SOF) will protect ship owner from claims and reserve the right of ship owner to claim for compensation.
8. All the lashing should be carefully checked every day at sea, retighten the turnbuckles due to the lasing can be loosen with container’s vibration during vessel’s navigation.
9. During discharging, remind the stevedores not to throw the twistlocks, lashing gears to ship deck to avoid its falling overboard; in harbor time crew on watch should observe around ship taking into mind that thieves can board and steal lasing gear. It occurred that the thieves in some ports dropped it to the sea and took off later after vessel’s departure.
10. When navigating and particularly in bad weather with rough sea, avoid going abeam to sea waves, turning with hard wheel aside. It could cause whole of container blocks to be shifted or went out overboard, the worse case to overturn the vessel.
Capt. Do Ngoc Hoai