Australian grain exporters have a reputation for supplying product that is high quality and free of contamination.
Prior to loading, vessels loading grain will receive an inspection by an “Authorised Officer” or AO, whom will certify whether the vessels hold are fit to commence loading.
AO’s are extremely thorough, and will check numerous areas of the vessel for signs of damage, debris or residues from previous cargo. If the vessel fails its inspection, it will not be authorised to load until the holds have been rectified.
In extreme cases, the vessel may have to undergo cleaning by shore-gangs. This process is costly and time-consuming, and often leads to hire disputes.
If a vessel operator is concerned about the condition of holds prior to arriving in an Australian port, the following precautions should be taken:
- Crew should inspect, and clean as necessary: inside all the cargo holds, forward and aft upper access platforms, under-deck beams, stiffeners, side frames and angles.
- Crew should inspect, and clean as necessary: platform and ladder rungs, frames and piping. Hatch coamings should be clear. Bilges should also be clear.
- Vessel should be clear of rust flake & scale; previous cargo residues (both lumps and fine particulate); peeling paint and any other debris left from previous cargo. Crew should be prepared to use scrapers to physically remove rust flakes that are bonded to the surface of the holds.
- Under no circumstances should crew attempt to paint over previous cargo residues. This will be noticed by the AO, and vessel will be ordered to remove the paint.
If shore based cleaning crews are called on board, they will use high pressure washers, air blowers and scrapers. There are typically only 3-4 men per shore gang, and they clean holds one at a time. Crew may need to assist shore gangs to speed up cleaning.
Please dont hesitate to contact us should further assistance be required.