Bagging of cargo. A charterparty may contain a clause, which stipulates that if the charterers load grain in bulk, they must supply to the master on his request sufficient empty bags to be used to collect any grain, which was spilled, and any grain that remained in the cargo space after discharge.
In a dispute that arose from the interpretation of a clause in the BALTIMORE FORM C charterparty for grain, the judge decided that bagging and stowage of the grain cargo were part of “loading” operations. The charterers had already loaded the grain on board the ship but in order to ensure that the ship was safe and had adequate stability, some grain had to bagged and stowed in the tween decks. The judge said:
“I have never heard it suggested . . . that in assessing the time taken in loading for the purposes of demurrage an apportionment should take place . . . between time taken in stowing and time taken in bringing the goods to the hold. I can see no reason why it should be different with bulk cargo, which has to be trimmed, or, to some extent, put into bags for the purpose of safety or for complying with enforceable regulations the object of which is safety.”
It should be obvious that the loading of grain in bags can be very expensive compared with loading in bulk. Moreover, the space occupied by bagged grain is greater for the same weight than grain in bulk because of differences in the stowage factor. This can cause problems with the weight of cargo loaded and the freight to be earned.
It is evident that older-style, general-cargo vessels are not very suitable for the carriage of heavy grain in bulk. A modern open single-deck bulk carrier is better suited for the carriage of this type of cargo.
Time allowed for loading a cargo of grain may have to include the time required for bagging a proportion of the cargo for the safety of both ship and cargo. It is obvious the loading of a vessel cannot be considered finished until all operations, including stowage, trimming and bagging, as required, have been duly completed.