Broken stowage. This refers to space not occupied by cargo iii a cargo compartment or even in a container. It can be caused by fittings in the ship, such as car decks in a ro ro vessel or web frames in a cargo hold. It can also be caused by the nonuniform shape of the cargo pieces themselves, such as the spaces around protrusions in heavy machinery or between curved casks.
Broken stowage represents lost cargo space and therefore lost earning capacity. Moreover, broken stowage is a void space, which could encourage cargo movement while the vessel is moving in a seaway. Therefore broken stowage must be avoided as far as possible both by planning cargo stowage so that the least space is wasted and by attempting to fill empty spaces between cargo. This can be done by dunnage or by small, nearly flexible parcels of cargo such as coils of wire or small bales, or, in the case of timber cargoes, smaller parcels of pieces of the timber. Exporters of timber from the Baltic ship “ends” for filling the space left unoccupied. Such filling up cargo is carried at a lower rate, for example twothirds of the normal rate.
The percentage of waste depends upon various factors, e.g., the kind of cargo and packing (bags or cases), space occupied by dunnage, type of vessel (one or more tweendecks), number of hold obstructions and the lines of the ship’s hull which affects the shape of the holds, in particular those nearest to the bow and stem, etc. As a matter of course more space may be lost in fast cargo vessels, which have sharp lines for speed. Another factor is the loss of space with bagged goods because bagged cargo may be subjected to more pressure in the lower holds than in the tween decks of general cargo ships.