Trimming. When certain bulk commodities are carried as cargoes on board vessels they have to be “trimmed” for safety and to maintain the ship’s stability.

Another reason may be to make more space available for additional cargo because dry bulk cargo (which can be free-flowing) takes up irregular shapes in the cargo compartment. A cone-shape can also extend above the hatch openings of the vessel. The top of the cone has to be trimmed horizontally. Trimming costs money for labour and the charterparty can specify who pays these expenses. If there is no provision in the charterparty the owner pays trimming costs. If the negotiations before the fixture establish that these costs will be borne by the charterer or shipper, the charterparty expressly provides, for example, that: “The cargo shall be loaded, stowed/trimmed, and discharged, to the Master’s satisfaction in respect oF seaworthiness, free of expense to the vessel.” This is a “Free In and Out, Stowed and Trimmed” term. Trimming can also be mechanical, by spouts, for example, when loading bulk grain or sugar. In this case, such a term would be “Free In and Out and Spout Trimmed”.


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