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It is advisable on many ships to reduce the heat ingress into cargo by sheathing hot bulkheads or by leaving a space between bulkhead or ship's sides and cargo through which cool air may be circulated. (See fig. 50.)


Figure 50.-Boiler-room bulkhead in lower hold sheathed with planks to reduce heat transfer

into cargo.



Damage to cargo, caused by some form of improper handling or stowage, is of many different types. All are relatively common, however, and all are in some measure preventable if those in charge of the work are experienced in methods of preventing such damage.

The principal types of damage to cargo during its handling and ocean transportation are discussed in the sections which follow.


Cargo may be damaged in a number of ways during the process of loading and unloading. Indeed, it has frequently been asserted that in many instances more damage is caused by rough or careless handling on the dock than by any other factor involved in ocean transportation. The more common causes of damage during loading and unloading are described below.

Damage by cargo hooks.-Hooks should never be used on any package into which the hook may sink with destructive results. This includes bags, bales, fiberboard cartons, plywood boxes, and various other types of containers. The use of hooks on these goods should be forbidden, just as matches are forbidden in a powder plant. At times, it may be advisable to have all the longshoremens' hooks collected and put aside while cargo packed in certain types of containers is being handled. A hook will bite into a cotton bale, tear out some of the cotton, and expose a section of fiber to destructive elements. In the same way a hook may penetrate a cask containing a liquid, and the contents will then be partly or wholly lost or will leak and damage other cargo stowed beneath. Longshoremen's hooks are indispensable, but they must be handled carefully, or they needlessly cause a serious amount of damage.

Fragile and heavy cases in one sling.-In order to speed up loading, a sling may be filled with assorted cases containing packages of different weights and strength, and lightly constructed boxes may be underneath cases containing dense heavy goods. If the light-weight boxes are not crushed or broken in the hoisting process, it is possible that they will be when the sling is lowered with some force into the hold.

Öftentimes a sling contains a number of assorted boxes that may total 10 feet in height. Even though the fragile boxes are placed on top, this may not protect them, for when the sling is opened in the ship's hold it is possible that some of them will fall and be broken


It is best to put in one sling cases of nearly equal weight and strength. Care should be taken not to tier cases too high in a sling. Putting fewer cases in a sling and building them up in the form of a pyramid will help greatly to reduce damage.

The growing adoption of platform or airplane slings is helping to reduce damage caused by pressure of rope slings against packages being hoisted or lowered between ship and dock. In this connection, see the section on "Loading and Unloading Equipment and Methods." Careless handling of ship's gear.-Slings may in some cases be so insecurely fastened around the load that part or all of the load will be released in midair and fall with great force. With heavy cases, particularly, exceptional care must be exercised in adjusting the slings employed. With some classes of goods the slings must not only be secure but must be so adjusted that the strain will not fall upon a weak part. Barrels are broken open in some cases by an adjustment which puts a load on the heads, which are the weakest part of a barrel. If a case is in bad order, special care must be used.

In swinging the load, carelessness may result in scraping or knocking it against some part of the ship or dock, with consequent damage; or the load may be lowered with such speed and force that cases are crushed or broken. Experienced men should be selected to handle the ship's gear, and the system of signals used must be simple and clear.

For any water that gets into the holds by way of leaks, condensation, ventilating system, etc., an efficient drainage system should be provided, which must be kept in good working condition at all times. Drain plugs and lines, scuppers, and the like must be kept clean. No open bilge well should be in the lower holds. Bilges must be kept dry. Any condensation or other moisture on the sides of the ship should drain easily into the bilges and not accumulate on structural members.

Loss of small articles.-Loss of small articles, particularly those of considerable value, is sometimes traced to pilfering on the pier or in the ship's hold during loading or unloading. There should be an adequate guard over the goods being loaded or unloaded.

Sorting and piling.-Either on the dock or in the hold sorting and piling may be so carelessly done as to involve considerable damage. Cases may be sent crashing into one another, barrels may be piled up insecurely and dangerously, bales may be cut open by scraping them against sharp projections, and fragile goods may be crushed and broken by piling heavier goods on top. Some officer of the ship should exercise constant supervision over the work of the longshoremen to prevent this, as well as other types of bad and improper stowage.

Weather. Proper protection against the weather must be given to the goods being transferred to or from the ship. Usually, when it is raining or snowing, canvas hatch tents are rigged over the hatch openings and these provide good protection for goods already in the ship or being lowered into the hold. Another practice, which should always be followed, is to cover sling loads of cargo with tarpaulins to protect them while being lifted from the pier to the shelter of

the hatch tent.

The hatches must be of good watertight construction and must be closed tightly at sea or in port when cargo is not being worked. Rain is easier to guard against than snow. It was recently observed that during a night in port the hatch tarpaulins were merely laid over the hatches, though hanging down over the coamings on all

sides. During a driving snow storm a considerable amount of snow was blown under the tarpaulins and through the cracks between the hatch pontoons into the cargo hold. Likewise, snow entered the holds through the ventilators under conditions where rain and spray would not enter them.

To protect cargo against weather damage, both at sea and in port, the ventilator heads should be weatherproof so that they need not be closed during ordinary rain and spray conditions. For extreme conditions a watertight cover must be provided which keeps all water out of the holds. (See fig. 51.)


In the opinion of some authorities, the greater part of the damage that occurs to cargo during the ocean voyage is attributable either


Figure 51.-Weatherproof ventilator heads in heavy spray. Lower mushroom shows handwheel of watertight cover. Upper exhaust-type head shows drain pipe from funnel inside.

to lack of dunnage, unsuitable dunnage, or to dunnage being wrongly placed.

Many examples might be cited to substantiate this view. In connection with a cargo of bagged linseed, for instance, the ship was well dunnaged along the sides, but when condensation of moisture on the ship's sides occurred, water ran out over the floors of the 'tween decks. These were insufficiently dunnaged, with the result that the lower tiers of bags were damaged and there were heavy claims.

Articles like hides are frequently damaged through lack of dunnage, being stowed on top of or next to barrels, with no dunnage between, so that the hides are injured by the rusty hoops. In other cases hides are damaged through being allowed to contact the metal parts of the ship.

The subject of proper dunnaging is more fully discussed in the section, The Use of Dunnage, chapter IV, and further details are given as to how dunnage should be laid.


Crushing of goods or their containers may be the result of carelessness or unavoidable accident during loading or discharging, of bad stowage in the hold, or of inadequate packing. In connection with the latter point, shippers should note that it has been ruled by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals that neither a vessel nor its operator can be held liable for damage if goods offered for shipment are not cased or wrapped in a manner to withstand the ordinary hazards of an ocean voyage, always providing that such cargo has been stowed with usual care in accordance with the prevailing practice. This ruling is discussed at greater length in chapter I.

Well-packed goods, however, are in many instances damaged by crushing owing to bad stowage. Several examples may be cited to illustrate the damage that may occur. In one case a vessel had bales stowed in the midship part of a hold, heavy cases in the wings, and boxes of fruit stowed on top of the bales. As the bales were not rigid, the boxes of fruit sank into them and many of the bales in the upper tier were crushed.

In another instance an uneven tier of different sized cases was boarded over to make a level surface on which to stow cases of lard. The boards were not sufficiently strong, however, and bent down over the spaces between the boxes in the lower tier, with the result that many of the lard boxes were badly crushed where they projected over the edges of the boxes below. In this case the cause of the crushing might be classed as insufficient or improper dunnaging.

Other cases have occurred in which small boxes stowed on top of cases containing automobiles have crushed in the top of the automobile cases. Another example is that of a shipment of turpentine in casks which was damaged and lost in part because the bottom tier of casks was placed on an uneven footing of timber and shifted during the voyage, thus allowing the pressure of the upper tiers to crush casks in the lower tier.

Some precautions which may be taken to avoid crushing damage are given below:

Heavy packages, such as cases of machinery, and heavy pieces, such as metal billets, pigs, and ingots, should always be stowed in the bottom, with lighter goods on top.

Light or fragile packages, as a general rule, should be stowed in the 'tweendecks. If necessary, heavy goods can be stowed on the floor of 'tween-deck spaces, with the lighter goods on top of them.

If bottom cargo is of such a nature that there is danger of its being damaged by crushing such as tight barrels containing liquids-the goods stowed on top should be light in weight.

Each tier should be kept as level as possible. As mentioned elsewhere, packages should not be stowed too close to the turn of the bilge where they will rest at an angle.

Stowage should be as compact as possible. Spaces which cannot be filled in with suitable small packages should be tightly filled with cordwood or other suitable dunnage, both to provide a level platform for the tier above and to prevent any movement of the cargo.

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