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Type of Marine Cargo: Liquid Bulk

Posted in Marine Cargo - 5 Aug 2019, 8:13 AM

What is Liquid Bulk Cargo?

Liquid bulk cargo is carried unpackaged in any quantity and usually transported by ships that are commonly referred to as tankers which are built specially to make the loading and unloading process become easy.

Loading Process of Liquid Bulk Cargo

Liquid bulk’s loading process tends to be more complicated than other types of cargoes. First of all, it takes more times to clean the tanker if the liquids are leaked out from the vessels. After the ship arrives at the dock, the ship’s officers and representatives of the terminal will check the cleanliness of the tankers. Once they approve, the loading process can be started.

When loading crude oil cargo, it is crucial to check the presence of water. If it is found, the note of protest should be made. During the loading, shipping, and unloading process, daily checks regarding the tank ullages, temperatures, and inert gas pressures should be carried out and carefully recorded. If the liquid bulk cargoes are hazardous, temporary warning in the English language is displayed at a certain place where the passersby can easily notice it.

Variety of Liquid Bulk Cargo

Liquid bulk cargo is generally classified into edible, non-edible, hazardous and non-hazardous liquids.

  • Hazardous liquids including petroleum, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas) and chemicals. There are different types of hazardous cargoes, that is fire hazard (determined by boiling point, flash point, and auto-ignition temperature of liquids), marine pollution hazard (liquids would likely cause damage to the marine environment which is usually determined by bioaccumulation, risk to human health, and reduction of amenities), and air pollution hazard (based on emergency exposure limit of the liquids)
  • Non-hazardous liquids, including vegetable oils, cooking oils, milk, juices, and other liquids that do not possess a potential risk to organism and environment.
  • Edible liquids or food products. Type of liquids that can be eaten safely by humans. Most of them are non-hazardous, such as wine, edible oil, juices, etc.
  • Non-edible liquids, contrary to edible liquids. Some of them are non-hazardous (glycerin, aqueous dyes, etc.) and others are hazardous (LPG, LNG, etc.)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Maritime Liquid Bulk Shipping

Liquid bulk cargo can be transported by air, land, or maritime. In most shipment, the maritime route is used. The main reason is the large capacity of tankers. It is possible to carry up to 2 million barrels of oil by using supertankers. Compared to another route, maritime shipping has lower freight costs and delivery times.

While it has significant advantages, maritime shipping has considerably high risk and losing a little part of cargoes at sea can bring disaster to the environment. Furthermore, not every dock is ready to receive up to one billion pounds of liquid bulk cargoes.

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