Managing Coal Cargo Temperature Discrepancies: Challenges And Solutions In Maritime Operations


  • Despite guidelines set by the IMSBC Code, coal cargo vessels face persistent challenges with cargo temperatures, particularly in regions like Indonesia.
  • Discrepancies between shipper and vessel temperature readings pose safety risks and operational disruptions.
  • Addressing these issues requires adherence to guidelines, crew training, and investment in monitoring equipment.

Global demand for coal remains robust, necessitating efficient transportation methods. However, managing cargo temperatures presents a significant challenge for vessels carrying coal, especially in hotspots like Indonesia.

Challenges with Temperature Readings

Discrepancies often arise between temperature readings taken by shippers at stockpiles and those conducted by vessels during loading. These differences can lead to safety concerns and disputes with charterers due to loading delays.

Root Causes

The handling and transportation process contribute to temperature discrepancies. Extensive handling and transportation introduce oxygen into the cargo, triggering self-heating processes that elevate temperatures, particularly below the surface.

Adherence to IMSBC Code

While the IMSBC Code mandates that coal cargoes should not exceed 55°C at loading, ambiguity persists regarding temperature measurement responsibility and methodology. Vessels must equip themselves with suitable temperature monitoring equipment and prioritize crew training.

Best Practices

To mitigate risks, ship owners and managers should conduct their own temperature readings before accepting cargo for loading. Maintaining meticulous records of cargo operations and temperature recordings is essential for accountability.

Remedial Measures

Shippers may propose remedial measures such as using grabs or applying powdery substances to cool the cargo. However, the efficacy of these methods remains uncertain, and vessel operators should exercise caution.

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Source: North Standard