As the domestic and international carriage of goods by sea continues to increase, cargo damage claims against shipowners have increased.
Based on the claims record of the Korea P&I Club since being established in 2000, approximately 48% (918 cases out of 2,200) were cargo damage claims, attributable to structural defects of the ship such as: defective hatch covers (loss of watertight integrity), and rust or holes in ballast tanks/pipelines going through cargo holds.
If it is found that cargo damage was caused by defects of the ship, shipowners may lose the credibility of the cargo owners, and it may even result in arrest of the ship, suspension of ship’s operation and sale of the vessel, all of which would incur an enormous loss to the shipowners.
It has always been the Club’s position that it is more important for Members to prevent cargo damage to than to defend against cargo damage claims.
This book is written from a practical, rather theoretical, point of view one. It has been designed for vessel ratings and officers, as well as directors and other personnel in the shipping companies who are in charge of management of the vessels. We hope that this book shall remind all the readers of importance of a vessel’s cargoworthiness and play an important role in preventing cargo damage resulting from hatch cover defects and damage.
While this book may have some shortcomings, we would find our efforts worthwhile if this book is successful in preventing cargo damage. We promise to do our best to meet your demands by updating and improving this booklet based on version the advice and recommendations of our Members.
1.0 Function & Summary of Hatch Covers
2.0 Type & Construction of Hatch Covers
3.0 Inspection, Maintenance & Repair
4.0 References for Management/Maintenance of Hatch Covers
5.0 Other Watertight Openings
6.0 Weather-tightness (Leak) Tests
7.0 General Matters relating to Hatch Cover Handling
8.0 Cargo Damage Cases due to Defects of Hatch covers
Appendix Sample Inspection Checklists