Liquefaction – Are your hatches putting you at risk?

Your bulk cargo carrier could be at risk of liquefaction.

What is liquefaction?

Granular materials loaded onto a ship hold can turn into a liquid state – which can be disastrous for your ship and crew.

Solid bulk cargo often contains water between solid particles. Present from mining, this moisture level can rise through transport and storing.

Friction between these particles makes these particles act like a solid, despite the liquid presence.

Ship vibrations and movements cause the space between the particles to reduce, increasing pore water pressure. If the pore water pressure increases enough, the “dry” cargo begins to act like a fluid due to the loss of friction between the particles.

The risk to life

The liquefied bulk can shift inside the hold and can solidify again in a shifted position.

This shift can cause the ship to list. If the cargo liquefies again, the angle of the list can increase. At this point, water can enter the hull via hatch covers, or the ship may be unable to recover from a roll.

Water from the liquefied cargo can also move towards the surface, causing further instability.

This happened to the Bulk Jupiter, which sank 300km off the coast of Vietnam.

Only one crew member survived.

The IMO issued warnings over possible liquefication of a solid bulk aluminium ore, Bauxite.

The answer

Beginning at the source, the method for storing, transporting and method of loading can affect the state of the solid bulk cargo.

Hard loading, to load cargo faster, increases the risk of raising pore water pressure. During transit, crews can be put off from draining cargo due to pressures to deliver the same tonnage as was loaded.

Technology may hold the answer, such as sensors to measure cargo water pressure or laser observers.

The problem lies in finding a technology cheap enough, yet also performs to a high enough standard to inform the crew of the dangers in real time.

Once water pressure increase had been detected the crew can look to drain cargo water, change course to reduce motion, or even evacuate the ship.

Summary

Liquefaction is not a new phenomenon – we’ve been aware of it for over a century.

Technology, storage and loading procedures alone aren’t currently in a place where they can reduce the risk of liquefaction. There would be a need for several cross-industry changes to take place.

Hatches can be a cause of sinking should a ship list due to water ingress, never mind the damage to cargo – which makes up over 60% of P&I loss claims.

Traditional methods of testing the tightness of hatches can be unreliable and time-consuming. Only ultrasonic testing ensure hatches are secure at all times.

You can download our whitepaper on hatch cover testing here.

Spotlight on Shelley – 10 years at Martek Marine

Shelley might look like a fresh-faced new joiner, but she’s a Martek veteran.

After 10 years in the finance department (equivalent to 50 years in other roles, we’re told), We decided to catch up with Shelley about her time here at Martek and why she’s still here!

10 years – How did it all start at Martek?

I started with Martek back in November 2006. I joined as Credit Controller and Purchase Ledger Clerk and was one half of the 2-person finance team. Just a Finance Manager and I back then!

Shortly after, we got a 3rd team member, a Purchase Ledger Clerk, and my focus was solely on Credit Control.

Wanting to progress, I began to study for my AAT accounting qualifications. With study support from Martek, I completed the qual and moved into a new role as Assistant Management Accountant. We also gained another team member due to growth, 4 now in total.

And then you left… (spoiler: for a bit)

In Jan 2011 I decided to look for a change and new challenge.

But, there was something missing. I found the culture was too different elsewhere. Very corporate, stuck in their ways and a lack of personality that I loved at Martek.

I realised that Martek was where I felt more comfortable day to day. The social aspect is great and I developed loads of friends, not just work colleagues.

In December 2012, an opportunity opened at Martek and I jumped at the chance. I re-joined the team as a Management Accountant. I’ve been here since!

Looking back to 2006, what have been the biggest changes at Martek?

The introduction of freedom and responsibility (F&R) was amazing. In a nutshell: Take ownership of your responsibilities, do your work well, and enjoy the freedom that comes as a reward.

What time of ‘freedom’ has this meant for you?

I’m a mum of two, and one of my children has special needs. F&R meant I was able to be flexible with my working hours. I’m able to work from home for a few hours in a morning, which means I can manage the jobs at home too!

Martek stand by F&R, it isn’t just a tag. As I knew I could manage my workload around the office hours I chose, and had a proven track record, I felt comfortable using F&R. I’ve heard of companies where it’s advertised but not actioned and that’s not the case here.

Beside your AAT, have you had any other support in your 10 years.

Plenty! Martek take CPD seriously and really push us to be the best we can be. There’s a free audible account brimming with audio/actual books to keep learning.

Since returning in 2012, Martek supported me as I studied for and passed my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), and with this I’ve progressed to a department leader and now sit on the leadership team.

Without the support of Martek I wouldn’t be where I am today!

Any messages for potential new joiners, or those who have just started with the company?

Martek is a fantastic company to work for. The culture is fun, people focussed and there are plenty of rewards.

That said, expect to be challenged. If you’re prepared to be challenged, take ownership and put in the work where it’s needed the rewards are fantastic.

I wouldn’t work anywhere else!

To learn more about our staff at Martek click here 

IMDG Code: Free Supplement for first 100 customers

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code – New Edition

Essential Information

A carriage requirement for all vessels carrying Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants at Sea, this latest version will supersede the 2014 edition, which will become invalid.

The IMDG Code, 2018 Edition (inc. Amendment 39-18) comes into force on 1 January 2020 for two years and may be applied voluntarily as from 1 January 2019. The IMDG Code Supplement, 2018 Edition, once published, will render the previous 2014 edition.

The IMDG Code, 2016 Edition Amendment 38-16 came into force on 1 January 2018 for two years. The IMDG Code Supplement, 2014 Edition remains valid until further notice.

Purpose

The IMDG code covers MARPOL and SOLAS Convention requirements and is the guide for handling dangerous goods and marine pollutants at sea.

The IMDG code includes:

  • Recommendations for individual substances materials and articles
  • Recommendations for good operational practice
  • Advice on terminology, packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling
  • Emergency response action.

Free Supplement for first 100 customers

It’s time to go digital.

Too often we store guides, code, updates and supplements in paper form. There’s still the sense of preferring to hold the physical product.

The problems lay when you need to find something specific within. Time is of the essence and there’s only so much the contents page can help with.
Dogeared and tattered, these can become difficult to store and to read.

In an industry that embraces technology as a means of improved performance and efficiency, it’s time digital books became the norm.

Time-saving

Content pages and index are useful for narrowing down your search in paper versions but can still be time-consuming.

With an e-book you have the ability to instantly search for keywords or phrases, saving valuable time previously spent flicking through pages.

No more legs

With a digital library, your publications are always in the same place. Regardless of who needs to use what or when a digital copy will be on hand for instant access

No losses

In a chaotic moment, items can get lost. There’s also a high risk of damage, especially with printed products.

Digital charts and publications remain safe and in place. Files are backed up to ensure that even with a system failure or loss, there’s another device ready to step up to the plate.

Reduce emissions

The maritime industry is set to reduce emissions by 2050. Whilst an e-book may not look to solve this directly, it’s a contributing factor. Reducing the need for paper form publications, and the methods of carriage and delivery all work towards the bigger cause.

Your free supplement

To help with your move towards digital publications, and for those who already use them, we’re offering a free IMDG supplement to the first 100 customers who purchase the latest edition of the IMDG guide in digital format.

The supplement is worth £65 and is packed with:

  • The Revised EmS Guide
  • The Medical First Aid Guide
  • Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships
  • The INF Code
  • Other appropriate resolutions and circulars pertaining to the transport of dangerous goods

Claim your IMDG guide with free supplement now and lead the way as an early adopter in 2019.

Want to save money on charts, without compromising safety?
Sign up for our 30 min webinar and find out why you’re wasting money on digital charts.

V.Ships & Martek Marine to fight SCA at sea

Protecting against one of the world’s biggest killers

V.Ships Partnership to raise standards of crew welfare through onboard defibrillators.

As a trusted provider of technology for ship safety, performance and crew welfare, Martek Marine has teamed up with V.Ships, the world’s leading third-party ship management company to combat the number of fatalities from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at sea.

To combat SCA, V.Ships is rolling out Martek Marine’s Lifeforce® automated external defibrillator (AED) across each of its managed vessels, enhancing the welfare of its seafarer pool of over 44,000.

The issue of SCA is growing, not just in the maritime industry, with more than six million deaths worldwide directly attributed to SCA, and survival rates less than one per cent.

V Ships said:

“We undertook a thorough investigation of the global AED market before deciding on a model and partner to be equipped throughout the fleet. It was concluded that the LIFEFORCE AED from Martek Marine met all our criteria, with proven shipboard pedigree and type approval from DNV GL. As the leading ship management company in the industry, crew welfare is our highest priority, and as such we have mandated the requirement for AEDs on every ship to protect against sudden cardiac arrest.

Paul Luen, CEO of Martek Marine, said: “We feel this is the beginning of a truly great partnership, setting the new standard for crew welfare globally.”

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

SCA can strike anyone at any time. Lifestyle factors can increase the likelihood of suffering from SCA but unfortunately can’t guarantee that.

We’ve previously covered how Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the worlds most famous explorer, collapsed at Bristol airport.
Had it not been for an AED on hand within minutes, it’s highly likely that Sir Ranulph would not have survived.

Age isn’t the only factor either.

Earlier this year, there was a frightening study released on young footballers who suffered from SCA. These are some of the most active individuals on the planet, and the number who collapsed, and died, due to SCA is a stark reality.

Martek Marine is excited to continue to develop our relationship with V.Ships and hope that it will encourage other ship management companies to take sudden cardiac arrest seriously, and protect their crew with fleetwide AEDs.

LIFEFORCE® AED

LIFEFORCE® is an automated external defibrillator (AED) – specifically designed for the marine environment and was the world’s first defibrillator to be Type Approved.

It is designed to be the simplest to use AED on the market and independent tests have proven that members of the public without any training can deliver a life-saving shock quicker than any other unit in the market.

With a built-in handle and weighing just 1.9kg, the LIFEFORCE® AED is portable, lightweight and can easily be stored and carried to a victim’s side. It is a durable piece of equipment, tested for use in even the most hostile environments

The unit is weatherproof, with ruggedized handles and sides for ultimate protection from impact damage.

Martek offers a range of training options. You can have a dedicated standalone training unit; your LIFEFORCE® AED can be easily converted into a temporary training unit for in-house training, or we can offer on-site certified training.

Further info

Get in touch to see how the LIFEFORCE® AED can save the life of you or your crew.

Put a price on your life today.