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Over 40% of all P&I claims are due to damaged cargo. Water ingress from hatch covers makes up the majority of these claims – even small amounts of water can cause extensive damage. Are your hatch covers covered?
Hatch covers need to fulfill two basic functions: to provide access to the hold for the loading and discharging of cargo and to prevent damage to cargo by sealing the hold in a weather-tight condition at sea.
Hatch covers are the responsibility of the ship’s owners and operators, so you need to pay close attention to them to make sure that your cargo is protected. Regular checking and maintenance is much cheaper and more effective than major repairs or incidents caused by neglect. Ensure that you’ll always be able to test your hatches efficiently and reduce the risk of losing your cargo.
This document sets out the common issues that can occur with hatch covers – particularly regarding leakage which accounts for the most amount of P&I club insurance claims. It also gives advice and guidance for regular monitoring, providing details of testing methods and recommendations for effective and accurate systems.
Bonus: Conducting a hatch cover survey
Every year, the North of England P&I club has three to four claims of between $500,000 and $1,000,000 for water-damaged cargoes resulting from hatch cover defects. Tony Baker, head of the club’s risk management department said: ‘The cost of preventing these losses can usually be measured in a few thousand dollars or less.
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