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A Spoonful of Tar Spoils a Barrel of Honey

This Russian proverb is a fitting reminder of the importance of loading surveys for dry bulk cargoes, such as grain, which are susceptible to damage.
 
But why issue a reminder now?  Because “do the bare minimum” has been the motto adopted by many in order to survive the crisis, and we often see loss prevention being amongst the first expenses on the list of dispensable items.
 
Our involvement specifically with grain cargoes in Romania and Bulgaria shows that there is a continuing problem with cargo which is not in good apparent condition being “attempted” for export. We strongly recommend that members appoint a local surveyor with knowledge of the particular shipper, terminal, practices and threats to protect their interests.  However, if surveyors are not appointed then members should at least arrange for designated crewmembers to take on the task of monitoring cargo in shifts to ensure that no damaged lots find their way onboard. 
 
Members should be aware of opposing interests which include not only shippers who are interested in selling all their cargo (including damaged portions) but also on occasions the stevedores/terminal which are sometimes paid on the basis of cargo loaded onboard, rather than cargo handled.

 



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