In the recent studies, the lack of oversight at loading ports and the detection of excessive wetting and hence liquefaction and fluidization, particularly in Iron Ore cargoes exported from the African country of Sierra Leone, were described as worrying level.

Shipowners and ship operators related to this matter should receive up-to-date, valid and correct information from the sender about the physical and chemical properties of the cargo submitted before shipment. It is the loader's responsibility to complete the necessary procedures to test and analyze the humidity of the content and the humidity limits of transportable contents of the loads.

Recently, many insurance companies have also issued circulars warning their members about the issue. In general especially in Sierra Leone, it is stated that iron ore loads loaded from the Pepel port are left in open storage areas for long periods of time, therefore the humidity rates are higher than they should be and liquefaction and fluidization are seen more during shipment. The risk of liquefaction is considered high when the iron ore's humidity is higher than 14%. The fact that the iron ore load that are loaded from the region is determined to be between 13% to 16% humidity in the rainy seasons, keeping it in open stocks for long periods and then covering it with new iron ore with a much lower moisture of Iron ore shows us more attention has been addressed. More particular attention should be paid especially regarding of sampling and analyses, to reach the correct average values of these it should be only done by Experts.

In summary, regarding the iron ore cargo shipments to be made from the subject region; We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the captain have to be aware of his obligations to allow only safe and suitable cargo to be loaded within the scope of the IMSBC Code, and that the information about the physical and chemical properties of the cargo declared by the loader is have to be correct and recents/up-to-date.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.