Principles of General Cargo Planning and Stowage

Cargo Basic Shipping Information for Better Planning
Better cargo handling and storage can only be achieved with good planning and better execution of plans. To be most successful in designing a cost-effective cargo and stowage plan requires basic information crucial in the performance of cargo ships. These include data as to the ships capacity and the storage area’s physical parameters. The ship’s capacity covers both volume and the weight of the total cargo which is an initial input to better planning. Another is the cargo itself. The cargo type including its physical conditions, forms, and other parameters are an important factor in determining storage location and handling methods. The ports of origin and destinations must also be evaluated. The data on ports conditions including availability of basic or sophisticated facilities for cargo handling and regulatory policies must be properly considered. Finally, the ships cargo history from port to port must also be analyzed for better planning. The cargo manager must take into consideration what cargoes come in and come out in the ship from port to port including the types and volumes of these cargoes. Wilson and Roach (2000) clearly consider the suitable placement of containers in a container-ship on a multi-port journey as a requirement to facilitate optimum ease in loading and unloading at subsequent ports.

The Cargo Placement and Stowage Plan
The aforementioned data combined together will be a very important tool in deciding what handling methods must be employed, where to place the cargoes, who must be involved, and how the stowing must be executed.

Cargo placement
In placing cargoes, the basic principle of what must come out first at destination port must come in last at ports of origin must be considered. A carefully evaluated cargo listing will provide better cargo placement plan. Cargoes that must be unloaded in the nearest port must be located in areas where they can be moved without obstructions. Cargoes intended for last port of destination must be placed in more secure locations where they cannot obstruct loading and unloading at intermediary ports. Cargoes must also be placed according to physical and chemical compositions to avoid dangers of contaminations due to spillage and other accidents.

Cargo managers today are more fortunate than earlier years due to the availability of computerized systems of cargo placement planning. Simulation programs that generate good sub-optimal solutions to the stowage pre-planning problem are now available. The process is an analysis of the domain allowing the problem to be divided into a generalized placement strategy and a specialized placement procedure. The system refines the arrangement of containers within the cargo-space of a container ship until each container is specifically allocated to a storage location. Better cargo placements are determined before it is really executed thereby providing room for better adjustment in a cost-effective way (Wilson, Roach, &amp. Ware, 2001). Use of these systems is therefore necessary for a cargo shipping company.&nbsp.As cited earlier handling and stowage caused an alarming amount of cargo losses in the shipping process and therefore must be properly considered by shipping companies.