3.12 CHIEF OFFICER'S LOADING ORDERS
Following the pre-loading conference, the chief officer may amend
his loading plan, will prepare supplementary loading/night orders and
complete any directions necessary to ensure full control of the start
of the loading operation.
3.12.1 Loading orders
The orders will include:
- Names of each grade of product or crude oil to be loaded and the quantity
- Anticipated specific gravity and loading temperature of each grade
- The cargo tank(s) each grade will be loaded into.
- The pipeline system and loading path for each grade, including setting
of valves (identified by their valve identification numbers).
- The sequence of loading of cargo grades.
- The final ullage for each cargo tank.
- The stand-by time required by the terminal for reducing loading rate
or stopping the cargo loading.
- The anticipated departure draft.
- Bunkers and ballast to be on board at departure.
- Identification of all valves to be sealed closed before, during, or
- The maximum loading rates to be allowed and loading rate(s) expected
with the terminal.
- Loading rate to be used for topping off tanks.
- Identification of the loading 'critical path'.
- Special cargo procedures to be followed.
- Special precautions with respect to moorings.
- Equipment required (radios, ullage tapes, etc.).
- Points in the loading when the chief officer is to be called or extra
manning is required.
- Reference to standing orders for cargo operations.
- Requirement that shore terminal regulations be read and signed by
each cargo watch officer.
The final cargo order should always include the chief officer's golden
rule for cargo watch officers: 'Call me at any time you are in doubt
regarding the cargo operation.' Many watch officers have waited long
beyond the 'doubt' stage and only called the chief officer when the
'doubtful' situation has degenerated into a certified emergency. The
words 'anytime in doubt' must be taken literally and the chief
officer called whenever the cargo officer is unsure how to proceed.
If the chief officer has left an unclear loading situation, or confusing
orders, he deserves to be awakened to explain what needs to be done.
If the shore deviates from the agreed loading plan, the chief officer
should be called immediately. The cargo watch officers must perform
their duties with the confidence of a complete understanding of how
the loading is proceeding and what the next required action will be.
Any time they do not have this confidence, they should call for assistance!
3.12.2 Ship's standard cargo procedures
The chief officer's loading orders will reference the company standard
loading procedures and call attention to any particular sections of
the standard procedures required by the current operation. To provide
compliance with US Coast Guard and other requirements, the standard
procedures or cargo orders must be included the following:
- List of product(s) transferred to/from the vessel. Cargo information
Name of the cargo.
Instructions for safe handling.
Procedures for any person exposed to a cargo spill.
Fire fighting procedures - extinguishing agent to apply.
General procedure for the cargo transfer. Description of oil transfer
system on the vessel:
Location(s) of the piping diagram(s) for cargo system.
Locations of shutoff valves/separation devices for:
Bilge piping separation from other systems.
Ballast system piping from other systems.
Oil cargo systems from other systems.
- Procedures for emptying the discharge containment system in the event
of cargo spillage.
- Number of persons required on duty during cargo transfer operations.
- Names, titles and duty hours of cargo transfer personnel.
- Tasking (by name), duties and procedures for tending moorings.
- Procedures for emergency shutdown, including duty officer action to:
Inform the person in charge of the terminal.
Stop oil flow immediately by:
Close emergency shutdown valves, with locations.
Call out emergency party.
Other necessary actions.
- Means of communication while transferring cargo.
- Type of radios.
- Regular check of power supply.
- Regular function testing.
- Terminal using same radio frequency.
- Communication checks with terminal.
- Procedures for topping off tanks, including final ullage of each.
- Procedures for ensuring that all valves are closed after completion
of cargo transfer.
- Procedure for verifying that valves have been closed.
- Procedure for reporting oil discharge into the sea, including:
Immediate stop of transfer operations.
a Chief officer/master.
b Shore terminal.
d US Coast Guard.
Call out of the emergency team.
Directing emergency team to begin oil removal. Requirements for resuming
- Other procedures.
- Procedure for opening and closing vessel openings:
Expansion trunk hatches.
Tank cleaning openings.
Any other opening that could permit an oil spill in the event of an
Only a licensed officer or tankerman may direct opening of any of
these closure mechanisms.
- Designation of the 'person in charge of oil transfer operation' by
3.12.3 Other preparations
The chief officer must verify that all other cargo control preparations
are properly completed. He should verify that all valves to be locked,
sealed, or lashed are as required.
On multi-grade loadings, all valves used to provide cargo separation
should be sealed with numbered seals. If the valves are CCR operated,
then clear plastic covers should be taped over the buttons on the valve
Temporary labels applied for manifold and other valve identification
should be verified. Temporary valve markings can be conveniently applied
with wide masking tape and an indelible black felt marking pen. Stretch
the tape across the handwheel from one side to the other and mark the
grade of cargo to be loaded through the valve on the tape. This precaution
is particularly useful on parcel tankers using manually operated tank
valves. Cargo loading arms or hoses should be marked with chalk to indicate
the grade of cargo to be loaded through them.