3.9 THE LOADING CONFERENCE OR KEY MEETING
When the pre-loading inspections of the ship have been completed,
the chief officer is ready to conduct the meeting between the ship and
the terminal representatives. The chief officer, one or more of the
ship's cargo watch officers and the pumpman should attend the meeting.
The owner's marine supervisor may also attend, if available. The purpose
of the meeting is to exchange all of the information necessary for the
ship and shore terminal personnel to conduct the loading operation safely.
3.9.1 Information to be obtained Grade(s) and quantity of cargo(es) to be loaded.
The chief officer should obtain from the shore terminal representative(s)
the following information:
- Cargo information, including the:
Cargo loading sequence.
Specific gravity of the cargo(es).
Number of shore tanks to be loaded from and the quantity, temperature
and gravity of the cargo in each.
Material data sheet for each cargo, including all hazards associated with
handling it and treatments for exposure, inhalation and ingestion of the
If H2S cargo, the H2S
concentration (ppm) by weight in oil.
Cargo loading rates.
Number of shore pumps to be used; will loading be started by pump or by
Shore pipeline'displacements planned before, between and after loading/grades.
Cargo loading stops required for shore tank changes or sampling and testing.
- Number and sizes of hoses/arms to be used.
- Operating envelope of the loading arms and any freeboard restrictions
- The communication system to be used and phrases/signals to be used for:
Placing the shore terminal operator on standby.
Stopping the loading (while on standby).
- The required standby time to be provided in advance of stopping shore
- Operation of emergency stop device (if provided).
- Emergency telephone numbers of terminal management personnel, local
hospitals and police and fire services.
- Work shift arrangements on the pier/dock.
- A copy of any particular facility regulations which must be observed
by the vessel, including:
Pollution prevention procedures and rules.
Procedures in the event of fire, explosion, injury, or other emergency.
- Weather forecast.
3.9.2 Information to be provided to the terminal
The chief officer should supply the terminal representative with:
- A copy of the ballast discharge and cargo loading plans. Information
regarding the last cargo(es) carried and method of tank preparation
used to prepare for the nominated cargo(es).
- Maximum acceptable loading rates for starting, routine loading and
topping off tanks.
- Maximum acceptable vapour pressures, temperatures and cargo manifold
- Condition of the inert gas plant and condition of inerted tanks; venting
procedure to be used while loading.
- Quantities of ballast or slops to be pumped ashore and contents of
- Preferred sequence of loading (if multiple grade cargo).
- Procedure for changing grades of cargo.
- Any tank washing/flushing to be performed.
- Ship's contingency plan for responding to an oil pollution incident.
- Procedures for authorising personnel from shore to proceed on board
3.9.3 Loading plan and method of loading
Based on the information gathered during the meeting with the terminal
representative(s) the chief officer should prepare a bar chart time
diagram to illustrate the anticipated loading operation. He should review
the time diagram with the master and (after any necessary revisions),
give a copy to the shore terminal and post a copy in the CCR.
The time diagram indicates graphically the sequence and timing of the
various steps of the loading operation and provides an indication of
the time when operations should be completed.
The declaration of inspection, exchange of information and the loading
plan together constitute an operational agreement for the loading of
the ship. This agreement is complete when and only when the person in
charge of the shore terminal and the person in charge of the ship have
both signed the declaration of inspection.
3.9.4 Toxic cargoes
If the material safety data sheet for the cargo indicates that the oil
can be unusually hazardous to personnel, then the cargo should not be
- Cargo watch officers have been advised of the special nature of the
cargo and reviewed the safety precautions recommended.
- The deck watch personnel on the first cargo watch have been instructed
regarding necessary safety precautions.
- Any special test, protective, or first aid equipment needed to safely
handle the cargo has been provided on board.
An example of a cargo requiring special precautions is a crude oil with
high Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) content, commonly
known as 'sour' crude. H2S gas is extremely
toxic. Sour crudes should only be loaded under closed loading conditions.
H2S test equipment must be provided to verify
personnel safety in pumprooms and other spaces where H2S
vapour could accumulate. Periodic tests for H2S
on the cargo deck, in the engine room, forecastle head spaces, accommodations,
workrooms and store rooms must be conducted. If any amount of H2S
is detected in the pumproom (measuring by remote sampling tube from
the upper deck level), then breathing apparatus must be worn to search
for the source of the leak. Stop loading if the concentration of 50
ppm or greater is detected on the main deck. In light winds, special
vigilance must be observed and every effort made to ensure that exhausted
tank atmospheres are vented as high and as far forward as the tank venting
system will permit.
Post H2S warning signs at the pumproom
Sour crude oil warning
Do not go below until pumproom has been tested free of H2S
Self-contained-breathing and resuscitation equipment must be readily
available and the crew properly instructed in its use before loading
The crew must be instructed in the particular hazards and effects of
exposure H2S, including:
Rapid paralysis of the sense of smell, so that the warning odour will
seemingly disappear if high concentrations are encountered.
Rapid reduction in reasoning ability. The crew member becomes 'stupid'
with the vapour and is unable to help himself. In high concentrations
(1000 ppm to 2000 ppm) immediate unconsciousness followed by death.
Personnel should not be exposed to more than 20 ppm H2S
vapour in routine operations and 50 ppm for short periods (10 minutes
per 8 hour work day).
Tanks should be topped off by closed loading. If tanks are open gauged,
then ullage caps should be opened two minutes before measuring the ullage.
Procedures for keeping accommodation doors and ports closed must be
Benzene is an example of a refined product requiring more precaution
that other products. Concentrations of more than 10 ppm must be avoided.
Exposure to high concentrations can lead to chronic disorders of the
blood and bone marrow.