How might we eradicate variances in draught mark readings caused by manual visual inspection and sea conditions to reduce cargo claims?

Key Focus Area:

Smart Ship

Crew Safety, Training and Wellbeing

Smart Maritime Services and Logistics

Measuring the weight of dry bulk cargo such as coal, iron ore, grains, cement etc., is currently done by reading the draught marks on the vessel’s hull before and after loading. The displacement of readings provides a calculation on the difference in the ship’s arrival and departure weight.

Known as a draught survey, this manual process is carried out by surveyors and the ship’s crew members via visual inspection of draught marks at 6 standard points on the hull – forward, midship and aft on both port and starboard sides. These marks are visually inspected to obtain a mean reading. This operation may have to carried out at least 3 times during the loading operation.

Due to inevitable wave and surface disturbances when vessels are lying at exposed berths or anchorages, discrepancy in readings do occur between cargo owners and shipowners’ representatives. These could result in claims by cargo owners, requiring costly and time-consuming intervention by insurance firms. In addition to discrepancies, the current process can be dangerous for the personnel taking the readings from a small boat alongside the vessel or from a ladder hanging off the vessel.

It is also of prime importance that readings are accurate to ensure that ships are not overloaded and denied entry to ports with draught restrictions or limits (height between the seabed and the waterline).

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. with a wide range of dry bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, OMC Shipping is looking for a solution that can eradicate or reduce variances caused by human intervention to within a 1cm margin of error. The solution will eventually need to be class society certified.

View Innovation Opportunity Video

Roadshow Recording