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Design & Construction, Machinery & Operations


INTERCARGO actively monitors the development of rules and guidelines for bulk carriers and associated on-board equipment on a continuous basis, with a particular emphasis on the Common Structural Rules Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers.  

Class and Statutory Rules

The Common Structural Rules Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers conform with SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-10, Goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers, and thus   provide a defined minimum level of safety in terms of vessel design and construction.

Part of the maintenance and further development of the CSR includes periodic rule changes that usually occur yearly and INTERCARGO takes an active role in the rule change process.

Prior to making any rule change, IACS releases Rule Change Proposals for industry review. For the past several years INTERCARGO has performed an in-depth review of the Rule Change Proposals and provided feedback to IACS, with the most recent review having taken place over the Spring/Summer of 2023.

In addition to involvement with the CSR, INTERCARGO’s Secretariat and members of the Management Committee sit on a number of the individual Class Societies’ committees and provide input to other Class Rules related to the design and construction of ships, with an emphasis on those matters related to bulkers.

Cargo Gear

INTERCARGO is concerned  that some of the onboard cranes now being supplied are not suitable for purpose and thus  stresses the importance of good design, fabrication  and construction of cargo gear and onboard cranes.

Hatch Covers

Hatch covers perform the vital role of preventing water from entering the cargo holds and thus protect the cargo.  The updates on this page provide information from various sources including manufacturers and P&I Clubs

Loading Rates

INTERCARGO members have experienced increased pressure to load vessels quickly and this has escalated with the increased demand for commodities and the commercial pressure to maximise terminal throughput.

INTERCARGO conducted a survey of ships’ masters to determine the areas of concern, two main areas were identified:

  1. the implied arrival condition required to meet onerous loading requirements and its detrimental effect on manoeuvrability; and
  2. the consequences for the structural integrity of the ship.

INTERCARGO will engage with all stakeholders including owners and operators, terminals, classification societies, shippers, flag administrations, and insurers to ensure a common understanding of this issue. The aim is to ensure that all bulk carriers are loaded safety in an appropriate manner, taking into account the capabilities of the ship, in accordance with international regulation.