Securing Cargo

Cargo onboard ships is stowed and secured to prevent damage during transport. If cargo is not adequately secured it can be damaged and/or shift when subjected to accelerations due to the ship’s movements in the water. This can cause injury to the crew or jeopardise the survival of the entire ship as the ship’s stability changes if the cargo shifts.

As a general rule, all ships that transport cargo must stow and secure the cargo safely enough to be seaworthy. Regulations for Swedish ships specify that all cargoes other than bulk cargoes must be secured except for parcel goods to be transported on ships in sea area E (the division of sea areas is specified in chapter 1, § 3 of the Ship Safety Ordinance (2003:438) and in more detail in the Swedish Maritime Administration’s regulation (SJÖFS 2003:3 on division of sea areas) or goods transported by road ferry on a regular ferry route. Parcel goods are goods collected in small cargo transport units such as cartons or boxes, freestanding or on open pallets. Cargo securing standards are imposed on non-Swedish ships when they leave Swedish ports.

It is the ship master’s duty to ensure that the vessel is ready for sea before the voyage begins, which means that the master has ultimate liability for the correct securing of cargo.