Cambodia: Sand cargoes


Published: 4 December 2013

Following recent enquiries by Members in respect of shipments of sand from Cambodia, the Association would like to advise as follows.

There has been increase in demand of this cargo in particular at Singapore and reportedly more than 200 ships loaded this cargo in past two years at Cambodian Ports.

In a recent matter the master of the vessel complained of the cargo being laden with excessive water / moisture. The Association appointed a surveyor to investigate the matter, but due to limited local resources the closest suitable Surveyor was located in Thailand and there was some noteworthy travel time involved given the location of some load locations in Cambodia.

In some locations the cargo is dredged with cranes from river and sea areas and then barged into lighters which are then sent to vessels for delivering cargo. The cargo is generally of very low value and the Association’s concern was the safety of the vessel rather any shortage of due to excessive water content.

The Shippers had declared the cargo as being Group C under the IMSBC, i.e. : it was neither prone to liquefaction nor was it one which came with chemically hazardous properties.

While the cargo was indeed very wet upon loading, the most significant issue facing the attending Surveyor was the problem of the proper trim and stow of the cargo. The Shipper’s had declared an angle of repose of 36 degrees, but the actual condition showed varying angles between 35 to 45 degrees in the holds of the vessel.  

Following further trimming the attending Surveyor assisted the Master in ensuring a due letter of protest was issued and that Bills of Lading were issued accurately reflecting the actual – rather wet – condition of the cargo.

The following is a picture of the cargo in the hold:

Although in this case, ultimately, the vessel sailed safely to her destination without further incident, the Association would still advise prudence before loading cargoes that appear or are excessively wet.
This advice stands even where cargoes are said to be “Category C” under the IMSBC as the Association has found that there is repeat issue with miss-declarations of cargoes.
For further information, Members are advised to consult with the Association.