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The proper stowage, securing and handling of out of gauge (OOG) cargoes can present many challenges and issues. Honest Shipping has vast experience in shipping these cargoes and offers the following guidelines to its customers:
BIG TIPS FOR SHIPPERS
Upon receipt of a Flat Rack, also known as a Flat, you should check the condition and ensure that it is fit for your requirements. If the flat is damaged in any way, do not attempt to repair, and request to have it replaced with a sound container. It is important to note that the height of the end walls differs between a 40 ft. flat rack (1.943 meters/76.1 inches) and a 20 ft. flat rack (2.231 meters / 91.4 inches). Therefore, cargo that may not be over height for a 20 ft. flat rack, May well be over height for a 40 ft. flat rack.
CENTER OF GRAVITY:
Proper determination and identification of the center of gravity for the cargo is of great importance. If the center of gravity of the cargo is not determined and taken into consideration before stuffing, the cargo may be susceptible to shifting off the flat during transit. This results in cargo damage and possible personal injuries. The weight of the cargo should be centered on the flat rack. When shipping wooden crates, it is always preferable to mark the center of gravity on the exterior of the crate for handling and securing reference purposes.
The weight of the cargo must be properly distributed over the length of the flat rack. It is preferable that the weight be spread in such a manner that the load does not exceed 2,500 pounds per liner foot (inside dimensions) of the flat rack. Dunnage and wooden blocks must be made of hardwood and be free of defects and insects. Short pieces of wood and wooden pallets should not be utilized as dunnage.
Lashing of the cargo must be carried out in accordance with
“IMO MSC/CIRC 745 GUIDLINES FOR CARGO SECURING MANUAL AND GOOD SEAMANSHIP PRACTICE”.
Lashing materials (wires, chains, rods, tensioners, turnbuckles, etc.) must be approved and of suitable size and capacity, taking into consideration the weight of cargo to be secured. As a general rule of thumb, the combined breaking strength of the lashings to be used must be at least 1.8 times the weight of cargo to be secured.Suitable “chafing gear” and/or “softeners” is to be fitted on the lashings in any areas where the lashings make contact with the cargo, other lashings, or the structure of the flat rack itself, in order to prevent excessive wear and subsequent failure of the lashings.
All flat racks are fitted with specially designed lashing points and “eye rings”. Lashings are not to be secured to any other point on the flat rack other than those points designated for this purpose.