Port Handling & Distribution

Port Handling & Distribution

Modern technology enables the B/I/B/O vessel to exercise a high degree of control over the discharge quality, simultaneously producing an accurate electronic tally. This is matched daily against the tallies recorded by the port and cargo receivers, and avoids the customary tally disputes and shortage claims that occur on commercial vessels.

Discharge capabilities

Using traditional methods (i.e. Conventional break bulk vessels), a bagged cargo of 20,000 tonnes may take from 20-30 days for discharge, but can be completed in a fraction of the time with B/I/B/O.

The speed of the operation depends largely on the availability of:

  • sufficient transport mode (i.e. trucks/trains) & local working hours
    • the supply of trucks is critical, with one truck being loaded at each of the three loaders every 20-30 minutes. The vessels are manned to permit 24-hour working and on this basis can provide bagged sugar rates in excess of 250 tons per hour (i.e. ~5000 MT/day)
  • sufficient intake capacity of the warehouse and on the number of hours worked.
  • The speed of the discharge depends on good co-ordination with quayside logistic operations. The vessel’s equipment is capable of discharging bagged sugar onto a wide range of road vehicles and also rail and barge facilities. It is also possible to place bags in nearby quayside warehouses where they can be stacked.

Financial advantages

Speed and efficiency of discharge results in significant savings for B/I/B/O customers including:

• Reduced stevedoring costs.
• Reduced cargo claims and possibility of short-landings resulting from damage and pilferage & reduced damaged cargo.
• Reduced port and berth charges.


Evaluation of port conditions

Efficient port organization is a major factor in maximizing the advantages of the B/I/B/O system for the receiver.

B/I/B/O needs:

• Local port labor as truck-loading stevedores to work ongoing  (to maximize results from three gangs per shift).
• A regular supply of on-shore transport, either road vehicles or railway wagons, which is critical to the speed of discharge.
• Fast and efficient movement of trucks into and away from loading positions.
• Daily comparison between shore tally and the tally produced by the vessel.



The B/I/B/O system gives the receiver the opportunity to discharge the entire cargo in bags at a rate of up to 250mt per hour. A daily bagging rate in excess of 5,000mt is readily attainable with normal logistic arrangements on the quayside.

Bagged discharge options

B/I/B/O vessels can discharge their cargoes in five ways:

1. Discharge into road vehicles

This the most frequently used method. Our loaders are capable of operating with most types of road trucks, but are best suited to six to ten metre long flatbed vehicles with sides. They permit the maximum discharge speed provided that a certain tolerance is allowed with quality of stow on the vehicle.

2. Discharge into rail wagons

The loaders operate with all of the common types of rail wagons, but it is essential that a locomotive or other means of moving them is available at all times. B/I/B/O’s higher discharge rates require frequent shifting of wagons. Door dimensions are also an important factor and must be discussed with CHL in advance of the discharge operation.


3. Discharge directly into quayside warehouse

By the use of additional powered conveyors to assist with stacking, it is possible to land the cargo direct to the warehouse either onto pallets or into stacks, depending on local work practice.

4. Big bag discharge [see Loading and Discharging]

Storage Advantages

Facilitated storage of bags in warehouse facilities.

Operation control

The B/I/B/O cargo officer based in the deckhouse cargo control room, with instant access to monitors, alarms and air conditioning controls monitors the electronic tally system and can give precise information at all times concerning the number of bags discharged, the rate of discharge and the quantity of sugar remaining in the hold. Extensive on-board telecommunications and hand-held UHF radios ensure that the Cargo Officer remains in constant contact with key personnel on the ship and on the quayside.

Once berthed, the B/I/B/O vessel can begin discharging its cargo immediately. The operation can be summarized in five stages for a bagged discharge:

• The ship’s quayside handling equipment is unloaded and positioned while empty bags are transferred to the bagging area. This is an all weather operation.
• Sugar begins flowing from the holds to the ships’ bagging plant
• The sugar is weighed and bagged.
• Filled and sewn bags are conveyed ashore.
• Loading machines transfer the bags onto the receivers’ transport.