Loading fertilizer in bulk (urea, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate, saltpeter, etc.) at Novorossiysk and Tuapse ports


We consider it very important to describe the method of loading of such cargoes at Novorossiysk and the highlight possible difficulties, which Master may encounter during loading operations.

Usually the cargo is delivered to the port in 20’’ containers on open railway platforms. During transportation the containers are exposed to adverse weather conditions and sometimes, due to unwatertightness of containers’ upper doors its contents can be wetted.

Loading fertilizer Loading is carried out by means of shore cranes, the container’s doors are opened when the container is transferred above the opened cargo holds and the cargo spills out into the vessel’s hold. Such procedure doesn’t give any opportunity for the Master or Deck Officers to ascertain the cargo condition ashore before its loading on board the vessel.  This leads to loading of damaged cargo on board the vessel, lumpy/caked, contaminated with foreign admixtures or wetted.

The circumstances worsening the master’s position are as follows :

 Usually terms of Charter Parties require from the Master to reject all damaged cargo and issue a «clean on board» Bill of Lading. The root of the problem experienced by the Master is that the bad cargo condition becomes visible inside ship’s holds only after discharging from the containers.  

Moreover, before the vessel’s arrival the cargo is accumulated near the port territory and it is very important to note that in case the scheduled quantity cargo has not arrived yet at the port the surveyors acting on behalf of the cargo shipper are trying to reject the holds’ readiness for loading to gain time. So, we assume, it’s necessary to arrange holds inspection on the part of the vessel to check their readiness for commencement of loading.  

Below pictures demonstrate the most frequently discovered kinds of damage to the cargo condition:

Caked ferlilizer Caking

Wetted fertilizer  Wetting

Fertilizer contaminated with foreign admixtures





Contamination with foreign admixtures 


If any damaged cargo is found our surveyors assist the Master in arranging removing of the contaminated cargo or, if the above is rejected, we recommend the Master to clause the Mates' Receipts and Bills of Lading with the corresponding remarks.


Taking the above into account, we think, it is most important that on the part of the vessel draft survey, inspection of vessel’s hatches/holds and the cargo condition survey would be performed. The above is within the scope of the services provided by our company. Moreover, our surveyor may render assistance to the Master in rejecting the damaged cargo and in proper clausing of Mate’s Receipts and Bills of Lading.    

Recently a new export terminal for loading bulk fertilizers has been put into operation at No.5 pier of the Eastern Dock of Novorossiysk port. The new facility includes the railcar unloading station, belt conveyer gallery and shiploader. The terminal accommodates vessels with a maximum draft up to 13 miters and the rate of loading for the terminal is up to 600 tons per hour. At the current stage the terminal will specialize in loading the Nitrates (N), Nitroamaphos (NP) and NPK fertilizers.

In the port of Tuapse this cargo is also loaded but with application of a different method of loading - loading is performed with shore crane grabs from open box cars.


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