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Safety analyses for bulk carriers using metamodels of still water loads

P. Georgiev
Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria

ABSTRACT: This paper presents an approach that combines metamodeling technique and Monte-Carlo simulation for safety analyses of still water loads for bulk carriers. The approach is applied to study the influence of deviations from cargo loading plan on net load of double bottom and still water bending moments. As example a Handymax BC-A type ship is used. The metamodels approximate the work of installed on board mandatory loading instrument and give the relation between the distribution of cargo and the trim and still water bending moments in controlled sections. The Monte-Carlo simulation uses the fitted metamodels to obtain a rich set of statistical data that permit preparing event tree analysis for possible overloading of double bottom and the evaluation of likelihood for exceeding of permissible bending moments. 1 INTRODUCTION In the last two decades the attention of IMO and IACS has been focused on various kind of legislation leading to improvement of safety of bulk carriers. At the beginning of 1996 came into force amendments called the Enhanced Survey Programme (ESP) in order to enhance bulk carrier inspection. In December 2002 the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted amendments to SOLAS chapter XII and the 1988 Load Lines Protocol. The revisions of bulk carrier safety concern, bow height and reserve buoyancy, fore deck fittings, water level detectors and pimping arrangements, hatch covers and securing mechanisms, harmonized notations and design loading conditions, means of access, immersion suits, free-fall lifeboats, double side skin, using of loading instrument for ships with length over 150 m capable of providing information on hull girder shear forces and bending moments. Following the 1998 publication of the report into the sinking of the bulk carrier Derbyshire, the Maritime Safety Committee initiated a further review of bulk carrier safety, involving the use of Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) studies to help assess what further changes in regulations might be needed. FSA is a structured and systematic methodology, aimed at enhancing maritime safety, including protection of life, health, the marine environment and property, by using risk analyses and cost benefit assessment (MSC 2007). The main steps in FSA are: identification of hazards; risk analysis; risk control options; cost benefit assessment; and recommendations for decision making. All revised and newly developed rules are implemented in Common Structural Rules (CSR) for bulk carriers that are applicable for ships contracted for construction on or after 1 April 2006. For the ships are to be assigned one of the following additional service notations: BC-A; BC-B or BC-C. For BC-A ship design loading conditions shall include at least one cargo loaded condition with specified holds empty, with cargo density 3.0 t/m3, and the same filling ratio in all loaded cargo holds at maximum draught with all ballast tanks empty. Additionally, CSR define procedure for determination of hold mass curves that specify the maximum and minimum mass of cargo in each cargo hold and in any two adjacent holds as a function of the draught at middle position. In the operation of ships, the BLU (Bulk Loading and Unloading) Code provides guidance to masters of bulk carriers, terminal operators and other parties concerned with the safe handling, loading and unloading of solid bulk cargoes. In resent years the ship operators have experienced increased pressure from terminals to load cargo as quickly as possible. INTERCARGO carried out a confidential survey of ships masters and the main conclusions (MSC 2008) are: there are terminal instructions, requiring a 14-hour turn-round and 16,000 t/hr loading rate, for capesize bulk carriers; the maximum loading rate should be approximately twice the ballast pump capacity, i.e., typically ~ 10,000 t/hr ; the BLU Code is not being universally applied.

The loading condition and loading/unloading plans are prepared by on-board loading instrument and the results to a great extent depend on the input information for cargo distribution between the holds. According to the conclusions of ISSC 2006 (ISSC 2006), based on (Rizzuto 2006) for dry bulk cargoes, no accurate and direct measurement of cargo level in hold is available. The information has always been derived from the final draft surveys. This type of data, however, does not help in finding out the cargo weight distribution in the various compartments. Even in the event of a very accurate monitoring of drafts, it is not possible to derive the actual distribution of cargo in every single hold. Discrepancies from the loading plan in content of single holds are expected to be substantial but are not quantifiable by the crew. At the present stage of the investigation, no model has been developed to quantify these uncertainties for bulk carriers. Taking into account the above, the research questions for the investigation is: What is the influence of deviation from loading plan on still water loads and are there any hazards? At the same time, according to FSA methodology for hazard identification and risk analyses where data is unavailable, calculation or simulation and analysis techniques could be used. These techniques are fault tree and event tree analysis, failure mode and effect analysis, what if analysis, etc. The present study combines metamodeling technique, on-board loading instrument and Monte-Carlo simulation for safety analyses of bulk carriers and to answer the question. This combine approach is proposed by Georgiev (2010) for probabilistic presentation of bending moments. As example ship a 42700 tDW Handymax bulk carrier type BC-A with main dimensions Lpp/B/D=177/30/16.2 m and five cargo holds is used. 2 METAMODELING TECNHIQUE 2.1 Background Statistical techniques and design of computer experiments are used successfully in ship design (Georgiev & Damyanliev 2005, Georgiev 2008). The basic approach is to construct approximation of the analyses code (software) i.e. to construct a model of the model or metamodel (Kleijnen & Sargent 2000). The main steps of the metamodeling process are as follows: 1) Determine the goal of the metamodel; 2) Identify the inputs ant their characteristics; 3) Specify the domain of applicability; 4) Identify the output variable and its characteristics; 5) Specify the metamodel; 6) Specify a computer experimental design; 7) Fit the metamodel; 8) Determine the validity of the fitted metamodel.

Figure 1. Connection between metamodeling tecnique and Monte-Carlo simulation

The left hand side of Figure 1 presents schematically the metamodeling technique. 2.2 Metamodels of still water bending moments and trim The still water bending moment (SWBM) depends on cargo distribution. The uncertainties in this distribution lead to uncertainties in calculated by the loading instrument SWBM. The example ship is equipped with ALCOS v. 2.5 (Auto Loading Computer On-board System) loading instrument, developed by specialist from Technical University of Varna and in the metamodeling process it is considered as computer simulation. The goal of the metamodels is to obtain the relationship between the amount of cargo in the holds and SWBM and the trim of the ship. The metamodels will eliminate the necessity of calculation by loading instrument of thousands loading conditions in Monte-Carlo simulation. For present study an alternate loaded condition (holds No 1, 3 and 5 are loaded) with cargo density 3.0 t/m3. However, variability in bending moments due to different cargo distribution could occur only when the cargo holds are partially filled. The cargo loading plan is at 100% consumables and zero trim. The input variables for the metamodel are deviations dPi, i=1,2,3 from planned amount of cargo in the three loaded holds. For each deviation three values are considered: -10%, 0 and +10%. The coded values in range (-1,1) are calculated by the following formula:

xi =

dPi , i = 1,2,3 10


The amount of cargo in each hold is obtained by: Pi = (1 xi / 10) P0i , i = 1,2,3 (2)

where P0 is the planned amount of cargo. The output variables are SWBM at different sections related to the permissible ones and the trim.

Fitting of metamodels is based on RSM (Response Surface Methodology). Polynomial regression is chosen due to its transparency and simplicity and expected low order of non-linearity of considered responses. The response surface y (x) is presented by:
y (x) = b0 + x T b + x T Bx (3)

3 MONTE-CARLO SIMULATION The connection between the Monte-Carlo simulation and fitted metamodels is shown in Figure 1. The Monte-Carlo simulation calculates the fitted metamodels for trim and SWBM each time using different randomly-selected values for the amount of cargo in holds. In reality, the process of cargo loading is monitored by the crew and terminal representatives. To take into account the human factor, the following constraints for the total amount of cargo and obtained trim are accepted:

In this model it is assumed linear effects in x and, two-factor interaction and pure quadratic term in x (the term xTBx) One of the important steps in computer experiment is the selecting a design with and appropriate number of runs and levels for each variable to ensure sufficient design space coverage. The present study uses uniform design proposed by Fang (2006). The designs are marked by Un(qs) where n = number of experiments, q = number of levels and s = maximum number of factors. Designs for different number of factors, levels and experiments could be taken from ( For present study U15(33) design was used. Installed on-board loading instrument ALCOS was used to calculate the responses. It is necessary to evaluate and to record the results for only 15 loading conditions that take less than 15 minutes time. The least squares estimates for trim and SWBM for eight frames are made by JMP software. Table 1 presents the polynomial coefficients for trim and SWBM at the muddle of holds No 2, 3 and 4. For deterministic computer experiment where a random error does not exist, the metamodel accuracy is checked by the modelling error that is the discrepancy between the true output Y from the simulation model and Y from the metamodel. The maximum modelling error for SWBM is less than 0.2% from the permissible values and for trim the maximum error is 17 mm (Georgiev 2010).
Table 1. Polynomial sponses. x1 x1 -0.018583 x2 x3 Trim, m x1 -0.001536 x2 x3 Fr.93, x1 -0.001424 x2 x3 Fr.129, x1 -0.001129 x2 x3 Fr.165, regression coefficients for studied rex2 -0.021596 -0.001311 x3 -0.003580 0.016679 0.016678 b0= 0.003450 -0.001600 -0.003963 b0= 0.002706 -0.001191 -0.002969 b0= 0.001735 -0.000675 -0.001683 b0= b 1.368173 0.251147 -0.979926 0.859706 0.096288 -0.091438 -0.008829 0.758067 0.125465 -0.164884 0.023898 0.601142 0.109279 -0.087475 0.022291 0.963968

Qmin Pi Qmax ; t min trim t max ,

i =1


0.000809 0.000946

0.000241 0.000567

where Qmin is the minimum amount of cargo taken as 97% from the planned one, Qmax is the maximum amount limited by summer draught, tmin is the maximum aft trim accepted as 0.005L=0.88 m and tmax is the maximum trim to bow equal to 0.04 m. For the input variables a double truncated normal distribution with lower and upper truncation point ZL=ZU= 2, mean zero and truncated standard deviation T = 5% is accepted. Using the tables (Khasawneh et al, 2005) this corresponds to normal distribution with mean zero and = 5.684%. For samples generation RiskAMP MS Excel Add-in was used (http://www. To investigate how accurate are the particular estimates five samples with 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 and 50,000 runs are generated. Additionally, the investigated range of trim is subdivided into smaller ranges as follows: T1: [-0.19 0.04); T2: [-0.42 -0.19); T3: [-0.65 -0.42); T4: [-0.88 -0.65). To prepare the calculations by the metamodels and to sift out the feasible points a small computer program, written in Pascal was used. The number of feasible points at different starting number of runs is shown in Table 2. The total number of feasible points is about 25% from starting number of runs. The distribution of cargo is shown in Figure 2. The graph includes the histogram for T1 trim range and fitted normal probability distributions for others. One can see the correct relation between the cargo mass in the three holds in bubble plot. The mass of cargo in middle hold 3 is greatest (bigger circles) when the mass in hold 1 and 5 are smallest (bottom left corner) and vice versa (top right corner).
Table 2. Number of feasible points for trim ranges No of Trim range runs T1 T2 T3 T4 10x103 696 676 567 501 20x103 1430 1347 1158 1020 2197 2034 1797 1465 30x103 40x103 2869 2674 2416 1950 50x103 3565 3415 3012 2397

-0.000310 0.000131

Total 2440 4955 7493 9909 12389





-T1 -T2 -T3 -T4


Hold No 1

-T1 -T2 -T3 -T4

Hold No 3





0 11200






0 12400 12800 13200 13600 14000 14400 14800 15200


Cargo mass, t

Cargo mass, t

1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 12000 12400 12800 13200 13600 14000 14400

Hold No 5

-T1 -T2 -T3 -T4


Cargo mass, t



Figure 2. Cargo distribution for different trim ranges: -a); -b); -c). Bubble plot for cargo distribution in the holds d).

z1 / 2 N



Relative width of CI, wr %

An approximate (1-)100% confidence interval for unknown population mean m is

1.0 95%CI-Fitted function 99%CI-Fitted function -T1 -T2 -T3 -T4

where is sample mean, is standard deviation, N is number of runs, and z1-/2 is the number that (z)= ( denotes the standard normal c.d.f). It is common practice in simulation to use and report the absolute (wa) and relative (wr) widths of the confidence interval (CI), defined as


wr=19.255N-0.4917 R2=0.997 wr=14.686N-0.4921 R2=0.997


0.2 0

wa = 2 z1 / 2


and wr =



2000 3000 Number of runs, N


In Figure 3 the relative width in percent (wr) for = 5% and =1% significance levels is shown. The results include all trim ranges and as one can see from the trend lines, the accuracy of estimation of the mean is proportional to N-0.5. The maximum relative width of CI is less than 1% and goes down to less than 0.4% at 50,000 starting runs. The descriptive statistics for mass of cargo distribution in the holds at T1 range for sample size N=3565 are shown in Table 3. The table presents the planned and maximum permissible (MaxLoad) amount of cargo.

Figure 3. Relative width for 95% and 99% confidence for cargo mass in Hold No 3. Table 3. Descriptive statistics for mass of cargo in holds at T1 trim range Item Hold 1 Hold 3 Hold 5 Plan P0, t 12536 13884 13186 MaxLoad, t 12536 13884 13.835 ,t 12446.0 13818.4 13141.5 95% CI, t 9.6 18.3 + 11.2 99% CI, t 12.6 24.0 14.7 ,t 291.9 556.8 341.7 CoV, % 2.3 4.0 2.6 Skewness -0.0001 0.0314 -0.0299 Ex. Kurtosis -0.1283 -0.4916 -0.2440

4 SAFETY ANALYSES 4.1 Possible overloading of double bottom According to CSR, the maximum allowable or minimum required cargo mass in a cargo hold, or in two adjacently loaded holds, is related to the net load on the double bottom. This load is a function of draft, cargo mass in the cargo hold, as well as the mass of fuel oil and ballast water contained in double bottom tanks. The relation between the draft and the load is given by hold mass curves prepared for every single hold and for two adjacent holds as well. In operation the maximum allowable cargo mass shall be limited to MHD that is the maximum cargo mass allowed to be carried with specified holds empty at maximum draught. The event tree analysis method is used to analyse the probability of occurrence (Kuo 2007). The events are examined using a binary logic (Yes/No) and the process goes in one direction to derive outcomes. The tree consists of nodes, branches and leaves. The probability of the outcome is obtained multiplying along the branches (Fig.4). At present study, we consider two events. Let event B is the overloading of double bottom and T is the trim range. The overloading exists when the mass of cargo is greater than maximum permissible from corresponding hold mass curve. The two events are considered as not independent and the conditional probability of B, given that T has occurred is given by

acters (1 or 0) that represent the overloading in holds No 1, 3 and 5 respectively. The sample with total 12389 points is used and the event tree is shown in Table 4. The last column includes the values of product rules. Having the results from the event tree we can draw different conclusions. The probability of overloading of every separate hold and combination of holds for whole trim range is shown in Figure 5. The probability that there is no overloading is about 31% and probability for overloading of hold No 3 (the middle hold) is about 39%.

Figure 4. Event tree for two events A and B

P( B T ) =

P( B T ) , P(T) 0. P(T )


Let the trim ranges Ti i=1,24 are events that partition the whole trim range T. Following the theorem of the total probability we obtain
P ( B) = P(B Ti ).P(Ti ) , i = 1,2...4
4 i =1


For conditional probability of B, given that Ti has occurred the following is valid: P( B Ti ) = P( B Ti ) , P(Ti ) 0 ; i = 1,2,...,4 P(Ti ) (9)

In case where it is necessary to reverse the order in conditional probabilities the Bayes theorem is used:
P (Ti B ) = P(Ti ) P(B Ti ) , i = 1,2...4 P( B)


The masses of cargo in the holds are considered as not independent and the event of overloading is labelled B1, B3 and B5. The outcome for every branch is marked with a string that includes the number of trim range and combination of three char-

Table 4. Event tree for overloading of double bottom Ti B1 B3 B5 Outcome 228/ 0/228 Y 1111 0.0 Y 1369 1369/ 228/228 N 1110 0.01840 Y 3565 67/1141 Y 1101 0.00541 1141/ N 1369 3565/ 1074/1141 N 1011 0.08669 12389 1403/ 0/1403 Y 1011 0.0 Y 2196 2196/ 1403/1403 N 1010 0.11325 N 3565 0/793 Y 1001 0.0 793/ N 2196 793/793 N 1000 0.06401 37/ 0/37 Y 2111 0.0 Y 811 811/ 37/37 N 2110 0.00299 Y 3415 154/774 Y 2101 0.01243 774/ N 811 620/774 N 2011 0.05004 3415/ 12389 1488/ 0/1488 Y 2011 0.0 Y 2604 2604/ 1488/1488 N 2010 0.12010 N 3415 1116/ 0/1116 Y 2001 0.0 N 2604 1116/1116 N 2000 0.09008 1/ 0/1 Y 3111 0.0 Y 406 406/ 1/1 N 3110 0.00008 Y 3012 273/405 Y 3101 0.02204 405/ N 406 132/405 N 3011 0.01065 3012/ 12389 1306/ 13/1306 Y 3011 0.00105 Y 2606 2606/ 1293/1306 N 3010 0.10437 N 3012 1300/ 36/1300 Y 3001 0.00291 N 2606 1264/1300 N 3000 0.10203 4111 0.0 0/ Y 156 156/ 4110 0.0 Y 2397 155/156 Y 4101 0.07199 156/ N 156 2397/ 1/156 N 4011 0.00046 12389 1036/ 56/1036 Y 4011 0.00302 Y 2241 980/1036 N 4010 0.05292 2241/ N 2397 234/1205 Y 4001 0.01264 1205/ N 2241 971/1205 N 4000 0.05244



H1 only

H3 only 1.2

H5 only


Probability, %


43.6 42.9







27.4 0.2

20 22.2 0 T1


42.0 27.1 T3 T4


Figure 5. Probability (%) of overloading of every cargo hold and combination of holds Table 5. Descriptive statistics for SWBM at trim range T1 Statistic

Figure 6. Probability for overloading of separate holds at given trim range T1-T4

Frames Fr.129 Fr.139 Fr.147 Fr.165 Fr.183

,95% CI .102, 99% CI .102, ,CoV, % Skewness Ex. Kurtosis Plan, X/L

Fr. 75

Fr. 86

Fr. 93


0.5259 0.089 0.117 0.0271 5.2% -0.0512 -0.4256 0.5372 0.3245

0.7732 0.138 0.182 0.0421 5.4% -0.0582 -0.4047 0.7845 0.3721

0.8483 0.171 0.225 0.0522 6.2% -0.0584 -0.3919 0.8595 0.4023

0.7473 0.258 0.339 0.0785 10.5% -0.0596 -0.3858 0.7579 0.4801

0.5907 0.301 0.395 0.0916 15.5% -0.0604 -0.3851 0.6010 0.5579

0.6292 0.287 0.377 0.0873 13.9% -0.0601 -0.3783 0.6399 0.6011

0.7302 0.256 0.336 0.0780 10.7% -0.0591 -0.3672 0.7413 0.6357

0.9520 0.195 0.256 0.0593 6.2% -0.0561 -0.3335 0.9639 0.7135

0.6449 0.110 0.145 0.0335 5.2% -0.0538 -0.3238 0.6515 0.7913




4.2 Still water bending moments During the Monte-Carlo simulation for feasible points the SWBM is calculated by fitted metamodels. Descriptive statistics and confidence interval for the mean at all controlled sections for trim range T1 are shown in Table 5. The last two rows include values for SWBM for the planned loading condition


Relative width, wr, %

Conditional probabilities for overloading of every hold separately at given trim region can be seen in Figure 6. From that figure several conclusions can be drown: The probability to have no overloading is greatest (42%) at trim range T3: [-0.65 -0.42) m; An overloading of hold No 3 (that is with greatest probability of about 39%) could be expected rather at trim range T2 or T3 than T4; The overloading of hold No 1 is most probable (30.1%) at trim range T1: [-0.19 0.04) m. The information obtained from the event tree analyses could be useful during the operation of the ship to stress the crew attention to most critical places during the cargo loading and how to interpret the situation in case of considerable deviation from cargo plan. The same information could be used during the design process to evaluate the vulnerability of the ship to the deviations from cargo loading plan.

and location of the section. The relative width of 95% confidence interval for three sections and corresponding trend line are shown in Figure 7. The least accuracy of estimation of the mean is obtained for frame 129. The frame is located at the middle of the ship and the standard deviation of SWBM for this frame is greatest.
3.0 wr = 42.475N-0.5013 ; R2=0.9956 2.5 wr = 64.005N-0.5038 ; R2=0.9946 wr = 24.328N-0.4971 ; R2=0.9966

Fr. 111
0.0 0 1000

Fr. 129

Fr. 165

2000 3000 Number of runs, N

Figure 7. Relative width (wr) for 95% confidence for SWBM for three frames

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7

780/3565 = 0.22; T2 - 741/3415 = 0.22; T3 576/3012=0.19 and T4 - 362/2397 = 0.15. The curve for mean values is very close to the curve of the plan i.e. the values obtained by loading instrument. For all frames the samples for SFBM have negative excess kurtosis that shows distribution with lower, wider peak around the mean and thinner tails. A negative skew for all frames indicates longer left tail in the distribution, but the values are very small and one can conclude that the data are not skewed. 5 CONCLUSIONS

Figure 8. Standard deviation and CoV along ship length






0.2 0.4 0.6

Figure 9. Region around the mean value of SFBM

The standard deviation and CoV are biggest at the middle sections. From Figure 8 one can see that the maximum standard deviation is about 9% from the permissible SFBM and CoV is about 16%. The most important remark based on the descriptive statistics of SWBM is illustrated in Figure 9. The plot includes the SWBM related to the permissible values for initial loading condition (the plan), and obtained for controlled sections mean and mean 2 . The shaded area corresponds to 95.45% of all possible values for SWBM that could exist for this trim range. Due to the deviation from cargo plan and uncertainties in cargo distribution we will have a range of possible SWBM values. For frame 165 (X/L=0.71) there are values greater than the permissible ones (rounded rectangle) and overloading may occur. The relative frequency for such overloading for considered trim ranges is as follows: T1 -

- CoV -

max permissible

2 +2

Plan x/L 0.8

It has been recognized nowadays that the safety of the ship is permanent concern of IMO, IACS and world maritime community, especially in case of bulk carriers where much is done. The present investigations worldwide are based on the new FSA methodology whose goal is to discover hazards and quantify the risk. In this study an attempt has been made to combine metamodeling technique and Monte-Carlo simulation to investigate the influence of uncertainties in cargo distribution on still water loads. These uncertainties originate from possible deviations from cargo plan during loading of cargo. For bulk carriers with length over 150 m it is mandatory to have installed loading software on board. The loading computer should check compliance with the limits not only for the global still water bending moment and shear force but also in the local strength diagram for the hold. The local strength diagram stipulates the limits with respect to: The allowable cargo intakes in each individual cargo hold as a function of the actual draught; The allowable cargo intake for two adjacent cargo holds as a function of the actual draught. In most cases the cargo mass and consumables are given by the user as input to the loading computer. The work of loading instrument is approximated by metamodels that give very accurate results. The Monte-Carlo simulation calculates the fitted metamodels for trim and SWBM each time using different randomly-selected values for the amount of cargo in holds. To take into account the role of the crew during the loading some constraints concerning the trim range and total amount of cargo are accepted. The constraints eliminate about 75% from the number of starting runs. Notwithstanding, the obtained relative width of 95% confidence interval with reasonable number of starting runs (50,000) is less than 0.3% for the mean of cargo mass in the holds and less than 1.1 % for SWBM. The results obtained from the proposed approach give new kind of information that could be useful for the crew at preparing and monitoring the loading plan. Based on the results from studied ship it can be

concluded that the probability that there is no overloading is about 31% and probability for overloading of hold No 3 (the middle hold) is about 39% in trim range from 0.04 m fore to 0.88 m aft. The probability to have no overloading is greatest (42%) at trim range -0.65 -0.42 m. An overloading of hold No 3 (that is with greatest probability of about 39%) could be expected rather at trim range -0.65 -0.19 than for greater trim aft. The overloading of hold No 1 is most probable (30.1%) at trim that is close to even keel. Considering SWBM there is a strong dependency between ship length and standard deviation and CoV in full load condition and the values are greater for middle sections. Taking into account the variation in cargo mass in loaded holds it is possible to obtain region of variation of SWBM, and study the probability for exceeding of some critical value The proposed procedure is applicable in the design phase and during the operation as well. In design the procedure can evaluate the vulnerability of the ship to deviations in cargo plan during the loading and in operation the results could be useful to stress the crew attention to most critical places during the cargo loading and how to interpret the situation in case of considerable deviation from cargo plan. The procedure may be implemented as separate module in loading software to study the effects of uncertainties in cargo distribution on still water loads and safety of bulk carriers. Finally, it could be useful to present shortly the actions taken from DNV to increase the loading flexibility of bulk carriers (Vrheim 2008). DNV has introduced a new class notation called Easy Loading, EL. This is a voluntary notation which will provide more automated control of the critical parameters during the loading and allow for easier and more flexible loading sequences. In order to obtain the EL notation, the following must be complied with: The EL notation can only be assigned to bulk carriers with a BC-A or BC-B class notation and an additional GRAB [X] notation. Relevant loading sequences, with average loading rates, must be stated. Each step in the loading sequence must be documented, from the commencement of cargo loading until full deadweight is reached, step-wise synchronized with the de-ballasting operation. There must be sufficient de-ballasting capacity to meet the average loading rate requirements. The ship must be designed such that at least 50% of the maximum permissible cargo intake per cargo hold can be loaded in one pour. An automatic draught-reading system must be fitted. An on-line ballast tank level monitoring system, linked to the loading computer, must be fitted.

ACKNOLEDGMENT This work has been performed in the frame of EC 6th Framework Programme Specific Targeted Project Handling waves TST5-CT-2006-031489, REFERENCES
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