Bulk cargoes are characterised by solid products consisting of a combination of particles, granulates or large pieces of material that is normally homogeneously structured and which is loaded directly into the hold of a ship without any type of intermediate packaging.
Such cargoes must be carried in accordance with the provisions of the IMSBC Code – The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code.
The carriage of bulk cargoes may involve a number of risk elements that can be attributed to the dangerous properties of the products carried. They may be products with dangerous properties or products which:
- can generate combustible, poisonous or harmful vapours during transport
- are especially heavy and therefore can harm the structure of the ship
- can "slide" in the hold and thereby affect the stability of the ship
- change their character during transport, for example sphagnum which can transform from solid to liquid form, etc.
Such cargoes are carried by sea on board bulk carriers, dry cargo carriers, barges, etc.