Spout Trimmed

The advantages of this first processing stage taking place in the country of origin are therefore threefold. The exporting country earns vital foreign exchange as a result of the added value, the importing country saves the cost of this processing stage and the iron content of the cargo is considerably increased thus saving freighting costs. In the modern port of shipment for iron ore, cargoes are loaded at great speed, usually by a chute fed by conveyors, with the ore dropped from great height. Trimming is rarely required in modern bulkcarriers as installations are usually flexible enough to distribute the cargo fairly evenly in cargo holds during loading. You will often find the stipulation in chartering negotiations that the cargo has to be ‘spout trimmed’ at loading port. Because of the speed at which large bulkers are loaded, they require the facility to change trim rapidly to preserve their safety, and high capacity ballast pumps are usually fitted for this purpose. Also frequent draft checks may be required as the vessel nears full cargo, and allowance should ideally be made for the time taken on such surveys in the charterparty laytime clauses. Discharge of iron ore in all except the smallest ports is handled by sophisticated equipment, although the one common element is the grab. Having said that, it is not possible to describe the many systems available, which vary from the common slewing crane to highly specialised transporters. To some extent, the method used will depend on the type of inland transport being used, but the appetite of the steel industry is voracious, and speed of turnround is essential. Consequently, it is not unusual for cargoes in excess of 200,000 tonnes of iron ore to be loaded and discharged within a few days, perhaps at rates approaching 50,000 tonnes daily. The system utilised for weighing cargo during discharge is equally variable, although a large proportion goes through hoppers where it can be weighed in transit.