Prepared from manioc, a tropical root grown mostly in Africa and in South America, but as a seaborne commodity, the main importance of tapioca is as an export from South-East Asia, mainly from Thailand. Tapioca can be made into a flour, is a source of starch, is used industrially for drugs, syrups, textiles, adhesives, and in paper manufacture; but the principal use of the majority of ocean-carried tapioca is for animal feed supplement, mainly to the Europe, the tapioca being in pellets, chips, or cubes in bulk.
In Thailand, loading is normally performed mechanically at anchorage into large, perhaps Panamax or Cape-Sized, bulk carriers; by a system of pontoons, crane fed hoppers, bucket elevators and conveyor belts from lighters, although other ports may not be so sophisticated. Loading of tapioca should be into clean, odorless holds, and during carriage, the cargo should be well ventilated and kept dry. Pellets may be hard or soft (native) the latter predominating because of the high production costs of hard pellets. These ‘soft’, steam-pressed pellets tend to disintegrate during transit, thereby causing dust pollution problems on discharge, particularly if handled more than once, as in the case of transhipment by coastal vessel.
- Bulk Tapioca Pellets Stowage Factor 50/55
- Bagged Tapioca Pellets Stowage Factor 65
- Bulk Tapioca Chips Stowage Factor 70/75
- Bagged Tapioca Chips Stowage Factor 85