Vacuvator

The usual method that is employed by Russia and by many developing countries is that of discharging by crane and clamshell grabs into hoppers on the decks, feeding direct to road transport, or from hoppers to sacking machines, with the bags being stacked in adjoining warehouses. There are also portable suckers (Vacuvator type), small pneumatic vacuum cleaner type machines on wheels, lifted on to a vessel by shore cranes or ship’s gear, and moved on deck from hold to hold. In some ports using this method, the grain can either be bagged by hand on the dock and stacked in a warehouse or stored there in bulk. Vacuvators are powered either by internal combustion engines or by electricity. In some of the more primitive ports, clamshell grabs are fitted to ship’s gear and grain discharged in bulk as already described when using shore cranes. There are still some ports where grain is sacked in the holds and discharged by sling (either by shore cranes or ship’s gear) – and often the case with aid cargoes to famine-affected areas. Where nations with poor inland facilities are involved – and this is usually the case with aid cargoes – bags are frequently the only practicable method of moving grain about. Consequently, the grain may be loaded in bulk and bagged later at the destination port, or bagged at the start of the journey, in the loading port itself. Usually also these bags are of the size that can be conveniently moved by manpower alone – e.g. 50 kilos each. Charterparties will often include a clause that extra bags are to be carried (usually free of charge) in case of damage or splitting of bags when they are moved, as well as in some cases, the carriage of needles and twine, so that bags can be filled and fastened, to prevent spillage of their contents.