A problem that requires major improvements is shifting cargo. This is especially common with deck cargoes of timber, and an incident occurred late last winter off the east coast of Sweden. Common factors in many of these events are insufficiently lashed cargo and the use of poor lashing material, such as textile straps instead of chains. There is often moisture in the form of snow or ice under timber packages, which are sometimes wrapped in plastic. This leads to friction being practically eliminated. A high centre of gravity combined with a little heavy weather and the cargo is bound to shift. In the case in question, the ship had very poor stability already on departure due to excessive deck cargo. It is the master and crew who are responsible for loading and lashing being carried out correctly. Nevertheless, there is reason to reflect on the fact that quite a few incidents like this have occurred with ships loaded in Swedish ports. The events are not included in Swedish statistics because the ships are often foreign and the shifting took place outside Swedish waters. Prior to the winter season there may be a need for ports and stevedore companies to advise about the risk of these often rather shocking incidents. A safety study was conducted in the United Kingdom on this phenomenon a few years ago. It is available via the link below.
http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources. cfm?file=/Timber_deck_cargo_study.pdf SFu 06.05.03 TSS 2012-498