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Thread: Stupid Question about container ship loading

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    Jyastine is offline Just Browsing
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    Default Stupid Question about container ship loading

    OK, dumb question, but I can't seem to find the answer easily on Google. What's the official name for the ship's officer who supervises the loading of containers on a box ship? Wikipedia seems to indicate that it would be the Chief Mate/Chief Officer/First Mate/First Officer.

    Any of the pros out there know if that's accurate? Is that ALWAYS the case, or does port-operations provide a loading supervisor in large ports with sophisticated facilities?

    Also, when the ship's officer is performing his container-loading duties, does he have a different title, like "loading officer" etc?
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    Sparky is offline Just Browsing
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    The Chief Mate is in charge of the loading of the vessel and to see that it is loaded properly according to stability. Usually shoreside you have vessel planners loading superintendants longshoreman and stevedores who will do the loading and actually plan the load the chief mate has overall responsiblity of loading the ship properly. All the mates on the ship stand watch and will oversee the loading and they are always called the same thing (chief mate, second mate, third mate) hope that helps or is the answer you were looking for
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    Sparky is correct but to clarify...

    The vessel planner at the shipping company will complete a "Load Plan" and send it to both the Chief Mate (who is in charge of the ship's crew) and the Loading Superintendent (who is in charge of the longshoremen).

    The Loading Super will assure a container gets from the storage area to the correct position on the ship. The Chief Mate will check to make sure the container is properly placed and correctly fastened.

    Chief Mate/Chief Officer/First Mate/First Officer...

    They are all different names for the same position but Chief Mate is the common term in the US "Merchant Marine" and First Mate or Officer is more common in the British "Merchant Navy". I've only heard Chief Officer used on Cruise Ships.
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    Anabasis is offline gCaptain Crew Greenhorn
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    In the US Merchant marine, there is a difference between chief mate and first mate. I have been on ships which carry both, and essentially it is two people who split what the Chief mate on most ships does alone. The chief mate is in charge of the stability and loading and paperwork while the first mate is running the deck gang and works on ship upkeep. (They have all been licensed chief mates, and get CM time however). The two kinds of ships that I know of that carry a CM and a 1M are cruise ships and cable layers.

    I have heard the term first officer used to refer to the chief mate in foriegn ports so I consider them one in the same. I do not consider 1st mate and chief mate the same although the land lubbers out there all understand the term 1st mate rather than chief mate.

    It gets even more confusing when trying to compare the Chief Mate position to people only familiar with the navy system.

    JCA
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    In the foreign fleet, most are Chief Officers, and 1st Mate/Officer = 2nd Mate (US), and 2nd Mate/Officer = 3rd Mate (US).
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    Your wrong about the foreign fleet. It's Chief Mate, 2nd Mate, and 3rd Mate. Where it's different is with the engineers. Chief Engineer, 2nd Engineer, 3rd engineer, and 4th engineer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean View Post
    Your wrong about the foreign fleet. It's Chief Mate, 2nd Mate, and 3rd Mate. Where it's different is with the engineers. Chief Engineer, 2nd Engineer, 3rd engineer, and 4th engineer.
    No I'm not. I was just on a Danish flagged, Danish crewed ship. Master, Chief Officer, 1st Officer, 2nd Officer. And it was Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer, 2nd Engineer, 3rd Engineer. And from what the Danes told me, all Danish ships are this way.
    Last edited by New3M; April 2nd, 2009 at 02:40 PM.
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    Talking Re: Stupid Question about container ship loading

    Quote Originally Posted by Jyastine View Post
    OK, dumb question, but I can't seem to find the answer easily on Google. What's the official name for the ship's officer who supervises the loading of containers on a box ship? Wikipedia seems to indicate that it would be the Chief Mate/Chief Officer/First Mate/First Officer.

    Any of the pros out there know if that's accurate? Is that ALWAYS the case, or does port-operations provide a loading supervisor in large ports with sophisticated facilities?

    Also, when the ship's officer is performing his container-loading duties, does he have a different title, like "loading officer" etc?
    the above names or titles are all correct, and no, not every port, the port planner is available, some ports you have to do your own planning, but in ports with good facilities you get an assist from a planner, but you have the final decision, factoring into stuff like Fuel, water, Water ballast, Trim of vessel, sufficient GM, DG stowage,(dangerous goods stowage), and so on and so forth, and if the view from the bridge to fwd is not blocked, and in any situation you have the final say, and when ops doe not agree, pass it to the master for his decision, as he is the person finally responsible for the safety of ship, crew, and cargo.
    to tell you the truth ops usually wins, "cargo to be in lots, cannot be cancelled", and you end up praying nothing bad happens until you arrive at the next port, and depart from there safely.
    Being a loading officer is one of the many duties of a Chief Officer on board a vessel .
    If you are thinking of going to sea...don't..period.
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    mslilith2000 is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Stupid Question about container ship loading

    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Sparky is correct but to clarify...

    The vessel planner at the shipping company will complete a "Load Plan" and send it to both the Chief Mate (who is in charge of the ship's crew) and the Loading Superintendent (who is in charge of the longshoremen).

    The Loading Super will assure a container gets from the storage area to the correct position on the ship. The Chief Mate will check to make sure the container is properly placed and correctly fastened.
    My own lame question. What is a load plan and how is it developed? Do they have the information on what's in the containers, the weights, size, any free surface movement? Or is this something else? Also, how do they know what the correct position on the ship will be? Is this calculated from weights, size, etc or is there another way they know what goes where?

    I never worked on any sort of cargo ship and have wondered about the loading process for a while. Other than carrying groceries I had little to do with the ship's loding conditions or stability calculations. The closest I ever got to loading conditions was checking to see if the Captain was too loaded to drive, after port call of course. Glad someone brought the loading topic up.
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