Bulk Carriers has specifications for carrying bulk loads. It is said to be bulk because of how to put the load by pouring / pouring grain / grain.
In November 1997 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a new Chapter XII on bulk carrier to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974. The new rules cover survivability and structural requirements for bulk carriers of 150 metres and upwards to prevent them from sinking if water enters the ship for any reason. IMO also adopted revised guidelines on enhanced surveys of bulk carriers and a code of practice for safer loading and unloading.
Stronger new ships : Increase the strength of bulkheads and the double bottom to withstand hold-flooded conditions.
Improving cargo handling practices : Conveyor belts (several kilometres long) often overload ships. Huge grabs (up to 36 tons), bulldozers and hydraulic hammers used for unloading can cause structural damage.
Existing ships : The bulkhead between holds 1 and 2 and the double bottom of hold 1 must be strengthened to withstand flooding in hold 1 unless loading restrictions are imposed.
Restrictions on carriage of cargoes : Existing bulk carriers which meet the new structural requirements by means of loading restrictions must be marked with a solid equilateral triangle on the hull at midships below the deck line.
Loading instrument : Equipment to be fitted to monitor the stresses during loading and unloading operations.
Enhanced surveys : Enhanced programme of inspections to detect potential structural weakness and areas of corrosion.