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NorthLink Ferries Update - Get Ready for Winter

As we enter the Winter period, NorthLink Ferries would again like to remind all customers the importance of presenting secure cargo for shipping. Inadequate securing and incorrect declaration of weights is an extremely serious issue, with the potential to endanger the vessel, crew and passengers.

Secure cargo

Where there is reason to suspect that cargo within any unit is packed or stowed in an unsatisfactory way, or that a vehicle is in a bad state of repair, or when the unit itself cannot be safely stowed and secured on the ship, and may therefore be a source of danger to the ship or crew, such unit or vehicle will not be accepted for shipment.

Declaration of weights

We would also like to remind customers the importance of declaring accurate weights of cargo. It is imperative, when loading a vessel to have an accurate estimation of the weight of the unit to be loaded. This will be used during the loading process to determine which deck and position the unit will be placed in.

As per our conditions of carriage NorthLink Ferries cannot be held responsible for damage caused due to insecure loads, misdeclaration of goods and weights. We would ask that this information is circulated within your company especially to your drivers whether employed or sub contracted.

Refrigeration trailers

We request that all refrigerated trailers electrical components and connections are regularly inspected by your team and maintained, so as to ensure that all plug-ins are fit for purpose and tested regularly.

In presenting cargo for shipment, please pay particular attention to the following factors:

  • The adequacy of securing of the cargo on or within a trailer.
  • The stability of the cargo (i.e. centre of gravity of the unit).
  • The brakes of the unit and or trailer.
  • The provision of suitable lashing points.
  • The provision of suitable trestle points.
  • Accuracy of declared weights of cargo units.
  • Accuracy in the declared contents of cargo units.
  • Hazardous goods, correct documentation and labels.
  • Steel loads, securely chained.

To ensure a safe and efficient process when entering a NorthLink Ferry terminal we would remind drivers to adhere to port regulations, speed limits and applicable hi-visibility clothing regulations.

MCA guidance note: MGN 418 Roll – on/roll – off ships stowage and securing of vehicles

  • Cargo units including vehicles intended for the carriage of cargo in sea transport are in sound structural condition and have an adequate number of sufficient securing points of sufficient strength so that they can be satisfactorily secured to the ship. Vehicles should, in addition, be provided with an effective braking system; and
  • Cargo units and vehicles are provided with an adequate number of securing points to enable the cargo to be adequately secured to the cargo unit or vehicle so as to withstand the forces, in particular the transverse forces, which may arise during the sea transport.


NorthLink Ferries

30 September 2020

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