Common cargo hold issues and how to avoid them

by Calista Nicks April 9th, 2024 in Cargo Hold Cleaning
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Dry bulk carrier cargo holds transport a wide variety of products year-round. Thus, they are subject to a number of related issues depending on the type of products they carry. In this month’s article we’ll detail a few of the more common issues for cargo holds and the challenges they present to cargo hold cleaning crews.

Common cargo hold issues

  • Staining from greasy cargos
  • Corrosion from caustic cargos
  • Acidic bilge water from acidic cargos
  • Toxic waste water from cleaning chemicals


Greasy cargos such as green delayed petcoke and coals leave stains that are notoriously difficult to clean if not handled properly. Problems resulting from this include increasing turnaround times and risk of failure to pass inspections. Both of these eat into profits. The best way to mitigate staining issues is to use RBM HoldBlock®.

RBM HoldBlock® is easily applied as a thin film over the metal of the cargo hold. It acts as a barrier between dirty cargos and the cargo hold itself. Upon discharging the cargo, RBM HoldBlock® is easily removed with RBM HoldWash-HD®.


Corrosive cargos like fertilisers, salt and sulphur are incredibly harmful to the metal in a cargo hold environment. Traditional treatments like limewash provide insufficient protection. The most effective solution to protect the hold from corrosive elements is to apply a RBM HoldBlock® barrier. Independent lab results show this treatment to be 18 times more effective than a limewash.

Acidic Water

Bilge lines and bilge wells also require protection from acidic water when carrying corrosive cargos such as sulphur. Neutralise acidic water with an alkaline solution like RBM BilgeCoat. Treat sounding pipes before loading sulphur as well as after each flushing during transport.

Toxic waste water

MARPOL protocols are strict guidelines for ships, to prevent pollution of the maritime environment. For ease of compliance, choose products proven safe for the environment when carrying out cargo hold cleaning procedures.

All RBM Hold Solutions products are environmentally-friendly and easy for crews to apply. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us with any questions or for help with your order. 1-604-531-8333

Calista Nicks

Senior Content Writer
Marketing Writer for Cityline Websites

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