Bale and Grain Capacity

  • Bale capacity: the total amount of cargo space available for the carriage of bags, bales, pallets or boxed cargoes and does not include the space between the frames and beams. It is always slightly less than the grain capacity.
  • Bale space capacity– is that cubic capacity of a cargo space when the breadth is measured from the inside of the cargo battens (spar ceiling) and the measured depth is from the wood tank top ceiling to the underside of the deck beams. The length is measured from the inside of the fore and aft bulkhead stiffeners.

Grain capacity: the total amount of cargo space available for the carriage of bulk cargo. It includes the gaps between the frames and beams in the hold.

  • Stowage factor: the space occupied by one metric ton of that cargo. For example, the S.F of clinker is 1.5 − this means that 1 tonne of clinker will occupy5 cubic metres. It is also expressed in cubic feet per tonne at times. It is the figure which expresses the number of cubic metres per tonne (or cubic feet per ton of 2,240 lb).
  • Stowage factor – this is defined as that volume occupied by unit weight of cargo. Usually expressed as cubic metres per tonne (m3/tonnes) or cubic feet per tonne (ft3/tonne). It does not take account of any space which may be lost due to ‘broken stowage’.



  • Broken stowage: the space that is lost in a ship by the cargo of irregular shape or because of the hold being irregular. It includes the space lost between cargo packages. It is expressed as a percentage. If a cargo has a B.S of 5% this means that an additional 5% of the cargo volume must be allowed for when allocating space for that particular cargo.
  • Load Density: Maximum Weight which can be loaded safely in an Area of 1 Sq. M. without causing any Damages to that area is called the Load Density of the area. It is given in Ship’s Stability Booklet and is expressed in m.t./Sq. M.
  • Cargo density: Cubage of a cargo divided by its weight.
  • Ullage is the void space in the tank measured from the top of the tank to the upper surface of the fluid.
  • Sounding: In nautical terms, the word sound is used to describe the process of determining the depth of water in a tank or under a ship. Tanks are sounded to determine the level of the liquid within the tank.



  • Displacement: of a ship is the weight of the ship or the weight of the water displaced by the ship.
  • Deadweight: Deadweight tonnage is the weight of all the cargo, fuel, dry provisions, supplies, etc. carried on board the ship. In other words, it is the “displacement tonnage” of the vessel minus the “lightweight tonnage”.