Transportation and transshipment of mineral fertilizers: rules for transportation

Transportation and transshipment methods. Regulated transportation rules

Transportation and transshipment methods. Regulated transportation rules

The annual growth of imports of mineral fertilizers by Ukraine is dictated by the high productivity of the agricultural sector. At the same time, there is still a small part of enterprises working in the export direction, focusing mainly on the domestic consumer. The volume of products of domestic manufacturers in 2020 totaled slightly less than 6 million tons. This indicator has decreased by about 15% -20% compared to the impressive result of 2019. However, the overall trend towards a decrease in imports and an increase in exports has intensified. Transshipment of mineral fertilizers imported from abroad in 2020 amounted to only about 2.79 million tons, which is almost 40% less than in 2019.
Given the volatility of prices and dependence on yield forecasts, importers and exporters are looking for more flexible contracts for the transportation of mineral fertilizers and reliable operators. The total transshipment of mineral fertilizers in the seaports of Ukraine increased by 75.5% in January-June 2020.
The ports of Odessa and Kherson regions continue to hold the lead in this segment. Thus, over 40% of the annual mass of bulk cargo in the Kherson port are mineral fertilizers, which are reloaded both in bulk and in containers. The port "NIKA-TERA" made a significant contribution to the export of nitrogen fertilizers last year, having processed 2 large consignments of ammonium nitrate for export. In January-August 2020, the turnover of piece-containerized cargo of Ukrainian and imported cargo with mineral fertilizers in the Reni port has significantly increased - 2.9 times compared to the same period of the previous year.

Transportation and transshipment methods

Transportation and unloading on land

Sposoby transportirovki i perevalki
Depending on the requirements for safe handling, the transportation of mineral fertilizers is carried out in protective containers or in bulk. The latter method is used when shipping multi-ton lots on railway trains and trailers. In addition to transportation in open bulk in wagons and flatbed bodies of trailers, mineral fertilizers are loaded into cement trucks with pneumatic unloading and hopper wagons.
Mineral hoppers and grain hoppers are specialized bunker wagons. Their emptying is carried out under the own weight of the load. Depending on the technical equipment of the unloading unit, the product can either enter the bunker located under the tracks, from where it is fed to the silos by screw conveyors. Alternatively, the unloading of bulk material is carried out by means of a mobile unloading station. It collects the cargo under the lower hatches of the car and loads it directly into the back of a tractor or dump truck.
Fine-dispersed and pulverized types of mineral fertilizers are transported in road cement tank cars. Due to their high caking capacity, such products are poorly unloaded from container wagons. Also, the transportation of such mineral fertilizers is impossible in open and tilt open wagons, since it does not provide the necessary protection against moisture.
To avoid contamination of dry bulk cargo, the inner walls of the mineral wagons are protected by a food grade polymer coating. Such a coating has low thermal conductivity, due to which moisture does not condense with a large difference in air and metal temperatures. The loading / unloading of the material tanker is carried out by means of an oil-free screw compressor. Powdered and granular fertilizers are supplied to the inside of the tank by vacuum. Unloading into receiving bins is the other way around - the compressor develops overpressure inside the tank.

Transfer of mineral fertilizers to the ship

Perevalka mineralnyh udobrenij na sudno
Taking into account the variability of weather conditions and atmospheric humidity, cargo of mineral fertilizers packaged in big bags is usually allowed to be received and loaded on commercial ships. The types of fertilizers that are commonly transported in boxed containers include:
  • ammophos;
  • ammonium nitrate (ammonium nitrate);
  • urea (urea);
  • powdered potassium chloride;
  • potassium sulfate.
Ammonium nitrate and urea are transported in open railway gondola cars and holds of bulk carriers exclusively in big bags. Isolation of nitrogen fertilizers from external influences is necessary due to their ability to form flammable and explosive mixtures (ammonium nitrate) and high corrosivity (urea).
Only phosphate and phosphorus fertilizers are transported in bulk. For example, potassium magnesium, phosphate rock, complex amophosphates and superphosphates. They are distinguished by low hygroscopicity and weakly caking, being shipped to massive dumps. Also, port transshipment of mineral fertilizers with the formation of embankments is allowed for most raw materials containing lime and used to normalize the pH of acidic soils.
When storing dry mineral cargo, whether packed or not, in the ship's holds the following is ensured:
  • control and provision of optimal humidity by ventilation;
  • protection against high temperatures and contact with an open flame;
  • Isolation of corrosive materials from contact with elements of the inner skin or hull of a ship made of raw metal.

Regulated rules for the transportation and storage of mineral fertilizers

The conditions for safe transportation, storage and use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides are standardized by the state sanitary standards from the State Sanitary Regulations and Norms In particular, they regulate:
  1. Distance of warehouses and silos. It must be at least 200 m from residential and industrial buildings.
  2. The width of the central passage of the warehouse area. Not less than 3 m, if mechanized special equipment is working on it.
  3. Separate storage of packed and unpackaged fertilizers. Dumps of materials unloaded in bulk are separated by portable shields made of non-combustible materials.
  4. Placement of packed products on pallets. It is allowed to store products to a height of no more than 3 tiers and no more than 5 rows on one pallet.
  5. Separate storage conditions for ammonium nitrate. One-story warehouse buildings of the II degree of fire resistance will be equipped for it. Packed nitrate can be stacked on shelves and pallets covered with anti-corrosion protection (maximum 2 tiers and no more than 5 rows on each pallet)
  6. Height of bulk fertilizers. Should not exceed 2-3 m.
The legal basis for organizing the storage of mineral fertilizers, placing them in basic and consumable warehouses is provided by the sanitary certificate of such an object. It is issued by the Department of State Supervision of Compliance with Sanitary Legislation of the State Institution of State Food and Drug Administration. To obtain a passport you need:
Reglamentirovannye pravila transportirovki i hraneniya mineralnyh udobrenij
  • design documentation (plan of the territory with the placement of storage facilities and the nearest household and outbuildings);
  • a list of mineral fertilizers that will be placed at warehouse sites, accompanying documentation for them;
  • admission for the right to work with agrochemicals;
  • data of employees who will work with stored materials (medical books, qualification certificates, medical examination reports);
  • passports for equipment carrying out transportation / unloading of mineral fertilizers.

TTG "Forward": operations for transshipment of mineral fertilizers in the port of Chernomorsk

Sea cargo terminal "Forward" performs the whole range of loading and unloading operations (PPR) with various types of bulk cargo. For 15 years, our organization has been successfully serving sea merchant carriers and their counterparties in the Black Sea port. We organize safe, fast and profitable transshipment of mineral fertilizers for the agro-industry and offer:
  • ship agency and intra-port forwarding services;
  • chartering of ships;
  • planning and implementation of PPR according to the “railway car-ship”, “railway car-warehouse-ship” schemes, etc.
We invite you to receive detailed advice on our services from the company's consultants. For all questions of interest to you, please contact the phone numbers on the website or through the feedback form.
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