Motor vehicles

From Cargo Handbook - the world's largest cargo transport guidelines website
Infobox on Motor vehicles
Example of Motor vehicles
Motor vehicles.jpg
Origin -
Stowage factor (in m3/t) -
Humidity / moisture -
Ventilation -
Risk factors See text

Motor vehicles


A motor vehicle or road vehicle is a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails, such as trains or trolleys. The vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor, usually by an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor, or some combination of the two, such as hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. For legal purposes motor vehicles are often identified within a number of vehicle classes including automobiles or cars, buses, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, off highway vehicles, light trucks or light duty trucks, and trucks or lorries. These classifications vary according to the legal codes of each country. ISO 3833:1977 is the standard for road vehicles types, terms and definitions.

See also Automobiles

Shipment / Storage / Risk factors

New Trade Vehicles
Vehicle manufacturers present vehicles for shipment:
a) Fully assembled, on own wheels.
1) The usual condition is unpacked with vehicles driven aboard under own power.
2) For security or handling reasons, in close-boarded wooden cases (with pallet gussets) or in wooden crates.
3) ISO Freight containers.
(i) FCL-cars already containerised at time of delivery for shipment.
(ii) LCL – for loading into containers at the Container Freight Station.

b) Knocked Down (KD):
In close-boarded wooden cases or crates but more likely packed in modular units and loaded directly into ISO Freight Containers. Certain parts of the cars thus shipped are heavily sprayed with a thick lubricating oil and, usually, sufficient time is allowed to lapse before packing to allow the surplus oil to drain off. Nevertheless, during hot weather conditions the oil deposit softens and tends to flow off and seep out of the cases with serious results to packages stowed underneath, if any.

Vessel Types used by Vehicle Manufacturers:
a) Roll-on/Roll-off pure car-carriers (PCC) or Pure car/truck carriers (PCTC).
b) Fully cellular container vessel.
c) Conventional break-bulk lift-on/lift-off (LO-LO) vessels.
d) Multi-purpose vessels/container/break bulk with drive-on/drive-off facilities.

Port of Loading Survey
Surveyor should note the weather conditions, the condition of the parking area, method of parking and spacing between vehicles and whether the cars are covered with a transit protective coating and that all windows are fully closed.
The objective of the surveyor, whether engaged by the cargo owner or the carrier, should be to record the condition of the vehicle in respect of transit loss and/or damage as seen at the tome of the survey. If the cause of the loss or damage, especially when of a repetitive nature, is evident, it is helpful to include this in the report. Normally, the survey will cover the external condition of the vehicle and the surveyor should look for body-work indentations, scratches, and paint-work chips, particularly on leading edges; also to distinguish between those scratches which will polish out and those which penetrate the paint through to the base-metal. The severity of all dents and scratches are to be quantified.
The surveyor may be instructed to note the internal condition of the car, also the presence of certain equipment, e.g. radio, cigarette lighter and ‘loose items’ generally stowed in the boot, i.e. spare tyre, tool kit.
‘Travel stained’ is a remark used frequently by surveyors to indicate the condition of a vehicle, which during the course of delivery for shipment, has been exposed to weather conditions and does not indicate that the vehicle is damaged. Any transit damage should be noted separately.

Vessel Stowage
The holds/car-decks are to be clean and free from debris. Worn steel decking can produce sharp edges harmful to vehicle rubber tyres. The ship’s lashing straps should be checked for wear.
In the case of RO/RO vessels the angles of ramps should be such that under-side damage does not occur to the vehicle nor the front/rear ends of the vehicle ground as it approached or leaves the ramp. Drivers are to wear clean overalls, free from exposed buckles, zips etc.
Manufacturers will normally stipulate under-deck shipment, also minimum distances between vehicles, e.g. 9”/23 cm side to side and 12”/30 cm between bumpers.
Manufacturers may provide under-side lashing points as an integral part of the vehicle and the vehicle must be lashed using those points ONLY and NOT any other component of the vehicle.

Port of Discharge Survey
On arrival of the vessel at the port of discharge, the surveyor is to ascertain whether any Note of Protest has been lodged by the Master.
Preferably the surveyor should inspect the vehicles while still in the stow before the discharge operation commences, looking for any signs of movement (and damage arising therefrom) of the vehicles during the voyage. A further survey should be made of the vehicles on the quay/vehicle compound within the port.

Other Vehicles
More expensive vehicles will frequently have bodywork constructed of aluminium or fibreglass and interiors may contain leather upholstery, veneered paneling and other forms of trim more susceptible to wet damage, mould and discolouration. Fitted radio and/or tape deck, electric windows and other electric components are also liable, if exposed to salt water or high humidity, to verdigris or oxidation or to develop electrical failures. In the case of vehicles with aluminium bodies, there may be signs of disturbed paintwork or erosion, particularly by way of front and rear wings where the body panel is secured to the chassis frame; such corrosion may be the normal action of electrolysis and/or galvanic action between the aluminium body and the steel frame. With fibreglass moulded bodywork, impact may cause splitting and breaking away from the chassis securing points and satisfactory repair will require specialist attention or replacement of the body units. Fibreglass body paintwork is susceptible to starring where the paintwork lifts from the fibreglass due to improper preparation prior to painting.

Moisture damage
This form of damage to boxed or crated cars consists of the blistering and blotching of the paintwork and the formation of fungus on the interior trimmings.

After an exhaustive investigation it was found that such is due to the following conditions:
a) That the cars shipped in crates or boxes are good heat insulators but poor moisture insulators;
b) That the crates, etc., had become wet during transit from works to dockside and shipped in that condition;
c) That a great number of the affected cars had been stowed in insulated cargo compartments, inadequately ventilated.

It may be added that a further cause of this damage, other than to refuse the wetted cases, is that of clearly endorsing the Bills of Lading with their condition.