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When a Shipowner offers his (or her) vessel for a particular cargo or time charter (TC) business, he/she needs to give Charterer the vessel description. Initially he dispatches a TC description which includes high level information such as her flag, classification society, cargo holds’ capacity and the speed and consumption.
This information is required by the Charterer so they can conduct an initial evaluation – i.e. they will use the ship particulars to calculate the detailed economics of the journey. Afterwards, if the numbers add up and the parties move forward with the fixture, typically the Charterers will ask for a questionnaire to be completed which includes detailed information about the background and the technical specification of the vessel.
The most common questionnaire used in the dry bulk industry is the Baltic Exchange Dry Cargo Questionnaire which in short it is usually called “Baltic 99”.
In this guide, we will go through and explain the information needed in the Baltic 99. Generally, the information completed in the Baltic 99 can be taken either from the various certificates or from the vessel’s plan whilst the very specific technical information is usually provided by the Master.
General: The first section of the Baltic Questionnaire includes general information related with ship identity, for instance her name.
Vessel Particulars: The vessel particulars section describes the main technical characteristics of the vessel such as her dimensions, her weights, capacities, drafts.
Cargo Arrangements: In this section, information about the cargo holds and the hatch covers should be provided.
Speed, consumption & fuel engine: Information about speed and efficiency of the engine are provided.
Classification society, surveys and certificates: This section covers the classification society, surveys and certificates.
Communication: In this section, detailed information about the vessel’s communication systems are provided.
Insurances: The insurances section lists the details of the various insurances held by the vessel.
Crew: In this section, information about vessel’s crew are provided.
Miscelleaneous: This section, covers the vessel’s recent trading activity and the vessel’s ability to load grains.
Cargo gear: This section only refers to geared vessels and includes useful information related to their cranes.
Container bulkers / multi-purpose: This section also refers to very specialized ships - the multi-purpose bulk carriers which can load both bulk cargoes and containers.
Tweendeckers: This section also refers to very specialized ships - tweendeckers.
Supplementary information for specific commodities/trades: This section includes any additional relevant information.
Here at Shipamax, our in-house team of developers and data scientists are focused on making Pre-Voyage Management for the 21st century. We offer an electronic version of the Baltic 99 questionnaire as part of our Fleet Manager system for operators. If you’re excited about the use of technology in shipping - sign up for Shipamax Free and we will reach out to understand how we can work together.