Vessel Acceptance Questionnaire FAQ

Further information to support for filling in the Vessel Acceptance Questionnaire FAQ.


What is the purpose of the Vessel Acceptance Questionnaire

This questionnaire is used to determine whether a vessel is suitable for loading at our terminals, and to collect data required for our operational systems.

When I tried to enter an answer a pop-up box said the answer is “out of the required range” and the answer was rejected. Why?

The range of answers that can be given has been restricted to ensure answers are given in the correct format. If you see a pop-up box indicating that your answer is “out of the required range” please check your answer, particularly the unit of measure (e.g. you may be answering in cubic feet where square metres is required). If you are not able to submit a genuine answer please contact Port Waratah at

Do I have to answer all the questions?

All yellow coloured cells must be answered. Note that when the form is complete the text at the end of the questionnaire (below section 7) will read “all questions have been answered – form ready to submit”.

How do I submit the questionnaire to Port Waratah?

The questionnaire should be returned to your agent or directly to the shipper (Port Waratah Customer) in excel spreadsheet format.

The shipper or agent will then upload the questionnaire to Port Waratah's Services Portal for review.


What is the definition of the size dimensions?

A diagram of the requested dimensions is shown below:



Do I have to provide an accurate answer for size dimensions?

Yes, this data is used to plan berthing positions and other critical parts of the terminal’s operation. Incorrect data may cause significant operational delay.

What are the definitions of deck gear types for question 2.14?

Cargo Handling Cranes: gear typically used with grabs (see photo below)



Self Discharging Equipment: boom, gantry or similar type unloading equipment that may obstruct or has to be moved to allow loading operations (see photo below)


Small cranes, Lights or Manifolds: small equipment that a shiploader is able to manoeuvre around while performing hatch changes (photo below shows an example of lights)


What is the definition of ‘Gangway Location/Direction’?

Pease specify the location and direction of the gangway that will be used for access whilst alongside at Port Waratah.

  • An Aft/Forward gangway is located Aft and extends toward the bow.
  • A Midships/Forward gangway is located at midships and extends toward the bow.
  • A Midship/Aft gangway is located at midships and extends toward the stern. 


Why does the vessel need to provide a procedure for accessing a cargo hold during loading operations and evidence of training in that procedure?

Entering any cargo hold during loading operations is potentially extremely dangerous and is not permitted without specific agreement with Port Waratah. A number of ‘near miss’ incidents have occurred at Port Waratah and other terminals in the past where vessel crew were working in a hatch that was being loaded (or was about to be loaded). These requirements were introduced in consultation with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to ensure that vessel crews are aware of the issue and have a safe working method to follow in the event a need to access a hold arises.

What should the vessel’s procedure for accessing a cargo hold during loading operations include?

Port Waratah suggest that this procedure take the form of a simple checklist. Some suggestions for inclusion are:               

  • A notice must be displayed at all cargo hold entrances prohibiting entry.
  • Entry into cargo holds during cargo operations is not permitted without written and signed agreement between the Port Waratah terminal representative and the Master.
  • During the entire cargo operation, a designated person must be stationed on deck about the cargo hold at all times to watch the safety of persons working in the cargo hold and to ensure that the shiploader is not positioned in the hold.
  • Prior to entry to the cargo hold, hatch covers must be partially closed to indicate to the shiploader that crew are working in the hatch.
  • The enclosed spaces entry procedures from the Vessel Procedures (Manuals) must be used prior to entry into a cargo hold.
What evidence of crew training should be provided?

Please provide documentation that shows vessel crew have been trained, and each crew member has signed a training register within the last 12 months.


What material of mooring line should I specify?

Please select the generic type of material, the specific brand does not need to be specified. If you have more than type of lines please specify the most common type, and supply additional information in the comments box.

How do I find the Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) of Mooring Lines?

Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) is specified on mooring line certificates.

How do I count the ‘number of winch drums’?

Count the number of lines that can be run from a winch drum and held on a winch brake. Do not count lines run from drum ends or bitts. 


What is ‘Gross Loading Rate’?

Gross Loading Rate (GLR) is tonnes loaded per hour in the period from commencement to completion of loading – including any delay within that period (e.g. for hatch changes, interim draught survey etc.). In answering whether your vessel can achieve the minimum target GLR consider the vessel’s deballasting capabilities, the amount of hatch changes typically required, and any other issues that may cause delay to cargo operations.      

What should I consider when answering if the vessel can receive cargo at 10,500tph for short periods?

Shiploaders at Kooragang Coal Terminal typically load at a rate of up to 10,500tph for the first 10-15 minutes of each pour (or when recommencing loading after a delay stoppage) then around 7,500tph thereafter.

In answering whether your vessel can receive cargo at 10,500tph for short periods consider the tank top loading, bending moments, shear forces and any other relevant limitation the vessel may have.

What does the questionnaire mean by “once main pumping has completed, how many hours are required to complete stripping?”

Please estimate the time from when pumping out ballast via the main pumps has completed to when all tanks have been stripped to the extent that the vessel is able to complete loading and sail. Do not count stripping performed before completion of main pumping in your estimate. 


What is a “secondary means of supporting the gangway”?

The layout of our wharves prevents gangways resting on the wharf. The gangway will be suspended at the vessel’s side and connected to a brow. To comply with AMSA Marine Order 21 the vessel must utilise a ‘secondary support’ which can hold the weight of the gangway if the main gangway support fails. The main gangway support should take the weight of the gangway, not the secondary support.

The secondary support may utilise the stores crane, a strong wire\rope tied on a secure fixture, a purpose built device or other solution determined by the vessel. See photos below of examples of acceptable secondary supports.

If it is safe to do so, Port Waratah recommends preparing a secondary support prior to port entry. Terminal personnel will not access the vessel until a secondary support is fitted, so if the secondary support is not rigged before entry commencement of loading will be delayed.