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On November 28, 2023, Bo Huang, founder of Teamhead Marine Surveyors Co., Ltd., was invited to speak at the Soybean Transportation and Dispute Resolution Seminar hosted by the China Maritime Law Association. His presentation on temperature measurement, ventilation during soybean transportation, and the causes and mitigation of heat damage in soybeans was highly acclaimed by the attending experts and scholars. For a detailed account of the speech, please refer to the knowledge content on our website.

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Navigating the Complexities of Soybean Transportation on Bulk Carriers

The speaker, Huang Bo echoed the core views presented in his second set of lecture slides. He concluded that the current sampling methods are inadequate and ventilation is ineffective; the only solutions are to either change the cargo or the ship, as damage is inevitable otherwise.

Workshop Recap

According to international bulk cargo transport regulations, the shipper must provide the captain with a quality report, usually based on Brazilian standards. The moisture content of Brazilian soybeans is 14%; the Chinese standard is 13% or less. Sampling methods directly determine the outcomes, and a sample meeting standards does not guarantee that every soybean in the hold complies. In the U.S., cargo fumigation involves setting up piping before loading to target cyanide at the bottom of the hold to expel internal heat.

Causes of heat damage in soybeans include: soybeans exceeding moisture standards can trigger or accelerate heat damage; bulk carriers inherently lack adequate ventilation and cooling capabilities; and storage and transportation duration are critical—even perfectly compliant soybeans will eventually suffer heat damage if stored on board for an extended period.


1) All soybean trade contracts should employ FOSFA standards for sampling, with soybean quality assessed per MAPA (Brazilian standards). If contracts can stipulate sampling according to Chinese national standards, with soybean quality assessed accordingly, the quantity of non-compliant soybeans in the hold would significantly decrease, as would the likelihood of heat damage (though this would affect

2) Buyers or charterers in the international market are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the bulk carriers they use. To address quality protection issues during soybean transport, simply installing grain silo-like temperature and ventilation systems on these ships, or adopting an American fumigation plan, could be effective (though this would necessitate renegotiating transportation costs).international market prices).

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