Stowage factor [German version]

The stowage factor of a cargo is the ratio of weight to stowage space required under normal conditions. It indicates how many cubic meters one metric ton of a particular type of cargo occupies in a hold, taking account of unavoidable stowage losses in the means of transport or the CTU (Cargo Transport Unit).

Thus, for example, iron pyrites has a stowage factor of 0.53 m³/t [1] and coffee in 60 kg bags has a stowage factor of 1.9 m³/t [1]. These values include unavoidable stowage loss, i.e. the unavoidable gaps between parts of the cargo and the space requirements for specific stowage measures and for stowing.

The stowage factor of a cargo may vary, since it depends on the packaging and  the nature  of the cargo. According to [1], the stowage factor for wheat bran pellets is 1.45 – 1.90 m³/t. The decisive parameters with regard to this value are bag filling levels, water and oil contents and grain size.

Where bale goods are concerned, an important parameter is whether they are transported compressed or uncompressed, e.g.:

hemp in bales, uncompressed: 7.65 m³/t [1]
hemp in bales, compressed: 2.55 – 3.40 m³/t [1]

Other goods have stowage factors which vary depending on the degree to which they have been processed, e.g.:

hides, dried, loose: 5.10 m³/t [1]
hides, wet-salted, loose: 1.27 m³/t [1]

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