Southwood Shipping understands the needs of ship owners. We know how important time is and offer a hold cleaning service that is time efficient and tailored both to the vessel’s needs and the cargo to be loaded. 

Shipping is a busy and often hectic business. It is not always possible for a ship’s crew to keep up the necessary level of hold maintenance required to carry sensitive cargo. Most ship owners don’t even know they have a problem until the vessel fails a hold survey on the load berth. SMG understands how important a quick response is in that situation. We have the expertise, manpower and the equipment to mobilize quickly – even in regional and remote ports. 

Cargo Hatch Cleaning Methodology  

Hold cleaning can be conducted by a variety of methods including hydro-blasting, washing, scraping, mechanically de-scaling or blowing with compressed air. All of our equipment is OSHA approved for safety towards both our and your crew’s working environment. Our many years of experience in this field along with our knowledge of the cargo to be loaded allow us to determine and utilize the best and most efficient cleaning method to enable a particular vessel to pass survey and load. Our supervisors have extensive experience in preparing ship’s holds for various types of dry cargo. We know the exact level of cleanliness required for each type of cargo and we strive to clean to that level only, thereby eliminating ‘over cleaning’ and saving ship owners time and money. 


Often, after the vessel has discharged its cargo, the crew require assistance to rapidly prepare the vessel for its next cargo. Southwood is well practiced at washing holds after dirty cargo, such as cement clinker, pet coke or sulfur prior to the loading of sensitive cargo such as grain. We liaise closely with the discharging stevedores to offer a hold washing services that commences while the discharge is still in progress. This usually enables a vessel to present for clean cargo within 24 hours of the discharge completing. If other problems are identified with the vessel’s holds while cleaning for previous cargo is in progress, then these can often be attended to prior to any official survey. This not only reduces cost but also avoids any unnecessary ‘off hire’ time. 

EQUIPMENT HIRE: Southwood has cleaning equipment available for dry hire to vessels, including de-scaling machines, hydro-blasters, pumps, hoses etc. Contact us for details.