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Who Is A Cargo Engineer?

Last Updated October 15, 2020

Who is a cargo engineer?

Cargo Engineer is in-charge of operation & maintenance of all deck and cargo-related machinery while liaising with the Chief Officer during loading, discharging, conditioning of cargo, change operation. A cargo engineer is also responsible for the maintenance, operation of the cargo plant, and maintains an inventory of all parts of the cargo compressor. He has to ensure that maintenance is conducted in accordance with the decision of the maintenance team and the provision of the integrated work plan.

A cargo engineer has to also organize and execute all cargo machinery watchkeeping and machinery routines. He also manages the maintenance and repair of cargo compressor cargo pumps, gas blowers, and other related ancillary equipment.

Generally, a cargo engineer has a deep knowledge of all cargo related engineering systems along with apt knowledge of safety and emergency systems and equipment on-board. He should have a lot of technical expertise in order to excel in this field.

Also read: Gas Engineer (Petroleum Engineer)

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Cargo Engineer?

Beginners start with having to assist the Chief Engineer in everything ranging from cargo management to report writings, it depends on the ranks within a company. However, these are the major roles played by a cargo engineer:

  • Perform gas and electric welding.
  • Apt knowledge of legal restrictions for the cargo industry.
  • Understand, and fully comprehend schematics machinery drawing, manuals. electrical diagrams, etc.
  • Carry out ISPS duties in accordance with the vessel’s Ship Security Plan.
  • Proper handling of heavy and light machinery including cargo pumps and valves.
  • Monitor operations and maintenance of all deck and cargo related machinery.
  • Monitor and look after pollution control measures.
  • Maintain the stock levels of the designated machinery.
  • Ensure that the defects are reported and attended in a timely manner.
  • Ensure safe cargo loading and discharging operations by taking good care of cargo handling equipment and maintaining proper safety guidelines.
  • Proper upkeep of cargo compressor room.
  • Conduct regular monthly inventory as set by the Chief Engineer.
  • Work on liquefied natural gas (LNG) Vessels.
  • Preparing reports and checking legal regulations, managing the cargo handling plan, and by keeping a log.

Apart from these, the other skills required to become a successful cargo engineer are:

  • Leadership qualities- Since cargo engineers at high post are supposed to work in coordination with their staff, it is imperative to understand other’s points of view, and guide them accordingly.
  • Excellent communication skills- As the profession involves interaction with different people, the person in charge must have apt fluency in speaking English. It will help set a base for a proper understanding of points. A proficient level of verbal and written communication skills in English will work well.
  • Interpretational skills- As cargo engineers are primarily related to the safety of cargo vessels etc., they should be able to understand and interpret the situations in the best way possible.

How To Become A Cargo Engineer?

In order to become a cargo engineer, you need to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in  Engineering in any marine engineering field and earn a certificate of competence in Marine Engineering.

Apart from the qualification, some of the employers may also look for proofs of licensing and authorization from reputed international organizations. Computer skills along with financial skills will be preferable but are not necessarily mandatory. Though the work of cargo engineer has more to deal with the onshore, one should have the capacity to stay out on the sea for several days together as well.

The top Universities and Colleges that offer Marine Engineering courses in the world are:

  1. University of Science and Technology – NTNU
  2. Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  3. University of Strathclyde
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  5. Newcastle University

Average Salary Package Of Cargo Engineers?

There is immense scope in the field of marine engineering. The salary package earned by a cargo engineer is quite up to the mark and justified.

The average salary for a Cargo Engineer is approximately about $63,000- 70,000 upon gaining 6-10 years of experience, along with other perks like medical insurance for you and your family, pension scheme, time for time rotation and many others but such set of benefits are not provided by all shipping companies.

You can be promoted to a chief engineer or senior official once you have gained a good amount of experience in this field.

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