Nuclear Case Study

Logistics for the nuclear sector presents some of the most complex challenges of any sector due to the hazardous nature of the cargo and the associated security requirements. 

Cockfield Knight has been operating in the nuclear sector for a number of years, providing the specialist, high quality ships agency and chartering and Freight forwarding services that this market requires.

Cockfield Knight has a long-standing relationship with a global customer who deals with nuclear fuel cargo. Over the years, Cockfield Knight has supported this customer with some extremely complex projects.

For this particular project, the customer needed to export a large quantity of extremely hazardous Class 7 cargo, meaning that anyone involved in the project would be dealing with radioactive materials. This required a team with extensive experience in handling dangerous cargo to ensure the project could be completed safely and securely.


The Cockfield Knight team were tasked to arrange a shipment of a number of containers of Class 7 material from the UK to South East Asia.

Having extensive experience in handling nuclear goods in the past meant the Cockfield Knight team had a Contract of Affreightment (COA) with a vessel owner to supply a suitable vessel for this kind of shipment.

Cockfield Knight had previously supported the client to negotiate an ongoing Contract of Affreightment for consignments of Class 7 goods as designated in International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG).


Working with Cockfield Knight’s partner vessel broker, Douglas Maritime, the team sourced a suitable carrier with the necessary regulatory permits and fittings to carry the cargo safely and securely.

For each shipment, Cockfield Knight & Douglas Maritime organised an acceptance survey of the vessel at a previous European port of call as well as a load survey.


For each shipment, the team discussed vessel routing options, taking into account the latest security information and advice from both the client and vessel operator.

Cockfield Knight also discussed bunkering requirements and supported both parties with regulatory information and any permit applications for bunkering stops en-route.

The selected vessel for each shipment needed to load the cargo on a ‘last in, first out’ basis and have sufficient space around the containers to comply with IMDG Code Safety and Stowage Regulations. This required a 6-metre space around each block of two containers.

This all needed to be planned around other cargoes on board. However, the shipment could not be over stowed by other cargo, for health and safety reasons, meaning the team had to carefully develop stow plans in order to accommodate the load.


Cockfield Knight has extensive experience of transporting IMDG cargoes and was able to find a carrier with a proven track record of carrying similar cargoes.

For each shipment, Cockfield Knight ensured they were complying with national and international regulatory requirements, ensuring all the necessary permits and paperwork were in place. This included ongoing conversations with the applicable regulatory authorities.

Once the vessel was chosen the team then organised a pre-acceptance inspection of the vessel in Sweden and additionally a load survey in the UK.

The voyage was carefully planned and selected considering the latest security information and a route through the Suez Canal was chosen. Taking extra precautions, the team also took the decision to deploy extra security guards to travel with the cargo during the passage through the Red Sea.

During discussions with the client, the Cockfield Knight team considered any bunkering requirements during the passage with the ship owners. A stop at a Far East port was considered. The necessary permit applications were submitted and were put in place beforehand, allowing the vessel to enter the selected bunkering port legally and efficiently to undertake the operation.

Finally, Cockfield Knight also gained authority for the movement of the cargo with the UK Office of Nuclear Responsibility (ONR).

Being able to count on Cockfield Knight’s and Douglas Maritime’s many years of experience of Class 7 transportation, ensured that a suitable vessel was secured and all regulatory and permit procedures were complied with.

Although a Contract of Affreightment (COA) was in place, each shipment required careful management and troubleshooting to ensure smooth operation, timely delivery of the cargo and minimised potential demurrage claims.

The knowledge and experience of Cockfield Knight and Douglas Maritime meant they were well equipped to find solutions to any challenges that occurred.