Marine Services


Dry Bulk

Pre-loading inspection
Sampling and superintendence
Commodity inspections
Pre-shipment technical inspections
Draft surveys
Condition and damage investigation

Bulk Oil

Supercargo services
Bulk oil calculations and superintendence
Oil expediting
ROB and retention clause surveys
Oil loss investigations

Tug and Tow

Seafastening and towage approval surveys


Expert witnesses
P & I surveyors
Loss adjusters
Speed and consumption claims
Consultants to marine, civil and offshore engineers
Hull, machinery and cargo surveys
Technical reports for solicitors
Risk analysis
Post fixture claims analysis
Loss investigation and damage claims
Marine asset recovery

Bulk Liquid

C F Spencer & Co Ltd offer a complete service to clients in the oil and gas industries.

We have expertise in all aspects of liquid gases, crude and refined hydrocarbon oil and a wide variety of vegetable oils.

We undertake:

Load Port Supervision To determine the Bill of Lading figures
Discharge Port Expediting to ensure good outturn For Charterers, but of course it can be for Owners to assist the ship
ROB Surveys For Charterers or for Owners to ensure minimal ROB and compliance with charter party clauses
Outturn Surveys For Receivers/Charterers we provide all facilities in the tank farm to certify the quantity discharged
Quality Sampling We will undertake sampling and deliver to appointed laboratories, witnessing as necessary
Tank Cleaning Supervision In port or at sea
We also offer skills in cargo dispute resolution advice, and have conducted many desktop investigations into claims for cargo shortages and contaminations.


Dry Bulk

Draft surveys for steel scrap, bulk grain, feed and fertiliser are undertaken at local ports as well as cleanliness inspections for China Clay in bulk as well as bags (big bags and palletised 50kg).

The proximity of the Welsh ports gives us a steady stream of work in the pre-shipment inspection of steel as well as occasional attendance for steel damage surveys. The steel surveys may be for hot rolled, cold rolled, steel strip plate, sections, pipe or any other products of the industry.

We also have experience of handling very large claims in respect of paper reel damage, fire damage, pollution, collision, steel and reefer cargoes.

We have prepared expert reports on a variety of topics for clients including explosions on bulk carriers, unseaworthiness of hatches, losses on bulk cargoes, failure of ship’s cargo gear, crane wire failure etc.

Heavy Lift and Project Cargo

C F Spencer and Co Ltd carry out regular supervision work in respect of heavy and sensitive lifts on and off vessels and road vehicles.

Our marine surveyors are familiar with craneage requirements and stowage limitations for underdeck and ondeck loads. We have undertaken heavy lift supervision on lifts up to 11,000 tonnes offshore, using semi submersible crane vessels.

We have supervised lifts of:

Offshore modular construction of oil rigs up to 11,000 Mt

Gas Turbines
Flare Towers
GRP Catamarans
Refinery Project Cargo
Large Vehicles/Engines
Cased Goods

We have worked with specialist heavy lift vessels, Ro Ro vessels, barges, submersible barges in the float on float off mode and lift on lift off.

We have experience of the load, transportation, and discharge of Jack up oil rigs on to semi submersible Heavy Lift Vessels. The loading via strandjacks, multi axle trailer and lift on of a variety of equipment and the subsequent seafastening approval prior to sailaway.

We have also supervised loadouts to barges in floating mode “over the tide”, whilst landed on a beach, on slipways and side onto quays and enclosed and locked harbours.

We are familiar with underwriters’ requirements for pre-lifting checks of equipment both ashore and afloat and also dealing with multinational construction teams.

Container Services

We investigate causation of container loss from vessels at sea, related to which is the analysis of lashings systems adopted and their suitability.

We have experience of surveying damaged containers where damage is caused by heavy weather, unsecured contents or after forms of impact damage. Additionally we have considerable experience of determining the nature, cause and extent of in-transit damage to containerised goods, the inspection of containers and the supervision of their repair.

Our proximity to the commercial markets at Bristol and Evesham ensures our regular appointment for claims in respect of reefer goods including bananas, kiwi fruit, meat and a wide variety of vegetables and Caribbean exotica including jelly nuts, plantains, chow chow as well as the more usual soft fruits.

Port Captaincy

C F Spencer and Co Ltd are pleased to be contracted European Port Captains for a major “Round the World” vehicle transportation line.

We attend discharges and loading of vessels across Europe and Asia, monitoring the safe movement and stowage of various cargoes on board.

We mainly cover the ports of Southampton, Bristol, Bremerhaven, Malmo and occasionally Jeddah.

We have acted as Technical and Operations Superintendents for ship owners and charterers over the years, handling a variety of issues:

  • On-hire & off-hire condition surveys at start and completion of the charterparty
  • Vessel grounding in the Mississippi
  • Collision between two tankers
  • Supervision of discharge and disposal of contaminated coal
  • Supervision of discharge, re-working and re-loading of contaminated oil cargoes
  • Assistance to Masters in cases of stevedore damage to vessels

Port of Bridgwater

C F Spencer & Co Ltd are very pleased to have been successful in agreeing terms with Sedgemoor District Council to supply the Harbour Master and Deputies for the Port of Bridgwater thus extending a relationship that has been successful for both parties over a considerable period.

Chris Spencer, Keith Badsey and Andy Newman are serving licensed pilots for the Port of Bridgwater, and frequently navigate vessels in the narrow, fast-flowing river. The port supports a general cargo berth and an aggregates berth at Dunball (just below the old Bridgwater docks) and the EDF (British Enrergy) Roll on Roll off berth at Combwich for the Hinkley Point Nuclear Reactor Power Station.

Arbitration and Expert Witness

As a well established marine surveying and marine consultancy firm our staff have an excellent record of assisting clients in preparation for arbitration or court appearances, with many cases settling on the basis of the documents alone.

We have an entry in the Sweet and Maxwell Directory in respect of approved personnel.

We have advised and given evidence or prepared reports in respect of:

Personal injury
Vessel Loss
Speed and consumption
Hatch failures
Bunker quality
Navigation errors – grounding
Cargo gear inspection
Oil loss
Oil contamination
Chris Spencer undertakes opinion work as an expert witness, also acts as an arbitrator and is currently a supporting member of the LMAA.

Our staff have experience of Arbitrations, Magistrates Courts, Crown Courts, High Court (RCJ), Public Enquiries, Arab Commercial (UAE) and Sharjia Courts.

Arbitration and Expert Witness