THE alarming cost of problems and inefficiencies in ship operations are highlighted in a new guide for junior officers, which was published on Tuesday by the Nautical Institute and sponsored by the British P & I Club. Watchkeeping Safety and Cargo Management in Port sets out the main elements of watchkeeping in port and relates them to sound commercial practice. Written by master mariner Peter Roberts, this 200-page illustrated hardback volume has been produced with two principal aims: to indicate standards for those in charge of watches in port and to demonstrate the principles of commercial management. The guide will help junior officers to contribute more effectively to ships' cargo work. The book emphasises the need for best practice in a range of ship operations and provides facts about losses stemming from errors and inefficiencies. It focuses on: Preparations on board before arrival in port to ensure there are no unnecessary delays to the start of cargo operations. (With a charter rate of US$10,000 a day, each hour lost costs more than $400.) Ship board safety in port, both on board and around the vessel. (Personal injury claims cost the industry more than $216 million a year). Supervision of cargo handling and stowage. (Damage to cargo costs the industry $140 million a year). Preventing and controlling pollution incidents. (Pollution costs to the industry are about $168 million a year.) Close attention is also paid to mooring operations, taking over the watch, commercial documentation, ballast operations, stress and stability, ships' services and security, keeping records and departure from port. Len Holder, president of the Nautical Institute, explained: 'This project reflects a major survey conducted by the institute on the theme of accident and loss prevention, in which an urgent need was demonstrated to improve commercial awareness and to highlight effective practices for loss prevention.'