Nowadays, in foreign trade in terms of transport and range, there are basically no more restrictions. It is possible to successfully arrange both imports and exports to almost all countries and corners of the world. And although technology is developing at a rapid pace, still one of the most common types of cargo transportation is by sea. What types of cargo ships can be distinguished and what are their characteristics?
Container and general cargo ship – the most popular cargo ships
Although there are many types of cargo ships, a few of the most popular types sailing the world’s trade routes can be distinguished. The first of these is the container ship, the use of which in the 1960s revolutionized transportation by sea. Container ships vary in size and capacity. They can carry containers both on board and underneath, delivering a variety of items from groceries to clothing, electronic equipment to large appliances to their destination ports.
The second very popular, though smaller, type of cargo ship is the general cargo ship. They most often transport items counted in pieces, or general cargo. These include barrels, crates, bales, etc. items. General cargo ships transport dry goods accumulated in holds arranged below deck in separate compartments. These are usually items of relatively small weight and dimensions that would not fill an entire container.
Bulk carrier and BIBO – transportation and factory in one
Dry goods are also transported in so-called double-bottom bulk carriers, which account for almost 20% of the world’s entire commercial fleet. Bulk carriers carry one type of commodity. These are most often grain, coal, fertilizer, iron ore, but also semi-bulk products such as sheet metal or rolled paper.
An interesting type of cargo ship is the BIBO, which is both a bulk carrier and a processing line. It carries sugar loaded in bulk form, which is then packed into ready-made packages during transportation and prepared for further transport.
Tanker and refrigerated carrier – ships for special tasks
A tanker is a type of ship used for the transportation of liquid goods. It is sometimes called an oil tanker and this type of fleet is one of the largest in the world. Although tankers are most often associated with the transportation of oil, they also carry various chemicals, gas, as well as products such as oil, wine and other alcohols.
A refrigerated cargo ship, on the other hand, is used to transport items that spoil quickly. Each chamber of the ship can maintain a different temperature, exactly what the goods need. Refrigerated ships are also equipped with technology that allows fruits to ripen during transportation. In addition, they often transport fish and meat.
In addition to the aforementioned cargo ships, there are also timber carriers, rail ferries, truckers, cabotage carriers, lake carriers, tramps, barges, barge carriers, multipurpose ships and ro-ro ships – ships designed to transport cars, rolling cargo and rail cars.