|Bulk Carrier - Improving Cargo SafetyInternational Maritime Organization|
|Many different products are carried on ships in bulk. Grains, such as wheat, maize, millet and rye have been transported by sea for centuries - the wheat trade between north Africa and Italy was a major economic feature of the Roman Empire, for example. Since the last century, the grain trade has grown in importance and much of it is carried by sea, often on long trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific voyages.|
|According to the International Grains Council, in 1996-1997 (July/June) total wheat trade amounted to 91.3 million metric tons, with the biggest exporters being the United States (26.5 million tons). Australia (17.4 million tons) and Canada (17.0 million tons) and the biggest importers being Iran (6.7 million tons), Egypt (6.2 million tons) and Japan (5.3 million tons). In addition, 88.8 million tons of coarse grains including (maize, millet, rye) were shipped in 1996-1997, the largest exporters being United States (53.1 million tons), Argentina (10.6 million tons) and European Union (8.1 million tons) and the largest importers being Japan (20.3 million tons), South Korea (9.2 million tons) and Saudi Arabia (6.3 million tons). Total grains shipped in the year 1996-1997 were therefore 180.1 million tons -- or just over 3,600 panamax-sized (50,000-dwt) shiploads.|
|Originally grain was transported in sacks, but by the middle of the 20th century the normal procedure was to carry it in bulk. It could be stored, loaded and unloaded easily and the time taken to deliver it from producer to customer was greatly reduced, as were the costs involved. However, there were problems.
printed on 2013/06/19 22:56:46