General Cargoes and Bulk Carriers

Dry Cargo Ships

Although general cargo ships are still the largest single category in terms of number of vessels, the trend among new ships is more and more in favour of specialization, although it could be argued that handy-sized, geared bulk carriers and versatile medium-sized containerships, of which some have the ability to accommodate several different box sizes as well as palletised cargo are the natural successors of the old general cargo vessels.

Bulk Carriers

Bulk carriers are often called the workhorses of the international shipping fleet. They can be thought of as simple, relatively unsophisticated but nevertheless highly efficient vessels that typically transport commodities such as grain, coal and mineral ores. If tankers provide the fuel that powers the modern economy, bulk carriers are responsible for moving the raw materials that are its lifeblood. The first modern bulk carrier was the John Bowes 650 dwt built in 1852. In terms of size, the world's bulk carrier fleet has three categories; ships of up to 50,000 dwt are known as “handy-sized”; ships of 50,000 to 80,000 dwt are known as “Panamax” (being the largest ships able to transit the Panama Canal) and ships of more than 80,000 dwt are known as “capesize”. Bulk carriers embrace a number of variations - single or double hull, with or without their own cargo-handling equipment - but all are characterized by the huge hatch covers that can be rolled or lifted away to reveal to cavernous holds beneath. Because of the nature of the cargoes they carry - often heavy, high-density commodities - accidents involving bulk carriers have sometimes resulted in considerable loss of life. For this reason IMO has, over a long period of time, undertaken a great deal of work to improve the safety of this type of vessel. There is, for example, a special chapter on bulk carrier safety in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), covering such topics as damage stability, structural strength, surveys and loading.

Related Resources

Related News

No records found.

Related Events

No records found.

Related Documents

No records found.

Related Books

Related Multimedia

No records found.

Related Projects

No records found.