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Sorting Ships: Your Guide To Different Types Of Cargo Ships

ocean cargo shipping

When freight forwarding companies help you transport your goods, they coordinate the transportation between various types of ocean cargo shipping services. By using direct cargo transportation, the cargo is transferred in a more environmentally friendly fashion, as there is a decrease in time and stops. Know the difference between the types of vessels ocean cargo shipping uses and keep track of where your goods are.


  • Bulk Carriers: These large carriers are designed to hold goods with a high weight to cost ratio, such as coal, grain, and ore. Typically, bulk carriers are divided into several separate holds that are covered by hatches. When loading in port, operators use a conveyor and spouts or a crane.


  • Container Vessels: Containers are the primary method of transporting manufactured goods around the world. They are made in a standard size, making transfer between ship, train, and truck relatively easy. These containers can hold nearly anything, including automobiles, electrical equipment, and foodstuffs. Operators typically use cranes to load containers onto the ships and can slot them into “cell guides” within the holds of the ships.


  • Dry Cargo Ships: These vessels were the backbone of the world’s merchant fleet throughout history. The ships were generally equipped with their own cargo loading equipment, usually in the form of derricks. Within the ship were various holds, and the ship’s crew would work efficiently to load and unload the goods within the holds.


  • Reefer Vessels: Designed to carry refrigerated cargo, reefer vessels are built with holds that can be sealed and temperature controlled. Perishable goods, such as meat and fruit, are typically transported by reefer vessels. Many traditional reefer vessels have been replaced by reefer containers that can be transported on container vessels. These containers function well on vessels as long as they have a power source.


  • Ro-Ro Vessels: Short for Roll on-Roll off, Ro-Ro vessels are typically used to transport truck trailers and cars. Ships that are designed to carry cars feature multiple vehicle decks with parking lanes built in. There are internal ramps to link the decks and loading ramps that can attach to shore for loading the cars in and out.

Ocean cargo shipping comes in many forms so that every piece of cargo can be transported in the most efficient way possible. Luckily, freight shipping companies can take care of booking the right vessels for your cargo.

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