8 Types of Cargo Ships

Types of Cargo Ships

From decades of experience, business giants believe that though sea shipping is a time taking process, but it saves a lot of transportation costs.

International Maritime Organization (IMO) states that the sea is the source of 90% cargo transportation.

That’s the major reason that there are proper schedules for every shipping. If you have a tight schedule, it’s preferable to go for air shipment.

Over time, various types of cargo ships designed for multiple functions are introduced to reduce shipment issues.

Businesses looking for effectively scheduled shipments without strict deadlines usually prefer cargo ships as it saves a hefty amount of money.

So, without further ado, let’s chop down details of various types of cargo ships into smaller chunks for better understanding.

This short guide will assist you in choosing the best ships for your business design and setup. 

Table of Contents

1. Bulk Vessels

Bulk Vessels

The most appropriate usage of bulk vessels is to transport dry products. They have a particular design that carries products that are quite drier, like sugar or coal.

Additionally, power sources, fertilizers, and grain transporters also prefer bulk vessels. These ships usually require a pump and a conveyor to load and unload goods.

Such types of cargo ships have specific ports and equipment. Their designs and sizes greatly vary depending upon the needs and goods.

Bulk vessels move at a speed of 13 knots- a little lesser than average speed- however, they can hold up to 200,000 DWT.

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2. Reefer Vessels

Reefer Vessels

Suppose you are looking to transport frozen or temperature-controlled items such as meat. In that case, unquestionably, reefer vessels are best for you.

Such type of cargo ships also transports all temperature-sensitive goods like fishes and fruits. They have a built-in mechanism of temperature treatment for maintaining thermal variations.

These usually have three to five holds.

3. Container Vessels

Container Vessels

As the name explains it all, container vessels have the ability to transport containers combined with road routes.

They have special ports, loading, and unloading mechanisms. This idea got popular in the 1960s when land and sea routes joined for a single purpose of trade. Such vessels carry standard size containers.

 That’s why their sizes vary depending upon the requirements. The largest size available so far is a 400m vessel, having a capacity of more than 18,000 TEU’s.

These vessels possess considerably high speeds, with an average of 21 knots.

4. RO-RO Vessels

RO-RO Vessels
Image source: SeaRates.com

These vessels have a unique design to host loading and unloading cargo trailers onto a ship with the aid of a ramp.

Ro-Ro vessel possesses a multi-ramp setup for loading and unloading purposes. Cargo trailers having wheels is a must thing for such types of cargo ships.

Railroad cars, car carriers, truck trailers, and other vehicle ferries are among the common forms of such ships.

They have marked the speed needle up to an average of 20 knots.

5. Multi-Purpose Vessels

Multi-Purpose Vessels
Image source: dnv.com

These ships are an all-rounder in terms of transportation of goods and items. Multi-purpose vessels are extremely common nowadays due to their versatility.

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Traders and businesses can send all of their goods at once instead of paying hefty amounts for specialty purposes.

6. Barge Vessels

Barge Vessels

These vessels came into the sea shipping industry when people started to think out of the box.

Before the 1960s, ships usually spend hours and even days loading and unloading activities. With the advent of barge vessels, the storage was shifted inside the sizeable floating pontoon.

Now, instead of ship lingering at the port, all loading and unloading activities take place at the harbor.

Tugboats are the primary carrier of pontoon between the ship and the port. Though such types of cargo ships are not much popular, but they are still in fashion.

7. Tanker Vessel

Tanker Vessel

If you have liquid items to transport across the sea, then tanker vessels are the best partner for your shipping journey.

No matters its oil or chemicals; these vessels will work for you. Even if you are looking for a shipment of crude oil, there are special types of tanker vessels to make your life easier.

These crude oil carriers size ranges from small to ultra-wide depending upon your requirements.

Gas carriers also fall under this category. As LNG’s and other liquefied gases are becoming common day by day, then these specialized carriers are now in fashion.          

8. Livestock Carriers

Livestock Carriers

Livestock is one of the most significant industries since decades. So, specific ships designed with animal feeding zones are also available for shipping these living creatures.

They have even open as well as closed corrals. These ships are sensitive in nature due to their direct interaction with living beings.

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Bottom Line

There are various types of cargo ships that are designed for specialized purposes ranging from solid items to liquid and even gases. So, depending upon products and even their sizes and shape of these items, choose the most appropriate from the afore-mentioned types.    

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