Go main content

Types of transport ships

Types of transport ships

Transport ships, otherwise known as cargo ships, are used to transport various types of cargo. They usually have a small amount of space for the crew, the number of which depends on the size of the ship. The exceptions are units that carry passengers at the same time and cars or combination vessels, which are also used for the transport of goods. Depending on the type of cargo transported, we can distinguish: container ship, bulk carrier, general cargo, tanker, cooler.

Container ship
One of the most popular transport ships. Containers filled with various types of goods are transported on board. Container ships are equipped with special devices enabling loading and unloading of goods, which ensures complete independence of a given unit. However, for the largest ships in the world, the port's assistance is usually needed in the form of equipment that allows these processes to run smoothly. Sometimes it is also necessary to reload the goods into smaller units and thus transport them to their final destination. The most frequently transported goods on container ships are clothing, food and electronics. Depending on the type of goods transported, they are placed in appropriate containers.

General cargo
As in the case of container ships, ships transporting general cargo also have devices that facilitate loading and unloading, such as cranes. Depending on the transported goods, loads are placed in boxes or barrels. These are dry and countable products of small dimensions, e.g. cosmetics, medicines or food with a long shelf life. The so-called general cargo is placed in the hold, which can be divided into different zones depending on the type of goods. The zones are usually marked as floors, which gives a lot of loading space. General cargo ships usually reach a high speed compared to other ships, approx. 20 km / h.

Bulk carrier
The ship is characterized by its structure, and more specifically the cargo space in the form of tanks for the transport of loose goods (without packaging), e.g. coal, grain or fertilizers. Bulk carriers usually have one deck which covers a large proportion of the entire ship. There are several types of bulk carriers, some of them can even transport fuel or are so-called semi-bulk carriers, which in addition to bulk goods also transport containers or steel. There is a division of bulk carriers according to their size:
●    Coaster (up to 10,000 DWT)
●    Handysize (10,000 to 35,000 DW)
●    Handymax (35,000 to 50,000 DWT)
●    Supramax (50,000 to 59,000 DWT)
●    Panamax (60,000 to 65,000 DWT)
●    Suezmax (from 65,000 to 150,000 DWT)
●    Capesie (from 150,000 DWT) *
* DTW (deadweight tonnage)

A type of ship that does not have a hold, also known as a tanker, transports liquid cargo in tanks. Fuel is the most frequently transported commodity, but tankers also transport other goods, incl. chemicals (chemical tanker), liquefied gas (gas tanker) or liquid products such as alcohol or oil (producer). They are among the largest ships in the world, and usually crude oil of a large size. The transport of this type of goods can pose a threat to the ecosystem. Currently, tank vessels are built in such a way as to minimize the risk of leakage of transported substances. Depending on the cargo being transported, tank vessels differ in construction.

Refrigerated ship
Vessel for the transportation of products that require constant temperature transportation. These are goods that perish relatively quickly, e.g. food products such as bananas. The transport of this type of cargo is planned in such a way that the fruits have time to ripen during the transport. Depending on the type of product, refrigerated cargo holds or insulated containers maintain a certain temperature. For example, fish are transported in minus temperature. These ships often have special separate chambers, thanks to which they can transport several types of goods that must be transported at different temperatures. Refrigerated ships are relatively fast-moving ships and reach speeds of approx. 40 km / h.

Many factors are taken into account when planning the transport of goods. One of the most important elements is the selection of the appropriate transport vessel and the price of transport. The most popular transport ships are container ships due to their versatility. The price of transporting goods is influenced by many factors, such as the length of the route, the amount of space occupied by the cargo (size and weight), costs related to the ship's stay in the port, possible assistance in loading or unloading, and customs clearance. Undoubtedly, an important element is also the insurance of the goods, which may differ due to its type and method of transport. Therefore, it is worth knowing the types of available transport ships and their specificity, which can significantly facilitate the planning of sea transport. To learn more about transport containers, read the article: https://smartload.pl/en/0/dimensions-and-types-of-containers