What is a bulk carrier?
Bulk carriers are cargo ships which are specially built for the use of bulk goods. Technical terms for bulk carriers are bulk carriers. It is essential to distinguish this type of ship from tankers and container ships.
What do bulk carriers transport?
The bulk carrier ship type is used worldwide for the transport of bulk but solid bulk goods such as coal or grain. Besides containers, this type of cargo represents the largest share of international maritime shipping. This type of ship is therefore often used. There are also combinations of bulk carriers and various other cargo types such as containers.
Development of bulk carriers
Solid but loose cargo such as ore and coal was already transported on special sailing ships in the 18th century.
Bulk carriers in their present form did not establish themselves as a separate type of ship until after the Second World War, as possible applications and technical innovations demanded and made this type of cargo ship possible.
Technical features of bulk carriers
Since the cargo of bulk carriers can start to move during loading and transport at sea due to their nature, a bulk carrier is divided into special sections, such as bulkheads, and has special technical features compared with other ships.
In comparison to other ships, high ballast tanks are located in the side walls, with which a heeling (maritime technical term for inclined position) can be prevented or compensated.
In addition, many bulkers have reinforced floors to better absorb the weight of the cargo and defy the forces of the oceans. Depending on requirements, some bulk carriers have their own loading gear.
The different sizes of bulk carriers
Bulk freighters have different sizes depending on the area of application and the cargo being predominantly transported. These sizes are defined on the basis of nautical conditions and requirements and result in a maximum number of carrying capacity in tons (tdw).
In addition, there are length, width and draught restrictions for some waterways.
|Handysize Bulk Carrier||39.999 tdw|
|Handymax Bulk Carrier||45.000 tdw|
|Supramax Bulk Carrier||59.999 tdw|
|Ultramax Bulk Carrier||64.999 tdw|
|Panamax Bulk Carrier||99.999 tdw|
|Capesize Bulk Carrier||über 100.000 tdw|