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What types of cargo ships exist?

Besides general cargo ships, there are vessels designed to carry specific cargoes such as gas carriers, tankers, bulk carriers, and those that transport live cargo. Check out their functions below:

Bulk Carrier Ships

As the name suggests, this category is designed to load and unload bulk goods such as minerals, coal, and grains. Most often, they have a rectangular deck to facilitate the movement of items.

They are suitable for products that can be stored in the ship's holds without the need to:

  • Count the units;

  • Use specific packaging;

  • Identify any trademarks.

Tanker Ships

Tankers, on the other hand, are used to transport not only crude oil but also its derivatives, capable of carrying over 300,000 liters of fuels and derivatives.

They carry a crew of an average of 25 people, who stay in the stern of the vessel, where there is a control cabin and other common areas such as the mess hall.

These ships have a deck filled with interconnected pipes that distribute the oil equally to ensure balance.

Compared to other models, tankers are wider and less deep, characteristics that make them capable of navigating in shallow waters. They have a double hull, which is useful for safety in case of leaks.

Gas Carrier Ships

These are used to carry liquefied gases such as LPG, LNG, ethylene, ammonia, propylene, among others. They are characterized by rounded tanks above the main deck. They can have 4 distinct types of tanks:

  • Independent tanks: support the weight of the cargo entirely;

  • Membrane tanks: have walls with small thickness, supported by the structure of the vessel, which can contract and expand freely;

  • Integral tanks: part of the ship's structure;

  • Semi-membrane tanks: have rounded corners to avoid contact with the ship's structure.

Refrigerated Ships

They are called so because of the robust refrigeration equipment in their holds. This structure is used to keep fish at the ideal temperature until they reach the refrigeration plants located on land.

These ships are essential for large-scale commercial fishing, as they prevent waste of the product that sustains the activity.

Container Ships

They are built for the transport of cargo in containers and can be divided into two types: those with a continuous deck and cellular ones. Both are designed for loading by cranes and are currently gearless, meaning they don't have their own cranes.

They operate with land portainers at port terminals. The cellular type, as the name suggests, has cells where containers enter, while the continuous deck type does not have cells.

Practically all of them have connections for refrigerated containers (reefer sockets). Container ships operate on routes with regular intervals between pre-established ports and usually have faster loading and unloading services than traditional cargo ships.

The largest in the world can carry more than 24,000 TEUs.

Roll-on/Roll-off Ships

Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) ships were developed to carry any cargo that boards and disembarks on wheels, either on their own wheels or through equipment developed for this purpose.

Live Cargo Ships

These models have ramps for loading animals, usually cattle or horses, purchased by countries that traditionally import this type of merchandise, such as Libya and Italy. The ships are compartmentalized like a corral, with individual cells for the animals.

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