World Trades

Finance Blog

The Different Types Of Cargo Ships To Choose For Your Business

3 min read

International transport is usually by air or sea. Air transportation is very expensive compared to sea transportation. However, the latter is not as fast.  However, larger, heavier freight can be transported more efficiently by sea. Sea shipments are carried out on a regular basis. Businesses looking for a reliable and affordable method can choose to go with this option. To help businesses acquire the right vessel even Shipping finance banks enable businesses to acquire the right vessel. As a business, it can be confusing to choose the best-suited cargo ship for transporting your cargo. We have listed the most common types of cargo vessels that are available in the market. Container vessels

In the 1960s transport companies started to use container ships These ships would combine  sea and land routes to deliver freight. This led to the need to have vessels that are capable of carrying containers of standard size. Specifically-equipped ports were built to allow these containers to be loaded and unloaded. These container ships vary in size, from small to big vessels. The largest can be up to 400m in length. Vessels this size come with a capacity of 18000 TEUs and can travel at an average speed of 21 knots.

Break bulk vessels

General cargo is typically transported using  break bulk vessels. These are specifically designed for this purpose. They are preferred to individual loading and preclude the need for  an intermodal container. Trading fleets carrying liquid and dry cargo mainly deploy on these kinds of vessels. Break bulk vessels are  used by cargo companies to carry cargo in the forms of bags, such as sugar, cement or flour. Palletized cargo is also transported by break bulk vessels. This may  include  timber, paint or chemicals, for example. With the introduction of special cargo ships, break bulk cargo ships are used less. In this time ship deck designs and the equipment  used to load and unload the cargo have also changed. Still, break bulk vessels are serving many companies to transport their freight..

Bulk vessels

Bulk vessels are generally used to transport dry cargo from one place to another. In most cases, the cargo includes grains, sugar, fertilizer and  energy fuels like coal and ore. To load and unload the cargo of bulk vessels, specific ports have been built with the necessary equipment. Bulk vessels  use  a pump or a conveyor instead of a crane. To fulfil the shipping needs you can find both vessels in different varieties and sizes. Compared to break bulk vessels, bulk vessels are slower, travelling at an average speed of 13 knots. The capacity of bulk vessels is less than 200000 DWT.

Barge vessels

To save  ships from spending more time in port, barge vessels were introduced in the 1960s. Cargo is stored inside a huge floating pontoon within the vessel. The barge does not actually come to the port. Instead  loading and unloading take place over the harbour. Pontoons are used between the ship and the port. These are carried by tugboats.

Reefer vessels

Reefer vessels are special types of cargo vessels. They are used to move goods that must be kept frozen or under controlled temperature throughout the shipment. This cargo includes fish, meat, fresh produce and even alcohol. For transporters seeking to move temperature sensitive cargo this option is worthy of consideration.

Multi-purpose vessels

Multi-purpose vessels can transport a variety of cargo. These are the most popular types of vessel for cargo shipping.

 Tanker vessels

Tanker vessels are used to transport liquids. For companies seeking to transport oil or chemicals, tanker vessels are ideal.  Tanker vessels include crude carriers, specifically used to transport crude oil on the international waters. Large size crude carriers are available for transporting large volumes of oil. Dedicated LNG carriers are used to ship liquefied natural gases.

Ro-Ro vessels

Ro-Ro [‘Roll On, Roll Off’] vessels are designed to transport cargo trailers. These  include  a ramp facility to load and unload cargo onto the ship. Ro-Ro vessels are available in different forms. Ro_Ro’sare used as cargo vessels for truck trailers or railroad cars, car carriers as well as other kinds of vehicle ferries. To load and unload, these vessels make use of different loading ramps. In terms of speed, Ro-Ro’s can reach 20 knots on average.


There are many types of cargo ship. The options are varied, and depend on the specific requirement of the transporter and the freight to be carried.