A bulk carrier, bulk freighter, or bulker is a merchant ship specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal, ore, and cement in its cargo holds. Since the first specialized bulk carrier was built in 1852, economic forces have fuelled the development of these ships, causing them to grow in size and sophistication. Today's bulkers are specially designed to maximize capacity, safety, efficiency, and to be able to withstand the rigours of their work.
Today, bulkers make up 40% of the world's merchant fleets and range in size from single-hold mini-bulkers to mammoth ore ships able to carry 400,000 metric tons of deadweight (DWT). A number of specialized designs exist: some can unload their own cargo, some depend on port facilities for unloading, and some even package the cargo as it is loaded. Over half of all bulkers have Greek, Japanese, or Chinese owners and more than a quarter are registered in Panama. Korea is the largest single builder of bulkers, and 82% of these ships were built in Asia.
A bulk carrier's crew participates in the loading and unloading of cargo, navigating the ship, and keeping its machinery and equipment properly maintained. Loading and unloading the cargo is difficult, dangerous, and can take up to 120 hours on larger ships. Crews can range in size from three people on the smallest ships to over 30 on the largest.
Bulk cargo can be very dense, corrosive, or abrasive. This can present safety problems: cargo shifting, spontaneous combustion, and cargo saturation can threaten a ship. The use of ships that are old and have corrosion problems has been linked to a spate of bulker sinkings in the 1990s, as have the bulker's large hatchways, important for efficient cargo handling. New international regulations have since been introduced to improve ship design and inspection, and to streamline the process of abandoning ship.
Other articles related to "carrier, bulk carrier, carriers, bulk":
... Ships by type barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 325, cargo ship 840, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk carrier 11, combination ore/oil 1, container ship 125, liquified gas 20, multi-f ...
... City a local passenger vessel Saskadoc - large bulk carrier Bruce Hudson - oil tanker Makaweli - tanker Wellandoc (Brampton) - bauxite carrier during World War II Handy Boy - floating steam crane Windsolite (Im ... France 1960 - Great Lakes bulk carrier - renamed Algoriver in 1994 by Algoma and scrapped in Turkey 2003 Coalfax - converted self-loader Soreldoc (laker ... Misener 1968 - bulker carrier and named for President of Scott Misner Steamships Limited was built in Montreal and now renamed Gordan C Leitch Norman B ...
... In December 2002, Chapter XII of the SOLAS convention was amended to require the installation of high-level water alarms and monitoring systems on all bulkers ... This safety measure quickly alerts watch standers on the bridge and in the engine room in case of flooding in the holds ...
... The company is composed of tanker and bulk carrier divisions, with product tanker activity accounting for the majority of the business ... TORM is one of the leading tanker carriers of clean oil products such as gasoline, jet fuel, naphtha and diesel oil and other clean products ... TORM’s bulk carrier division focuses mainly on the Panamax bulk carrier sector, carrying various bulk commodities, but principally grain, coal and iron ore ...
Famous quotes containing the words carrier and/or bulk:
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