Cargo Type Trade Characteristics Vessel Size
General Cargo
Conventional Varied small consignments, Numerous consignees, Slow handling rates, Various routes, Numerous ports Small
Unitized (containers) More uniform cargo, Rapid handling, Many ports Small to large (size increasing)
Dry Bulk
Grain Small to medium consignments, Varied handling rates, Many restrictive ports Small to medium
Ores/Coal Large consignments, Long hauls, Moderate handling rates, Specialized terminals, Few ports Medium to very large
Crude oil Very large consignments, Long hauls, Few routes, Specialized terminals, Few ports Very large to ultra large
Oil products Small shipments, Numerous consignees, Many ports Small to medium
Source: adapted from D. Hilling and M. Browne (1998) "Ships, Ports and Bulk Freight Transport" in B. Hoyle and R.D. Knowles, Modern Transport Geography, p. 246.
Cargo, Trade and Ship Characteristics