Different type of ships you should know in the Merchant Fleet?


As a seafarer you would come across different types of vessels and this list will help you recognize them. These vessels are categorized based on their use, they type of cargo they carry and the method by which the cargo is loaded.

Commercial vessels can be cargo ships and Passenger ships. In Cargo ship if they carry liquid cargo then it is called Tankers and if they carry cargo in powder form then it is called Carrier. But many times these words interchanged across.

1.Bulk Cargo

Cargo ships are generally used to transport cargo safely from one place to another. They will have a ship with a multi-deck or single-deck hull. There are thousands of cargo ships on the move around the world, transporting good across the globe. They are crucial to international trade. Cargo ships can transport things such as food, petroleum, furniture, metals, clothes and machinery.

-Oil Tankers

An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets.

-Chemical Tankers
A chemical tanker is a type of tanker ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. Chemical tanker means a ship constructed or adapted for carrying in bulk any liquid product. As well as industrial chemicals and clean petroleum products, such ships also often carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda, and methanol.

-Bulk Carriers


Bulk Carrier is merchant ship used to transport unpackaged bulk Cargo like coal, Grains, Ore, and Cement.

2.Container Ships

Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo.
Container ship capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units. Typical loads are a mix of 20-foot and 40-foot (2-TEU) ISO-standard containers, with the latter predominant.
Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container, and modern container ships can carry over 19,000 TEU. Container ships now rival crude oil tankers and bulk carriers as the largest commercial vessels on the ocean.


3.Reefer Ships

A reefer ship is a refrigerated cargo ship; a type of ship typically used to transport perishable commodities which require temperature-controlled transportation, such as fruit, meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products and other foods.

4.Ro-Ro (Roll on Roll Off)

Most vehicles that are being transported over water internationally are done on a Roll on Roll off ship. The reason this ship is so popular to transport vehicles is that it’s safer and much faster to just drive a car onto the ship than using a crane. Once the cars are aboard, they are braced to the ship’s deck to keep them from moving around while the ship is at sea.

5.Passenger Ships

Passenger ships are officially defined as ships that carry more than 12 passengers. If you own a passenger ship then you will need to abide by strict safety regulations. There have been several disasters with passenger ships lately so the rules and regulations have been updated in a bid to try and improve safety. Passengers should be able to travel in a safe and comfortable environment. Passenger ships also include cruise and holiday ships.


6. Fishing Vessel

Fishing vessels are boats and ships designed to catch fish and marine wildlife. They are used for leisure purposes but also for commercial fishing. There are millions of fishing vessels being used to catch fish around the world. If you are considering working on a fishing vessel then it is important to know that they are very dangerous. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) there are around 24, 000 deaths on fishing vessels each year

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