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Getting heavy goods transported overseas in Australia or any other countries might seem an impossible job without the proper equipment and crew. The need for a ship which could transport heavy loads both fast and safely determined the creation of the bulk carrier. The bulk carrier first built in 1852, was specifically designed for the purpose of transporting heavy loads such as large quantities of grain, ore, coal or any other type of cargo. In this article we will feature the bulk carrier and its different variations.

Over the years, bulk carriers have seen numerous improvements both in size and technological advances. These days, the bulk carriers have been improved for carrying huge loads at maximum safety and speed during the transit making the bulk carrier one of the most popular means of overseas transportation. Many of the bulk carrier owners are located in Australia.

Bulk carriers vary in size and shape, being classified into six general size categories. The small bulk carrier category covers mini-bulkers which are able to carry around 250-2500 tons. They are specifically designed for river transportation being unable to carry larger loads over long distances. The most commonly used size categories in today’s bulk carriers are the handy size and handymax ships. They are built for general purpose being able to carry most type of goods, being equipped with five cargo holds. They are also equipped with four cranes which help in carrying the goods on-deck.

There is also special size variations used in different locations of the world for example the panamax size category designed specifically for the Panama Canal. The capesize category ships are designed to carry heavy loads such as coal and ore overseas.

There are also many types of bulk carrier. In the next lines, we will go over the most commonly used ones in today’s overseas transportation industry.

The geared bulk carriers are mostly part of the handymax size category. They feature several holds all covered using hatch covers. They also feature cranes or conveyors which help them load or unload the goods from deck to shore without any other external equipment required, making the geared bulk carries one of the most preferred carrier types being very flexible in any given situations.

Combined carriers were designed to carry most types of cargo both dry and liquid. They can also be carries at the same time in different cargo holds.
A version of the geared bulk carriers not featuring any type of cranes or conveyors are the gearless bulk carriers. They depend on the shore equipment to load or unload goods on the deck. Although they are not as flexible as the geared bulk carriers they’re maintenance cost is highly reduced.
Another type of bulkers featuring a conveyor belt is the self-discharger which is able to both load or unload cargo fast and efficiently.

Carrier bulkers designed specifically for lake transportation are the Lakers. The maintenance costs are much lower since the carriers aren’t as exposed to corrosion then ships operating in saltwater. Also their lifespan is highly improved.

Bulk Carriers have revolutionized the overseas transportation industry in Australia and all countries around the world being the best and most efficient way of getting your goods transported safely to their destination.