Dry Bulk Cargo
From grains to coal and from sugar to cocoa, dry bulk cargoes cover a range of produce and raw materials that have two features in common: they are unpacked and are homogeneous. These two properties make it easier for dry bulk cargoes to be dropped or poured into the hold of a bulk carrier.
Without the estimated 285m dwt of dry bulk shipping transported by sea annually, life today would be altered dramatically. Just having breakfast would be a very different event, with the ingredients of bread and cereal coming from dry bulks, as well as coffee and the sugar to sweeten it. Even the metal elements of your toaster and kettle come by sea and the coal to generate the electricity supply to power both appliances is likewise shipped in. Other dry bulk cargoes include iron ore, alumina fertilisers, scrap, sulphur and cement, as well as a large number of agricultural products for the human and animal food industry, such as rice and corn.
As the name suggests, dry bulk cargoes need to be kept dry, any moisture that finds its way into the cargo could ruin the entire load, at considerable cost to the ship owner. It may also be surprising to learn that many dry bulk cargoes are classified as ‘Dangerous Goods’ requiring special attention during loading, transportation and discharge, as they could shift during shipment, causing ship instability.