The trade and transportation of goods is the most important source of revenue and at the moment represents more or less 90% of the shipping business. The transportation ofcommodities is made by merchant ships that are designed to carry cargo.
The cargo may be divided into two different types of cargo, bulk and general cargo; the difference between those two is that the bulkcargo consists on single type of commodity and general cargo mix different goods at the same ship.
Bulk cargo also can be sub-divided into liquid and dry bulk cargo. Liquid cargo is transported bytankers; the majority of tankers are designed to carry crude oil or his refined products like fuel oils. The liquid cargo is carried in tanks where they are connected to a system of pipes to a manifold.The cargo is loaded by shore pumps and the discharging is made by the ships pumps. Dry bulk cargo like grain, ore, coal and sugar are carried in carriers. Carriers got a self-trimming holds to carry thecargo where the loading on cargo it’s done by buckets on the conveyor belt system or through large tubes. The cargo is unloaded by huge grabs on cranes or by giant suction tubes. This type of cargodoesn’t represent a huge problem to stowage but it´s important to not let it move during the voyage to maintain the ship´s stability and all measures to keep the transport safe have to be done becausethe transport of cargo like crude oil is still dangerous and natural disasters must be avoid at all.
General cargo can be sub-divided into containerized, non-containerized and refrigerated cargo. Noncontainerized cargo presents the most stowage problems because each commodity has its own way of packaging and characteristics witch are bales, bags, cases or steel drums. This diversity of cargobrings a lot of stowage problems because, for example rubber and tobacco can´t have a strong odour and will taint other cargo like rise, also heavy cargo can´t be stowage on the top of fragile cargo...