Types of Cargo Ships

Posted by Port City Logistics on Jun 27, 2019 11:54:32 AM

Thousands of cargo comes and goes from the port of Savannah, Georgia, every year. Whether you live or work in the area, or are just simply passing by, you may see any one of a plethora of different cargo ships currently in use by logistics companies from around the world. From Ro/Ro vessels to chemical carriers, there is a specialized cargo ship for every kind of cargo. 


Ro/Ro ships
specialize in the relocation of ground vehicles. Ro/Ro stands for "roll on-roll off" as these ships allow ground vehicles to be driven directly out of the vehicle decks, that are organized like parking-structures, inside of the ship. Ro/Ro ships come in many different sizes, but most feature a ramp located on the bow of the ship to allow easy access for ground vehicles. The capacity of a roll on-roll off cargo ship is measured in Car Equivalent Units, and the largest Ro/Ro vessel in the world has a capacity of over 6,000 CEU. 


Container vessels are some of the most common ships that one would find at the cargo ship port in Savannah. Container vessels were created in response to the world logistics industry's nearly universal shift to using shipping containers to transport dry goods. Containers allow goods to be easily moved between ships, trucks, and trains without the need for repackaging. Container ships feature multiple levels of holds that are built to allow containers to be "slotted" into place to maximize storage capacity. Container vessels are some of the largest in the world with many being able to hold over 19,000 medium-sized containers.

Passenger vessels are the most easily recognizable type of cargo ship. The most striking feature of a modern passenger ship are the rows of windows that cover most of the upper decks. When combined with the sleek, modern design of the hull itself, passenger vessels are a symbol of luxury and relaxation. The current largest passenger ship in the world, the MS Harmony Of The Seas, has a maximum passenger capacity of over 6,500 people.

Liquefied gas carriers are another visually striking type of cargo ship. These vessels feature large spherical holding tanks to maximize their strength to be able to handle the highly-pressurized cargo that they carry. Over time, this specific type of vessel has evolved to meet the ever-increasing need for large amounts of petroleum and natural gas around the world. The largest liquid gas carriers can hold over 250,000 cubic meters of cargo.

Bulk carriers are another very common type of cargo ship in most large cargo ports, including the cargo ship port of Savannah. Bulk carriers are designed to carry goods such as coal and ores that have a high weight-to-cost ratio. Goods are stored in separate holds and are sealed by massive hatches. Unloading a bulk carrier can usually be accomplished with cranes, but specialized techniques are sometimes needed to unload certain types of cargo. Grains and other fine materials usually need specialized crane hooks to properly unload. The largest bulk carriers in the world can hold up to 400,000 tons of cargo.

These are just some of the dozens of kinds of cargo ships to look out for the next time you find yourself in the cargo ship port of Savannah. If you need logistics services in Savannah, contact Port City Logistics! We handle your distribution needs so you don’t have to.

Topics: Port of Savannah