TYPES OF SHIPS
A ship is a large buoyant watercraft. Ships are
generally distinguished from boats based on size,
shape and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used
on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities,
such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,
entertainment, public safety, and warfare. Historically,
a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three
square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit.
Ships and boats have developed alongside humanity. In
armed conflict and in daily life they have become an integral
part of modern commercial and military systems. Fishing
boats are used by millions of fishermen throughout the
world. Military forces operate vessels for combat and to
transport and support forces ashore. Commercial vessels,
nearly 35,000 in number, carried 7.4 billion tons of cargo in
2007. As of 2011, there are about 104,304 ships with IMO
numbers in the world.
A bulk carrier, bulk freighter, or bulker is a merchant ship
specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo,
such as grains, coal, ore, and cement in its cargo holds.
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their 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
Ships used to move packaged merchandise from one location
to another. Due to the vast range of cargo materials, these
ships are often designed specifically for the cargo which they
will carry. Cranes and other heavy equipment needed to move,
load and unload cargo are usually on-board. General cargo
vessels are vital to international trade.
Vehicle carriers are multi-deck cargo ships
designed to carry new cars and trucks
(IHS/Fairplay). The cargo is loaded via ramps.
Livestock carriers are those ships, which specialise
exclusively in the transportation of large numbers of live
animals together with their requirements for the voyage.
(food, water, sawdust bedding, medication, etc.). Voyages on
livestock carriers generally last from three days to three to
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.
A fishing vessel is a boat or ship use to catch fish in the
sea, or on a lake or river. Many different kinds of vessels
are used in commercial, artisanal and recreational
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: the crude tanker
and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large
quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of
extraction to refineries.
A gas carrier (or gas tanker) is a ship
designed to transport LPG, LNG or liquefied
chemical gases in bulk.
A chemical tanker is a type of tanker ship designed to transport
chemicals in bulk. As defined in MARPOL Annex II, chemical
tanker means a ship constructed or adapted for carrying in bulk
any liquid product listed in chapter 17 of the International Bulk
A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is
to carry passengers. The category does not include cargo
vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of
passengers, such as the ubiquitous twelve-passenger freighters
once common on the seas in which the transport of passengers
is secondary to the carriage of freight.