The Bulk Cargo requires shipping services in which large quantity of one type of cargo can be carried at low per unit cost. These services are provided by carriers known as Tramps. Quite naturally, there are different types of tramp ships to carry different kinds of bulk cargo.
On the other hand, carriers which provide regular and scheduled shipping services to carry heterogeneous cargo suiting the marketing requirements of General Cargo are known as Liners. A liner ship is built and run to satisfy the transport demand of a variety of cargos. Let us now discuss them in detail.
Liner Shipping Service:
The liner ship has the following features:
- Liner ship is designed to carry a variety of cargo, with spaces for bales, bundles, boxes, barrels, drums, etc, as well as for reefer (refrigerated) cargo. The designs of the holds and number of decks in cargo will be different from those of a tramp. With the increased share of containerized cargo, specially designed container ships for carrying different categories of containers operate.
- The cargo handling equipment on a liner will be varied and sophisticated for quick loading and unloading of cargo to ensure a quick turnaround. A quick turnaround means that the ship spends the least possible time in the port and most of its time in transit.
- Liner ships frequently operate between fixed ports and normally loads in several ports. It serves a number of discharging ports along a pre-determined route.
- In order to ensure speedier carriage, liner ship is fitted with sophisticated and expensive propelling machinery.
- Liner shipping service provides pre-announced scheduled services on given terms and conditions of carriage. These conditions in the receipt mostly relate to the responsibilities and liabilities of the shipowners, carriage, and delivery of cargo.
- Liner shipping generally offers carriage on fixed and stable freight rates.
Tramp Shipping Service:
The tramp carrier has the following characteristics features:
- Tramp carrier is primarily designed to carry the more simple and homogeneous cargo in huge quantity. It is, therefore, designed to completely utilize its carrying capacity for carriage of one type of cargo.
- Since one kind of homogeneous cargo is to be handled, a tramp will have the comparatively simple equipment. Bulk cargos are normally loaded and discharged by mechanical equipment, elevators, pumps, etc.
- Because of the comparatively low unit value of commodities carried, a tramp will be operated at the lowest possible cost. This objective can be achieved by operating ships having relatively less speed by fitting less expensive propelling machinery.
- A tramp generally carries cargos of one or two ship users. Hence, loading and discharging are confined to a few ports.
- Tramp carriers do not have a fixed route and predetermined schedule of departure as it is to be engaged by one/two users as and when their need arises.
- Tramp carrier offers services at terms and conditions, including freight/hire charges, which are not fixed and given but are negotiable.