University of Rijeka
Faculty of Maritime Studies
MARITIME LAW AND SHIPPING
MODERN SHIPPING TECHNOLOGY
When the world seaborne trade started to boom after World War II, it soon became clear
that the general cargo vessels could hardly cope with the increased traffic efficiently.
It became evident that the cargo flow could be increased by improving the performance
in port, i. e. by decreasing the time required to load and discharge a vessel.
New cargo handling techniques had to be developed, therefore aiming at quicker cargo
handling procedures and a reduction in labour.
Unit Load Concept. General or break bulk cargo, which consists of any arrangements of boxes,
crates, bags, drums, cartons. etc., was formerly transported by the so-called general cargo
vessels. The weight and the dimensions of the cargo were limited to the lifting capacity of the
shore-based crane or by the derrick of the ship. Cargo stowage in the holds was carried out
manually. Research to decrease ship's time in port (or turnaround time) has led to the
introduction of the Unit Load Concept (ULC). The pallet and cargo handling techniques such as
pre-strapping, pre-slinging, and machines like the fork lift truck (FLT) form the basic
components of ULC. The basic idea of the ULC is that small, individual items of cargo could be
coupled, stacked, and slung together to bigger units. These can be handled easily as they require
less time for handling in the port on the quay.
Side loading and the multi-purpose vessel. The application of ULC techniques led to the new
developments of ships, such as the side loader and the multipurpose vessel. The use of side
loading vessels to transport palletised break bulk cargo, reduces the turnround time
considerably. The cargo can be loaded and unloaded quickly, due to the elimination of the so
called lift-on/lift-off procedures and due to the modular shape or the cargo. One possible
disadvantage of this method is the possible loss of space in the holds.
The multipurpose ship is a further perfection of the former general cargo vessel. The basic
features of this type of ship are: wide hatches, more easy operated hatch covers, increased
capacity of the ship's lifting equipment, possibility of carrying heavy lifts on deck, shifting of
the wheelhouse superstructure to aft or three quarters aft to ensure less obstructed cargo
handling in port. The capacities of multipurpose ships range from 10 to 30,000 dwt.
Containerisation. During the First and the Second World War small wooden and iron boxes,
the so-called containers, were used to ship ammunition for the Allies to the various fronts. In
the 1950's the container concept started with the introduction of one type of container which
was loaded on and off the vessels plying between some ports on the coasts of the United States.
This was soon followed by first transatlantic crossings, and the so-called Container Revolution
started. The basic unit of containers is the 20 foot container. The container storage capacity is
usually expressed in TEU (twentyfoot equivalent unit). Various types of containers exist, not
only for the transportation of break bulk cargo, but also for refrigerated, liquid and, on a
smaller scale, bulk cargo. As well as containers, other units of break bulk cargo, such as ro-ro
units and barge loads, belong to this group.
The first ships to carry containers were the modified general cargo vessels mentioned. Soon
after the transatlantic crossings started, the first fully cellular container vessels were built. At
present the following types may be distinguished: 1st generation of container ships, i.e. the
original ships; 2nd generation, which has a capacity ranging from 800-1500 TEU, and 3rd
generation, with a capacity ranging from 1700 to 3000 TEU and over.
Cargo handling equipment has been adjusted to fulfil the requirements of the container concept.
The traditional cargo handling equipment could no longer cope with the bigger and heavier
units, so special equipment had to be designed. This equipment includes portainers, shiptainers,
transtainers, straddle carriers, container fork lift trucks, side loaders, etc.
With the introduction of the container in international transportation, the so-called door-to-door
concept of transportation became a reality. This system involves the loading of a container at the
producer's premises from where it is transported to the consumer without any transfer of
commodities during that transportation.
Door-to-door transport is also identified as Full Container Load (FCL). This is to distinguish
containers which arrive at a terminal loaded with cargo for one consignee or consumer only.
In many cases, however, container loads are less than one FCL and are called Less than
Container Load (LCL).The Container Freight Station (CFS), or groupage shed, is- the place
where full container loads are assembled or dissembled, including stuffing/stripping of
Roll-on/roll-off concept. Although in previous centuries more or less similar types of vessels
were in existence, it was only during World War II that the so-called ro-ro concept was
applied fully for the first time. The ro-ro concept could best be described as follows. Ro-ro
stands for the method of cargo handling by which cargo is not lifted on and off board, as in the
case of lift-on/lift-off vessels, but is lifted and moved on and off the ship horizontally, on its
own or on temporary wheels, via the ramp, which is a hinged door being lowered onto the
Some ferries (ro-ro vessels that carry passengers, private automobiles and wheeled cargo on
the shorter hauls), are equipped with a bow ramp and some even with both bow and stern
ramps. The first types of ro-ro vessels were soon replaced by modern short and deep-sea ships
of a more sophisticated design, equipped with quarter ramps, and more recently, slewing
The ro-ro ship proved particularly profitable during the congestion of the Middle East and
African ports in the 1970's, because they are not dependent of port facilities, such as cranes.
Barge - carrying vessels. A further development of the container my be found in the barge
carrying vessels. In this system the mother ship arrives in the port area, where she loads and
unloads a certain number of barges and leaves the port again. These operations do not have to be
executed alongside a berth, since the barges are floating. The only requirement for barge
handling procedures is a relatively large area of water protected from waves higher than about
one metre. The additional advantage of this system is the relative independence of port
facilities and the relatively easy further transportation from the port to the consignee in the
hinterland and vice versa by means of inland waterways. The major types of barge-carrying
vessels that have been developed are the Lash and the Seabee type ships.
The introduction of the above shipping technologies has allowed for the development of the
so-called multi-modal and intermodal services in the world transportation of goods.
1. What were the main reasons for introducing new shipping technologies in the world
seaborne trade ?
2. What does ULC stand for? Discuss the main s of this system of transport.
3. Discuss the main characteristics of the modern multipurpose vessel.
4. When and where was containerisation introduced on a professional basis ?
5. What does TEU mean ?
6. What are the three generations of the container vessels ?
7. Explain the door-to-door concept of transport.
8. Explain the abbreviations CFS, LCL, FCL.
9. What is the principal technical feature of ro-ro ships ?
1O. Where do these ships prove most profitable and why ?
11. What is the essence of the barge-carrying system ?
12. What is the meaning of the collocation "intermodal transport" ?
I COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY
1. Supply the missing technical terms:
(MULTIPURPOSE VESSEL, FREIGHT RATES, AFT, DOOR-TO-DOOR, BREAK,
BULK, COST OF LABOUR, LIFT-ON/LIFT-OFF, TEU's, FLT's, PORT FACILITIES,
CFS, TRANSTAINERS, BOW, STERN, UNIT LOAD, SHIPTAINERS, QUARTER,
BARGE CARRIERS, FLT, GROUPAGE, MULTIMODAL)
1. The increase of the ship's speed causes the increase of .
2. The main purpose of the new developments in transport was to decrease
the ship's time in port and to reduce the .
3. Any arrangement of crates, boxes, bags, cases, drums, or bales etc. forms
the , or general cargo.
4. The pallet is the basis of the concept.
5. The pallets with pre-slung cargo are handled by .
6. A typical example of the is the SD - 14 type of vessel.
7. In modern ships the superstructure is situated .
8. The cranes handling containers on the quay are called and those in
the stacking area are called
9. The storage capacity of container ships is expressed in .
1O. FCL is another term for the system of transport.
11. The container loads are assembled and dissembled in the ,
12. The container ship is a special type of a vessel.
13. Ro-ro ships are equipped with a number of ramps, which may be the
or ramps, and some also have ramps.
14. Ro-ro ships are particularly suitable in ports where the modern are not
15. The Seabee and the LASH vessel are the most frequent types of .
16. The system of transport involving containers is also known as transport.
1. Supply a suitable verb form (active or passive) as required:
1. The stowage in the hold often (carry out) manually.
2. On the terminal the containers can (handle)by means of FLT's or container cranes.
3. The traffic of the port (increase) after the new technology had been introduced.
4. The palletization of the cargo (reduce) the turn-round time considerably.
5. The cargo (load) before the end of the shift.
6. In the groupage shed the container cargo (assemble) and (dissemble).
2. Word Forms
Complete the following sentences by choosing an appropriate form of the words in the
brackets. Then check the meaning of the word chosen:
1. (arrange, arrangement, make arrangements)
(a) Everything for the safe unloading of containers .
(b) Please for a quick despatch of containerised cargo.
(c) The shipment consists of an of crates, bags, cartons, drums and cases.
2. (carry, carrier, carriage, carrying)
(a) Each ship over 1600 GT should a radio-officer.(b) 3rd generation
container vessels can 3,000 TEU's and more.
(c) COGSA is short for of Goods By Sea Act.
(d) An owner entering into a contract with the shipper for the transportation of goods
by sea is called the .
(e) Main types of barge are LASH, Seabee, and Bacat vessels.
(f) The capacity of the recent container vessels ranges from 3,000 to 4,000
3. (containerise, container, containerisation, containerisable, containerised)
(a) was introduced in the 60's.
(b) A large proportion of general cargo can be easily.
(c) Heavy lifts are a non cargo.
(d) Various forms of are the boxes, cases, casks, etc.
(e) Starting air is stored in air .
(f) When did the Revolution start?
(g) CFS are placed where the cargo is .
4. (load, loading, loaded, unload, loader, unloader, unloading)
(a) Crude oil shipments are carried as complete ship .
(b) Machinery and other heavy are carried loose.
(c) Ship are used for discharging bulk cargo from bulk carriers.
(d) The ship was in six hours.
(e) The ship's turn-round involves and .
(f) Port of Tubarao has three high capacity for the loading of ore.
(g) LCL is short for less than container and CFS is short for a container
1. Najnovija generacija potpuno kontejnerskih brodova ima kapacitet od 3 do 4OOO jedinica i
2. Za normalan rad terminala potrebne su specijalne obalne kontejnerske dizalice.
3. Nova transportna tehnologija zahtijeva brz obrtaj brodova u luci, i manje troškove za radnu
4. Generalni teret obuhvaæa svu robu u sanducima, balama, baèvama, letvaricama, kartonskim
kutijama, kontejnerima, itd.
5. Kod modernih višenamjenskih brodova, kao i kod tankera, te brodova za rasuti teret most sa
kormilarnicom premješten je prema krmi.
6. U sistemu "vrata-vrata" kontejner sadrži robu samo za jednog primaoca.
7. Ro-ro brodovi posebno su pogodni za zakrèene luke i za luke bez moderne prekrcajne
8. Brodovi za prijevoz teglenica pogodni su za luke koje se nalaze na ušæima velikih rijeka i u
zemljama s jakom mrežom unutrašnjih plovnih putova.
IV GUIDED WRITING
Give a short account in writing of the following (using the headlines below):
a) ULC (break bulk cargo, decreasing the ship's time in port, pre-slinging, basic idea of
b) MULTIPURPOSE VESSEL (origin, characteristics, bridge, types of cargo carried,
c) CONTAINERISATION (history, basic unit standards, TEU, types of cargo carried, ship
generations, cargo handling equipment, door-to-door concept, FCL, LCL, CFS)
d) ROLL-ON/ROLL-OFF CONCEPT (history, process of handling, ramps, congested ports)
e) BARGE CARRYING VESSELS (mother ship, barges, port facilities, handling equipment,
inland waterways, types of ships).