Marine cargo can be divided into two major categories: Packed/General Cargo and Unpacked/Bulk Cargo. Unpacked or packed cargo is related to the goods itself and of course it affects what ship type should be used for transportation.
Furthermore, general cargo can be split into three areas of goods: Break bulk, Neo Bulk and Unitizised Cargo.
Break Bulk – is when goods are packed in shipping boxes, bags, barrels, crates, drums and on pallets. Ships used for this cargo are Bulk Carriers or combination ships.
Neo Bulk – is typically lumber, paper, steel, cars & trucks. Ships used here are bulk carriers but also specialized RoRo (vehicle carriers) ships for cars & trucks.
Unitized Cargo – is typically cargo that is packed in containers. In this case it is the container carriers that does the job.
Like the packed cargo, the bulk cargo is also split into two areas: Liquid/Wet Bulk and Dry Bulk.
Liquid bulk – is typically petroleum, gasoline, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), liquid chemicals, juice and wine. Ships used for liquid Bulk are tankers.
Dry Bulk – is typically coal, grain, iron ore, bauxit and cement. Ship type used is geared or gearless bulk carrier.