Thorleif Thorleifsson


In addition to the main segments, you will find a plethora of sub segments and variations in MaritimeOptima. We have a variety of vessels within these segments with different features to serve different purposes.

Some of the variations we have are:

Cement carrier
Photo by Ivan Meshkov


Vessels categorized under this section are fitted and designed for transportation and handling dry cement in bulk. Although many vessels can carry cement (remember to check your cargo exclusion clause), some vessels have a unique design that makes them especially well equipped for special cargo handling systems, loading and unloading the vessel.

The loading of the cement carrier can be performed either pneumatically or mechanically. The gravity of the cargo as well as the design of these vessels, will allow the cargo to flow more easily into the holds without trimming. 

Cargo can be discharged mechanically to shore receiving conveyors or pneumatically in pipelines directly to reception facilities. For these vessels the cargo will be pumped out by compressed air which is supplied by the vessel´s integrated cargo handling equipment. All surplus air from the cargo holds will be evacuated by means of dust collectors which will eliminate dust emission.

The closed system without any hatches will also be unaffected by weather. These vessels can also be used for the carriage of fly ash or slag.

Ore carrier
Photo by Captain Ted

Ore carriers:

Iron ore, found in nature in the form of rocks, will after being processed be sold to the steel industry. This commodity is the dry bulk cargo with the largest trading volume per year.

The ore carriers have been classed to carry heavy cargoes and will often be stiffer due to the high density of the cargo carried. Many of the larger size vessels, like Capes, will be in this category. Since the stowage factor of the ore is low, it is common that the vessel is only semi-empty although the vessel is loaded to her full deadweight. “Alternate hold loading” practice is also common, which means that a Cape will load in hold 1,3,5,7,9. 

Loading is normally carried out by a chute fed (spout) by conveyor into the holds and will be dropped from a great height above the hold. It is not seldom you will see a Cape loading 150,000 mt of cargo in a day. The spout will move and change trim rapidly which will require the vessel to deballast as fast as she is loaded in order not to delay the operation.

Laker bulk carrier
Photo by rburdick27

Bulk carrier laker only:

As the name indicates this type of vessel is designed for trading in the Lakes (St.Lawrence seaways). The uniqueness of the Lakers are that they are designed to enable them to pass through the Lakes navigation locks. They are normally long and narrow and since the ports are often closer together than in ocean trade, the cargo capacity is more important than speed.

These vessels carry bulk materials such as iron ore, grain, limestone, coal or salt from mines and fields of the upper Great Lakes to the industrial areas further east. 

Some of these lakers are fitted with their own self unloading gear. Those vessels will in MaritimeOptima fall under the Bulk carrier self-discharging laker, category. 

Since the Lakers only trade in fresh water, the vessels are less exposed to corrosion damage and can have a very long lifespan. Due to winter ice on the lakes, the navigation season is usually not year-around.

Wood chip carrier
Photo by Geir Vinnes

Wood chip carrier:

The stowage factor of wood chip cargo is usually somewhere between 80 and 110 cubic feet per tonne, thus bulk carriers used in this trade often offer a high cubic capacity. Wood chips are the raw material for paper and in recent years wood chips are also used in biomass power generation.

Normally these vessels have 6 cargo holds and the height of the holds will be higher than that of the bulk carriers. It is imperative with watertight cargo holds, since contact with water will cause the wood chips to expand and could cause severe damage to the structure of the ship.

The vessels are often equipped with cranes, hoppers and belt conveyors in order to enable an efficient unloading of the cargo.

Open hatch bulker
Photo by Charles Dawson

Open hatch:

Open hatch carriers are designed to offer direct access to the holds through hatches which extend the full width of the vessel. These linear sides, without upper and lower wing tanks, allow the vessel to load large cargo units, such as pre-slung timber and logs.

The open hatch bulk carriers can also be used to carry containers on the outward leg, and dry bulk on the return leg. 

Most of these vessels are geared with moving or fixed cranes which may have special attachments such as clamps, multi lifts and frames.

Forest product carrier
Photo by Pekka Jarvinen

Forest products:

Vessels used for carrying timber or logs in the holds and on deck are additionally strengthened on tank-tops, hatch covers, deck and other structures to accommodate these loads. They are normally fitted with cranes that can handle a high weight and permanent of flexible stanchions to support logs/timbers lashed on deck.
Lashing materials can be turnbuckles, wire ropes, chains etc and they should be fitted with a quick release mechanism to be able to release the deck cargo in case of emergency.

Urea carrier
Photo by Helen Krmic

Urea carrier:

Urea is a widely used fertilizer. It will be shipped in bags or in bulk and require clean, dry holds free of contamination and loose rust. It will be loaded and discharged using either ships cranes or shore cranes. 

General cargo carrier
Photo by Michael van der Meer

General cargo:

These vessels are also referred to as multi-purpose vessels. They are designed for flexibility and can carry a huge variety of commodities in different forms, like boxed, refrigerated or palletized material. Most of these vessels are equipped with gear allowing them to call smaller ports and terminals that do not have shoreside loading and unloading facilities.

Palletized cargo carrier
Photo by Ingvar

Palletized cargo:

By palletizing the cargo you will create a portable unit that can be lifted by a forklift so it can be shipped. The cargo will be attached to a pallet by various means of strapping material all depending on the size, type, weight and shape of your cargo. This process will help in ease handling and storage of the goods on the vessel.

Refined sugar:

Refined sugar is nearly always carried in bags. The ships hold should be clean, dry and free from any noticeable smell prior loading. Tight block-stowage is the customary method of stowing the cargo.

Self discharger bulk carrier
Photo by Fabian Vornholt


The self-discharging vessels have equipment onboard, usually in form of conveyor or crane facilities, that allow them to operate in less sophisticated areas since they are capable of discharging directly on the quay, or to hoppers, to barges or directly to a warehouse, depending on the outreach of the unloading equipment. They are also able to operate 24 hours a day and do not require the expense of stevedores.

Self-unloaders are ideal for handling commodities such as salts, fertilizers, aggregates, coal, grains, ores and minerals.

Caustic soda bulk carrier
Photo by Brian Wayne Scott

Caustic soda:

Caustic soda solution is a product used in the aluminum industry to dissolve aluminum compounds found in bauxite. It is a heavy liquid cargo. Many of the Cabus and Cleanbu types are used to carry caustic soda or other liquids such as urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) solution and molasses as well as dry cargoes such as salt, alumina, bauxite, ore , coal and grain. The cleanbu type is both a fully-fledged LR1 product tanker and Kamsarmax bulk carrier.

Although we have made this variation categorization, this does not exclude the fact that a lot of the previously mentioned vessels can be used in other trades as well. Many of the “normal” type vessels can carry these commodities as well. We urge you to take a look at your cargo and trading exclusions and use the Maritime Optima variation when you want to limit your search for vessels even more.

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