Shipping trivia Quiz
Q1. A bulk freighter of approximately 80,000 deadweight tons (DWT) size is called _________ ?
Panamax size. Sizing for bulk freighters is as follows: Approximately 20,000 DWT - Handysize Approximately 45,000 DWT - Handymax size Approximately 80,000 DWT - Panamax size 80,000 - 200,000 DWT - Capesize Handysize ships often operate coastal routes that don't take them very far to sea. The "Panamax" size gets its name from being the largest size bulk freighter that can routinely pass through the Panama Canal.
Q2. What do the initials "U. L. C. C." as a size of tanker stand for?
Ultra Large Crude Carrier. A "U. L. C. C." (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) is the largest of the "supertanker" classes and is sized at over 300,000 deadweight tons (DWT). Although tankers are used to carry all kinds of liquids, the largest sizes (V. L. C. C. and U. L. C. C.) are rarely, if ever, used to transport anything other than crude oil.
Q3. What do the letters "LNG" on the side of a ship indicate?
Designed to transport liquefied natural gas. LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers, along with the similar LPG (liquefied propane gas) carriers, are considered a separate class of ship. Although similar to tankers, LNG and LPG carriers require special refrigeration equipment to maintain cargo hold temperatures that are cold enough to keep their cargo returning to the gaseous state.
Q4. How does a "heavy lift" vessel that is semi-submersible load its cargo?
Partially sinking itself with ballast, floating the cargo over the ship, and then refloating the ship. Heavy lift vessels commonly carry extremely large, odd shaped cargoes, including smaller vessels. Cargo is generally floated on pontoons for loading. The heavy lift vessel takes on ballast like a submarine, eventually sinking its main deck. The cargo is then floated over the ship, often pushed or pulled there by tugs. Once the cargo is in place, the ballast is jettisoned to refloat the heavy lift vessel under the cargo. Heavy lift vessels were used to remove the wreckage of the Norwegian pure car carrier Tricolor from the English Channel after she sunk due to a collision with the fast container ship Kariba.
Q5. What is one of the primary weaknesses of the Pure Car Carrier (PCC) or Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PC/TC)?
The large cargo hold with no watertight bulkheads causes the ship to become unstable and capsize relatively easily when water gets in. PCCs and PC/TCs can carry well over 1,000 vehicles in their massive cargo holds (the Tricolor, mentioned in the information for the previous question, had about 2,000 new Saab, Volvo, and BMW cars aboard when she sank). With no watertight bulkheads, water taken on when the ship is damaged can spread throughout the hold, rapidly destabilizing the vessel. Once it begins taking on water, a PCC or PC/TC usually capsizes within a few minutes, and often within a few seconds.
Q6. Refrigerated ships are slowly being displaced by ______ ?
Container ships using refrigerated containers. Refrigerated ships have always been plagued by highly seasonal operations, with most of their deployments taking place in February and March. Since shipping companies do not like to have their ships virtually laid up for most of the year, they looked for and found a way around it: refrigerated containers for use on container ships. Since container ship operations are not particularly seasonal, this made sense, especially with the advent of the more than double sized FEU (forty foot equivalent unit) high box (9'-6" high instead of 8'-0") containers, which could be refrigerated just like roughly equally sized refrigerated truck trailers. Although new "reefer" ships are still being built, their importance is diminishing as more and more carriers switch to refrigerated containers.
Q7. On container ships, what do the initials "TEU" stand for?
Twenty foot Equivalent Unit containers (20' long standardized containers). There are actually four standard container sizes used on container ships: the TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit), FEU (Forty foot Equivalent Unit), and "high box" versions of each (9'-6" tall instead of 8'-0"). Once loaded, containers are quickly secured to their neighboring containers at all eight corners by use of a built-in "twist lock". Lashing poles then secure the entire stack to the ship. Container ships are built for speed, both underway and in loading and unloading: a container ship can load and unload the same amount of cargo in a few hours that would take a bulk ship several days to load and unload.
Q8. A common use for a "RORO" vessel is a _______ ?
Car carrying ferry. RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) vessels are best known as car carrying ferries, although there are pure freight ROROs where trucks are literally driven aboard with their cargo and then transported to another port. Vehicles are usually driven on and off through doors in the stern of the ship, although ROROs have been built with bow doors. Like PCC and PC/TC vessels, ROROs have a large cargo hold (car deck) with no watertight bulkheads. Bow doors, if improperly sealed, allow water into the car deck, and instability and capsizing soon follow. This has led some wags to refer to these ships as ROROROs: Roll On, Roll Off - Roll Over!
Q9. A "geared" bulk freighter is one that _____ ?
Has its own onboard cranes for loading and unloading. Geared bulk freighters carry their own cranes, which is anywhere from handy to essential in some ports where cargo handling equipment is limited or doesn't exist. "Bulkers" carry large cargoes of dry products such as grain, coal, sulphur, scrap metal, and iron ore. Because of their heavy use, their life expectancy is relatively short. With demand for bulk freight services exceeding the supply of ships, many "bulkers" are serving long after they should have been scrapped, and disaster may follow.
Q10. A tanker of between 120,000 and 180,000 deadweight tons (DWT) size is called ______ ?
Suezmax size. Tankers come in seven general sizes: Approximately 20,000 - 30,000 DWT - Handysize Approximately 45,000 DWT - Handymax size Approximately 79,000 DWT - Panamax size Approximately 79,000 - 120,000 DWT - Aframax size Approximately 120,000 - 180,000 DWT - Suezmax size Approximately 200,000 - 300,000 DWT - VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) size Over 300,000 DWT - ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) size The Panamax size is the largest that can traverse the Panama Canal; the Aframax is the largest that can be handled by many ports and waterways; and the Suezmax size is the largest that can traverse the Suez Canal. The VLCC and ULCC "supertankers" are rarely, if ever, used for transporting any liquid other than crude oil. Note that 60% of the world's oil is transported by ship, and over 99% of that arrives safely at its destination without causing significant environmental damage: most of the oil you see at the beach is an accumulation of fuel leaks from all types of vessels, not cargo leaks from tankers.
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