Shipspotters all over the world => Consultations and review of site standards => Topic started by: Frans Eykel on August 13, 2018, 05:44:23 am

Title: Catagory standards
Post by: Frans Eykel on August 13, 2018, 05:44:23 am
Please clarify the difference between a "Bulker" and "General Cargo". From what I see its really mixed up.

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: Pieter Inpyn on August 13, 2018, 08:20:46 am
Instead of this general statement, can you mention some examples? The members, admins and editors put a lot of effort in the correct categories, with the IMO as guide line and the IMO guides us back to the official databases like Fairplay, Lloyds, Veritas, etc.

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: Clyde Dickens on August 13, 2018, 08:51:02 am
If other Admins and members have suggestions I will incorporate them in a Guidance FAQ

FAQ Editor

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: simonwp on August 13, 2018, 09:27:17 am
We have discussed categories on other threads recently, and there does seem to be a problem with the site categories as currently set up, as they don't always reflect the multi-purpose nature of a lot of modern vessels. The definition of bulker should be straightforward, i.e. a vessel constructed with the sole purpose of carrying dry cargo's in bulk. However general cargo is not so straightforward today. Many vessels are constructed as multi-purpose, with equal ability to carry dry bulk, general, project, and containers, and often do in consecutive voyages. They don't find easily into site categories as currently defined. Recently their was a vessel in Immingham, which arrived inwards with a full load of containers, discharged, and went off charter. She then moved across the dock, and loaded a full cargo of bulk pet coke outwards. Previous photographs of her on the site had her classified as general cargo, her true description should be multi-purpose but there is no provision for this, or perhaps just "cargo". The same applied to a lot of modern offshore vessels, which are multi-purpose and can operate across the site categories, often having modules that can be added or removed as necessary.

Additionally there is no category for ro-con vessels such as those operated by ACL, Grimaldi, TOTE etc, so members can get confused as to which category they should be under.

However, it has to be said, that with approx. 2.5m photographs on the site, it will be a massive job to sort out.

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: Bob Scott on August 13, 2018, 01:18:22 pm
I canít really see much of a problem with the categories on this site. The required information as to what category a ship should be in is easily available on the net from

On the matter of differentiating bulk carriers from general cargo ships - especially those of the open-hatch type: The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) defines a bulk carrier as a single-deck ship with a double bottom, hopper tanks, single-skin, transverse-framed side shell, topside tanks and deck hatchways. Therefore, IACS classifies multi-purpose open-hatchers, which have double-skinned sides, no topside tanks and hatches which open the full width of the holds, as general cargo ships and this differentiation is followed in the site standards.
Multi-purpose general cargo/container ships do not have fixed cell guides; like container ships do.

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: simonwp on August 13, 2018, 01:37:29 pm
that's very good Bob Scott, but part of the problem is that not everyone uses Equasis, or has the inclination to look up the IACS standards. It is further complicated by some admin using sources other than Equasis for check site categories, i.e. some use Miramar. And, of course, Equasis only cover modern ships, and only shows them as they are now, i.e. if a ship has been converted to another type it doesn't always show it. In my view the site categories are too numerous, and inconsistent. For example the date breaks don't always coincide.

If it's made too complicated to post photographs, people won't bother. However making it simple now will be difficult. It would help if we just used one source for ship categories, whether it be Equasis, Miramar, or something else.

Title: Re: Catagory standards
Post by: Bob Scott on August 13, 2018, 01:46:25 pm
I wasn't suggesting that anyone looks up IACS standards. I was just trying to explain the difference between a bulk carrier and an open-hatcher (also known as open-hatch bulkers). Hopefully someone learned something new about ships by it. The hobby is much more interesting when you learn a little about how ships work.