38. Water Transport

[MUSIC] Welcome back to our lesson on water transport. Upon completion of this lesson, the learner should be able to describe the characteristics of freight movement via water transportation, describe the different types of water transportation flows, and describe the different types of water transportation ships.
There are three primary flows for water transport. There’s ocean transport, inland water systems flows and coastal waters flows. Water transport is the primary mechanism supporting international trade.
It provides effective means for very high volume freight movements at a low freight movement cost. It can move finished products, raw materials, and natural resources from port to port, with ports being located in strategic locations across the globe. While water, particularly ocean freight, is great for high volumes at low cost, it does have comparatively long travel times. Let’s consider an example of a personal computer manufactured in Taiwan,
with a final destination of the East Coast of the United States. If shipped via ocean, it may take a few weeks to arrive, whereas, if traveling by air cargo, it may take a few hours to a good day or two to arrive. Trans-ocean freight generally doesn’t provide door to door service, so in order to get the product to be on-loaded to the ship and then offloaded to ship to the final destination, an additional mode, perhaps rail or truck, is required to get from the port to the final destination, or the origin destination to the shipping vehicle. For domestic freight movements, water transport competes with rail for the movement of bulk commodities, and with pipelines, for the movement of bulk petroleum and chemicals.
One type of water movement is the movement of bulk cargo. This type of freight may be dry or liquid that is not packaged, such as oil, coal, or grains. To move these bulk products, specialized ships such as oil tankers are required, as well as transshipment and storage facilities. Another form of freight movement is break-bulk cargo, where the goods generally consist of packaged cargo. That’s cargo in boxes or drums or other material handling units. Break-bulk cargo generally has numerous origins, numerous destinations, and numerous clients, all leveraging general-purpose terminals, sharing space on the ship, etc.
One thing to note with ocean freight, with these large ocean carriers holding 10,000 or more containers per ship, and each of these containers by the way handling hundreds or thousands of packages in each of these containers, generally, the ships aren’t unloading their full 10,000 or more containers at one single port.
It may be multiple ports that they call upon to unload and to pick up as they go. So for example, an ocean carrier may stop and drop 4,000 containers in Savanna, pick up some containers while they’re there, move on to Baltimore, drop off another 4,000, pick up some, and then move on to Newark, drop off another 4,000 and pick up some before returning to it’s home port.
Before containerization in ocean freight, economies of scale were difficult to achieve. These pictures, especially the one on the right, the container ship, show a well organized ship with freight that is containerized and easy to handle. Before containerization and global standards, can you imagine that ship would have been full of boxes, pallets, drums, etc., every variety of size and shape, and could not efficiently be loaded, unloaded, or transported?
Container ships are cargo vessels where freight is stored in 20-foot or 40-foot weather-tight containers. The capacity of the vessels are often described as 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs. One TEU is equivalent to the volume of one 20-foot container. Containers are loaded and unloaded using pier side cranes, and transport bookings or the contracting for services are based on container load.
Full container load, FCL, is the goods being shipped occupy an entire container. And less than container load, or LCL, is when the goods being shipped by a given shipper occupy less than an entire container. Freight costs vary based on origin, destination, whether it’s FCL or LCL, and other services, as well as negotiation with carriers based on volume.
Bulk carriers are ships designed to transport unpackaged bulk. Bulk ships may have single holds or cavities for hauling single commodities, or they have multiple holds for transporting more than one type of product. The most common type of bulk carrier is a tanker, which moves bulk liquid cargo, such as petroleum.
Another type of water freight vessel is known as roll-on, roll-off vessels, or RORO, R-O-R-O. They are specifically designed to transport cars and trucks, which can be loaded by driving them directly on board. As an example, the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, supports roll-on, roll-off vessels transporting cars, such as Mercedes, which are manufactured in Alabama, and ships them from Brunswick to Europe.
In this lesson, we described the characteristics of freight movement via water transportation, described the different types of water transportation flows, and described the different types of water transportation ships. Thank you for watching, and we’ll see you on the next lesson. [MUSIC]

Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp