Carrier ships - some thougts

  • Using a carrier is such a tranquil and relaxed method of transporting goods. The carrier is like an mobile port or an island in the Sea.
  • From rowing boats, ro-ros and cargo ships right up to battle cruiseres and submarines - all can fit on board.
  • Different types of ship can all be loaded onto the carrier and transported at the same time. Therefore, carriers are easy to hire out and so quickly pay for themselves. It is only the gas tankers that, due to their fllammability, require special handling.
  • The carrier´s side opening ensures that all ships, at any berth and at any time, are easily able to enter or leave the carrier´s hold.
  • In dangerous seas, naval vessels can provide protection by travelling along on the carrier. Even a battleship only takes up around 3-10% of the carrier´s cargo capacity, and who would attack on of those? During the voyage, the naval escort can always put to sea to deal with problems in the immediate vicinity. This considerably reduces governments' expenditure on providing vaval protection against possible piracy. The relevant countries' navies can instead provideeffective and econimical protection against piracy.
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  • Carrier ships can also feature passenger cabins with balconies along their long sides.
  • Passengers on carriers apparently never become seasick. Because of its size, the carrier remains calm and steady in the water, even in stroms.
  • Carrier ships with casinos: the bored crew members of the loaded freighters can gamble away their pay in casinos. However, it is more likely that anothership would take the crew to the next port, or that they would be taken to their next duiteis by helicopter, wther to the next port or to another carrier.
  • Mineral oil concerns can operate carrier ships so as to create a floating "fuelling station network". The ships being so transported can be coaled during the voyage, or small repairs can be carried out on them.
  • Cargo ships being transported on the carrier do not need to be as powerful as would otherwise be the case. The tanks and engines only need to be small, as the distances covered are only short and theiy can be refuelled on the carrier. This leaves more space for the cargo, and in the event of an accident, there is relatively little fuel that can escape.
  • Cargo ships can run on diesel, or be converted to run on environmentally friendly gas.
  • Insurence premiums for cargo ships being transported in this way are considerably lower, as the carrier provides save, secure passage.
  • When running empty, the cargo ships require much less ballast water - perhaps even none at all. This avoids the environmental problems that can occur when emtying it, as alien species containded in it can be released. The carrier undertakes the greater part of the journey.
  • Because multiple cargo ships are being transported at once, maritime traffic is less congested and therefore more economical. Instead of 10 or 20 smaller cargo ships on the seas, there is instead only one larger carrier ship. This is ideal for bottlenecks such as the English Channel.
  • Container ships, bulk carriers, oil and LNG tankers can be smaller once again. Smaller units, with a draught of, for example, 10-12m, a width of 48m (32m for the Panama canal) and approximately 100-300m long are not longer dependent on deepwater ports. Carriers can theoretically safely transport up to 1.5m tonnes, and at the same time, can use smaller transport units to deliver cargo to multible ports. The length, breadth and depth of the cargo ships being loaded is only restricted by the destination port and the inner dimensions of the carrier's hold. For certain purposes, there are also carriers with draugths of 25 or 28 metres and withhold widths of 60m or more.
  • Smaller container ships, e.g. 3000-10000 TEU, can be loaded with cargo for only a small number of ports, and do not need to touch at every port. In future, the design of cargo ships will not need to rely so much on speed and capacity. Instead, they can be wider but with a smaller draugth, i.e. 10-12m. Despite their smaller draugth, the extra width would mean that they could carry a similar amount of cargo.
  • Up until now, megaliners have carried thousands of unnecessary cargoes destinated for far-off locations; transporting them from port to port, only unloading them at their final destination, e.g. Wilhelmshaven or Hamburg. They are only able to access most ports with reduced cargoes, and even then, only with great difficulty, with the help of several tugboats.
  • The container terminals' workload is made much lighter if a series of smaller ships, with a TEU of up to 10000 TEU and  which are not dependent on the tides, can be coninuously loaded, ensuring that the flow of goods remains uninterrupted. Furthermore, if a smaller cargo ship breaks down, the disruption is not so great. On the other hand, due to storms etc., larger megaliners sometimes miss their allocated time slot for the tides, disrupting the entire logistics chain. When dispached ware houses are stuffed full of export containers that could not be loaded onto the expected megaliner, this brings enormous problems and costs, both for the terminal itself and for the access roads.
  • Idle periods and port dues are reduced. Cargo ships are only loaded for certain ports, and can be loaded and unloaded more quickly.
  • Carriers can serve all the important ports on routes from Asia, Austrailia or America to the Baltic ports and Scandinavia. Less cargo needs to be transferred to feeder ships.
  • Ship owners can save themselves canal dues and travel round South Africa. Urgent cargo can be unloaded and tranported down the Suez Canal. At the other side of the Suez, a carrier picks the freigther up again.
  • Carriers can even withstand so-called freak waves, or monster waves. Even if the carrier beakes up, it does not sink. The hold areas are already full of water and the cargo it stores (ships) already float.
  • In heavy storms, the cargo ships remain on board the carrier. If there is no more free room additional ships can moor up and find protection in the shipping lane.
  • Thanks to using safe and secure carrier ships, there is an enormous reduction in the amount of containers being lost at sea.
  • Fires at sea are the worst nightmare of every seafarer, but are easily extinguished inside a carrier.
  • Thanks to the closed hold area, any contaminants remain on board, and can be easily siphoned off.
  • During the long, monotonous and unproductive passage over the oceans, a small team of staff is sufficient for the cargo ships loaded. Strictly speaking, no crew at all is nessessary. A skeleton crew is only required shortly before unloading, for the short distance to and from the port. Ship owners can hire dockers from a personnel pool at the respective ports.
  • The carrier's engines are separate units that can be completely finished in the engine works. This includes steering systems and the entire ancillary units, perhaps even including propellers and rudder systems. After the carrier has been launched, these are then floated into place and fitted as complete, fully operational units. This removes the need for dismantling after a dry run in the engine works, along with the need for to rebuild it in the engine room and then carry out a further trial run on board the ship. Similarly, individual drive units can be replaced at any time while the carrier is in operation, and engines can removed as operational units before scrapping.
  • Double hull tankers replace integral tanks on board the carrier. This is an extremly adaptable solution (a network of refuelling tanks) and very save.


  • Carrier ships with skimmers: thanks to retractable skimmers, a rough cleaning of the surface of the shipping lane can be performed during the journey, without many additional overheads. The width of the area that can be skimmed in this way is in the region of 70-100m. This means that, for a 1000km distance and 70m channel width, an area of 70 x 1,000,000m (70square kilometres) can theoretically be cleaned.


  • Carrier ships with container terminal: smaller quantities of containers can be tranferred from ship to ship on the carrier during the crossing. And at the terminal annexe, the carrier itself can also serve as an interim storage facility, either for empty containers, or containers that will remain there for longer periods. The containers are transported along the carrier ship using lorries.

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