Also found in: Dictionary, Financial, Wikipedia.
bulk carrier[¦bəlk ′kar·ē·ər]
a cargo vessel that transports loose and piece cargo without packaging (in bulk). A distinction is made between bulk carriers suitable for transporting a broad assortment of cargoes (general-purpose bulk carriers) or for a single type (ore carriers, coal carriers, cement carriers, and so on). Bulk carriers may also be adapted for transporting liquid cargoes, motor vehicles, and containers. Bulk carriers do not ordinarily have loading equipment; they are loaded and unloaded by port equipment. Some ships are equipped with conveyor belts or pneumatic devices to unload the hold (self-unloading ships).
General-purpose bulk carriers are single-deck vessels with an engine room and stern superstructure, usually with underdeck tanks along the cargo holds. The design of general-purpose bulk carriers (particularly the design in the upper part of the cargo hold of the inclined walls, and also the alternation of full and empty holds) ensures longitudinal and transverse self-distribution of the cargo and eliminates the excess stability typical of conventional cargo ships. Bulk carriers are larger and have greater cargo capacity than other dry-cargo ships (up to 150, 000 tons). The speed of bulk carriers is usually about 28 km/hr (15 knots).
E. G. LOGVINOVICH