General Cargo Ships

General-cargo liner ship has not changed fundamentally in the last 40 or 50 years. It is a multi-deck vessel of about 6–15,000 tons and is capable of loading dry cargo in either packaged or bulk form. A quick look at the ships from the Second World War shows that although the midship superstructure has been moved aft, fundamentally and functionally there is little real difference. Following the major losses of ships during the Second World War, various ship types were mass-produced to reduce costs and increase production. The purpose of this statement is not simply to indulge in nostalgic reminiscence but to underline one or two basic contemporary facts. That principles and advantages of mass production can apply equally to shipbuilding. However, although this is true, unlike other modes of transport there is very little series building of ships at the moment. The long life of the Liberty ship (there were over 2,800 built during the war and there were still 680 in service in 1967) showed that there was and still is a use for a cheap, universally known and understood workhorse class of tramp ship capable of carrying anything anywhere. As the last of the Liberties made their way to the scrapyard a number of ‘Liberty replacement’ types were launched, of which there are two particularly worthy of note.

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