Sugar

Sugar is carried in sea-going bulk carriers in either its raw bulk state – usually cane sugar but very occasionally beet sugar – from an area of production to a refining site (e.g. Tate & Lyle cane sugar from Mauritius or Fiji to the Silvertown Refinery on the River Thames, London); or refined, usually bagged sugar, from a refinery to a consuming nation. Many exporting nations of bulk raw sugar employ mechanical installations where the product is carried on a moving band before dropping through a spout into a vessel’s holds. Sometimes spreaders are used to distribute the sugar in those holds, thereby improving the trimming and obtaining a better stow. Discharge of bulk, raw sugar is effected by grabs, the contents being dropped into hoppers that empty on to a moving band via a weigh tower into the refinery, storage area, or onward transportation vehicle. Many tropical areas produce and export bulk sugar – e.g. from the Caribbean and the North Coast of the South American Continent (e.g. Barbados and Georgetown, Guyana); from the islands of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius and Reunion); from Southern Africa (e.g. Swaziland) via ports such as Durban; from Bangkok, Thailand; from Fiji; from the Philippines; from Queensland (Australia); and from Brazil (e.g. Santos or Recife). Major importers include the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America.