Urea is widely used fertiliser with a high nitrogen content, transported around the world in bulk or in bags depending upon the infrastructure of the importing area.
Urea can be obtained semi-naturally from the body fluids and urine of animals, termed Animal Urea, but as a commercial commodity is more often chemically derived, such as from methane/formaldehyde, and termed Technical Urea.
A major export of Alaska, the Middle East, Romania, Russia, and Germany, in particular, although potentially an export of any nation blessed with supplies of natural gas. Urea in bulk requires especially clean and dry cargo compartments.
A considerable quantity of Artificial Fertilizers are moved in bulk in small vessels over short sea distances, the specialized trades in these areas preferring ships with steel rather than with wooden ceilings.
Urea shippers insist always on steel ceilings but exporters of certain other products may accept ships with timber flooring in case of need, although they will be acutely conscious of the cleanliness of the timber and will prefer the less moisture absorbing hardwood rather than ships fitted with softwood ceilings.
Softwood tends to attract essential moisture from Artificial Fertilizer, which moisture helps create a consistent and uniform granular shape to the product, causing the delivery of undesirable Powdered Fertiliser.
These products can also be damaged by suction/vacuvator discharge, receivers preferring the cargo to be handled by grabs which again means that ships with steel ceilings/tank tops will have an advantage.
Urea Stowage Factor:
- Bulk Urea Stowage Factor 45/55
- Bagged Urea Stowage Factor 55/65