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Merchants and ships

Types of cargo travelling the St. Lawrence

Many everyday products, or their components, are shipped on the St. Lawrence: manufactured goods (e.g. shampoo, clothing, televisions, wine, toys, aircraft engines), foodstuffs (e.g. grains, coffee, tea), machinery, vehicles and various types of electronic equipment.The means used to transport goods depend on their characteristics. The three main categories are:

Bulk (solid or liquid)

Bulk refers to large volumes of product loaded directly into ship holds. A distinction is made between dry bulk (e.g. wheat and ore) and liquid bulk (e.g. petroleum products and chemical products). Bulkers and tankers are used to carry this type of cargo.

General breakbulk cargo

General breakbulk cargo transport includes products like steel, aluminum, machinery and various types of equipment.

General containerized cargo

Finished manufactured products are shipped in containers, that is, metal shells allowing many parcels or products to be grouped into a single type of packaging. Container-carrier ships transport this type of cargo.

Vessel types

Different types of vessels are seen on the St. Lawrence. While the majority carry cargo, some, like cruise ships and ferries, carry passengers.  

Bulker: Ship carrying bulk goods: grain, coal, ore. Self-unloading bulkers unload the bulk freight themselves and offer enormous versatility for cargo delivery.
Multipurpose vessel: Ship designed to carry many types of cargo: refrigerated, bulk, containerized, etc.
Tanker: Ship used to carry liquid bulk, especially petroleum and petroleum products.
Container-carrier: Type of commercial ship specialized in transporting containerized goods.
Search and rescue ship: Type of ship specialized in search and rescue activities.
Cruise ship : Ship used for cruises spanning many days
Tour boat : Ship used for cruises of short duration (a few hours)
Ferry: Ship specially designed to carry passengers, vehicles or wagons from one bank to the other, crossing rivers, lakes, sea arms.
Tugboat: Mechanically-propelled vessel equipped with powerful engines, built to move ships from one location to another in a port, on a river or sometimes at sea.
Barge: Flat-bottomed boat that is not self-propelled but pulled or pushed by a tugboat.

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