Capesize Vessels Pressed into Service to Transport Logs and Save Shippers Money

Lumber traders in an attempt to keep their freight cost under control have started using Capesize vessels. Capesize vessels are the largest class of bulk ships and typically carry cargo such as iron ore, coal, and grain. The name Capesize comes from the fact that they are so large that they cannot pass through the Panama Canal and thus have to sail around the Cape of Good hope to sail between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. The market was shocked when it heard that a Capesize ship — the 2013-built, 181,415 dwt MV Cape Pelican — was reportedly being chartered to load logs from Uruguay’s Montevideo port for shipment to North China. Logs are typically moved on the Handysize/Handymax, or Supramax, class bulkers in the 28,000 dwt/38,000 dwt and 57,000 dwt range ships, respectively. Some of the Handysize/Handymax bulkers are specialized log carriers, dedicated to this business. In recent times, the wide freight spread between the Capesize and the smaller Panamax and Supramax bulk carriers has resulted in charterers trying to hire the larger ship to save on freight costs.


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Original Source:
After shipping grains, a Capesize is moving logs in a rare move