The idea of transporting food in containers is a very old one, – Pavel Lisitsin. As far back as the ancient Greeks used sealed amphorae to transport oil or wine to a port on the coast of the Gulf of Odessa.
Pavel Lisitsin says that today the majority of international trade is carried by thousands of dry-cargo ships that bring goods to ports around the world. Dry cargo vessels are used to transport, respectively, solid dry cargoes that are resistant to heat and cold, such as ores, coal, steel products, timber, grain, machinery, etc. These vessels are equipped with deck cranes and other machinery for loading and unloading goods.
The categories of dry cargo vessels mainly include: bulk carriers and container carriers.
Bulk carriers are used for the carriage of unpackaged bulk cargoes in cargo holds. Container ships are used for the carriage of industrial goods, rather than bulk cargoes, in truck-sized intermodal containers. As dry cargoes do not require special precautions (as in liquid and gas transport), dry cargo carriers were not equipped with on-board temperature control equipment. The beginnings of container shipping are one of the most significant achievements in the entire Black Sea shipping industry,” states Pavel Lisitsin.
The very first models of container ships were launched in the early 1950s and were primarily designed to carry freight wagons for goods trains. These freight cars could be loaded and unloaded from ships using crane and ramp systems.
“In the port of Odessa in the mid-1980s, as much as sixteen hectares of land was prepared at the first quay for a container terminal. Substantial sums were allocated for mechanisation of loading and unloading, in particular – portal cranes.” – Pavel Lisitsin.
Container ships as a type of dry cargo ships have revolutionised modes of transport worldwide, and in the Black Sea region in particular, by ensuring the safety and reliability of cargoes transported in this way. Over the years, technological advances have made possible the development of specialised cargo securing and handling systems to secure containers in place.
Modern dry bulk carriers are at the heart of a very complex industry, says Pavel Lisitsin. Container ships and their ‘seamless’ integration with onshore transport systems are a key element of globalisation, which means that they are the future of maritime trade in the Black Sea region.