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Bulk Ship Size Categories

Bulkers are segregated into six major size categories: 

  1. small, 
  2. handysize
  3. handymax
  4. panamax
  5. capesize
  6. and very large.  (Very large bulk and ore carriers fall into the capesize category but are often considered separately.)

Size in DWT
10,000 to 35,000
35,000 to 59,000
60,000 to 80,000
80,000 and over

Categories as per regions

  • Kamsarmax : Maximum length overall 229 meters refers to a new type of ships, larger than panamax, that are suitable for berthing at the Port of Kamsar (Republic of Guinea), where the major loading terminal of bauxite is restricted to vessels not more than 229 meters.
  • Newcastlemax : Maximum beam 50 meters, and maximum length overall of 300 meters Refers to the largest vessel able to enter the port of Newcastle, Australia at about 185,000 DWT
  • Setouchmax : About 203,000 DWT, being the largest vessels able to navigate the Setouch Sea, Japan
  • Seawaymax : LOA 226 m max / 7.92 m draft. Refers to the largest vessel that can pass through the canal locks of the St Lawrence Seaway (Great lakes, Canada)
  • Malaccamax : LOA 330 m / 20 m draft / 300,000 DWT, Refers to the largest vessel that can pass through the Straits of Malacca.
  • Dunkirkmax : Maximum allowable beam = 45 m / LOA 289 m. max (175,000 DWT approx) for the eastern harbour lock in the Port of Dunkirk (France).


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