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Dry Bulker Business

Dry Bulkers Designed for Specific Needs

The Capesize bulker AWOBASAN MARU

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Outline of Services

The Wood chip carrier SOUTHERN TREASURE

There are various sizes and types of dry bulkers according to the volume of cargo to be transported and facilities
at ports of call.

Capesize bulkers, the largest dry bulkers in service, can transport various cargoes including iron ore and coal. They got the name "Capesize" because they could not pass through the Panama Canal before its expansion in 2016 and had to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via the Cape of Good Hope. Among Capesize vessels, the largest class is called very large ore carriers (VLOCs). Overall, these ships are massive, designed to maximize their capacity to load and transport iron ore, which has a high specific gravity, but the holds are narrow to boost the efficiency of loading and discharging.

Panamax bulkers are the largest ships capable of transiting the pre-expansion Panama Canal. They measure up to 900ft (about 274m) long and 106ft (about 32m) wide. They are well suited to transport grain shipped from ports on the Gulf of Mexico to Asia through the Panama Canal, as do Handymax bulkers.

Handymax and Handysize bulkers are equipped with loading/unloading equipment, allowing them to load and discharge cargo at ports that do not have their own facilities. The "Handy" in their names refers to the convenience of being able to load and unload at virtually any port. These bulkers transport a variety of dry bulk cargoes such as grain, minor metals, and steel products, in smaller lots than Capesize and Panamax bulkers.The MOL Group also operates other various specialized bulkers such as woodchip carriers, cement carriers, and heavyweight product carriers.

Loading wood chips
Loading coal
Loading steel products
Unloading cargo from a Capesize bulker
Handymax bulker DYNA CRANE

Dry Bulker Sizes

The Wood chip carrier SOUTHERN STAR

The size used for each service is determined by the transport lot requested by the customer, which depends on various factors such as the volume of cargo to be transported, restrictions at the ports of call, and so on, and the optimal size is selected to meet the lot. Transport lots show a rough trend according to the type of cargo.
The chart at right shows standard combinations of cargo and hull design.

Size Category and Main Transport Cargoes

* dwt: Deadweight tonnage
* Other combinations of size and cargo are possible on a voyage-by-voyage basis.


1878 The iron-hulled steamer Hideyoshi Maru begins ocean transport of Miike coal from Kuchinotsu, Japan, to Shanghai.
1897 The Hikosan Maru is launched as the first Japanese-flag tramper.

Mitsui Steamship Co., Ltd. (Mitsui Line)'s first iron ore carrier, the Yashiwosan Maru, is launched.

1962 Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK Line)'s first iron ore carrier, the Harriet Maru, is launched.
1967 MOL's first grain carrier, the Hagoromo Maru, is launched.
MOL's first woodchip carrier, the Daio Maru, is launched.
1970 MOL's first Capesize bulker, the Yachiosan Maru, is launched. It is Japan’s largest at the time.
1981 MOL's first coal carrier, the Kurotakisan Maru, is launched.
2007 (Then) World largest iron ore carrier, Brasil Maru is launched.
It receives the Ship of the Year 2007 award from the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers.
2021 MOL reorganizes Dry Bulk Business within the Group and establishes "MOL Drybulk Ltd."

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