What to Know When Buying a Cargo Ship for Sale

The shipping business is high in demand these days as people are looking for cheaper means to transport goods between places. The profits in the shipping business are definitely increasing, generating further interest in the industry. If you are also planning to hop on the bandwagon, the first step is to start looking for a cargo ship you can use to transport goods.

You definitely cannot get on with your shipping business without having a proper cargo ship.

How Is a Cargo Ship Different From Other Ships?

Cargo ships are nothing like commuting and fishing boats you might have had the experience of using in the past. These ships are specifically designed for transporting goods, and therefore, everything about them, from buying requirements to storage options, is completely different. No one is allowed to commute on these boats except the cabin crew.

These ships have large spaces where shipment containers can be stored to get maximum weight capacity during every trip. Compared to other ships, they need to be parked at proper docks with permission and are slightly more expensive.

So, you should only start looking for a cargo ship for sale when you are really serious about that shipping business of yours!

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What Should I Look For In a Cargo Ship for Sale?

Before you seal the deal on a cargo ship, make sure you prepare an evaluation list. When it comes to cargo ships, you have to evaluate weight, capacity, make, model and price. If you are planning to ship heavy-duty items, you should look for ships made with heavy duty material.

For some niche shipping businesses, like those dealing specifically with the shipment of medical equipment, there are separate types of cargo ships available in the market that are built keeping the safety measures for such equipment in mind.

So, having a clear idea about what you are intending to ship is going to be really helpful in making the right decision when you are looking to buy a cargo ship.

Types of Cargo Ships

Cargo ships are divided in different categories, depending mainly on two factors; size and purpose. Cargo ships categorized on the basis of their use include:

  • Container boats – Used for carrying 20, 40 and 45 tons containers of merchandise.

  • Bulk vessels – Used for transporting bulk commodity items like iron ore, coal and wheat etc.

  • Breakbulk vessels –Used for carrying a mixture of different types of cargo including bagged and palletized cargo.

  • Ro-Ro vessels – Used for transporting wheeled cargo such as vehicles and excavators.

  • Multi-purpose vessels –Used for transporting cargoes of all types mentioned above.

  • Tanker vessels –Used for carrying liquid items like chemicals and oil.

  • Crude carriers – These vessels only carry crude oil.

  • LNG carriers Used for transporting Liquefied Natural Gas.

  • Reefer vessels –Used to carry temperature-sensitive cargo like fish, fruit and meat.

On the basis of size, weight and dimension, cargo ships are divided into categories including:

  • Handy size ships – These ships are the smallest and weigh between 28,000 and 40,000 DWT.

  • Handymax ships  These ships weigh between 40,000 and 50,000 DWT.

  • Panamax – This type of ship is the largest that can pass through the Panama Canal, weighing between 60,000 and 80,000 DWT.

  • Aframax  These are usually tankers that weigh between 75,000 and 115,000 DWT.

  • Suezmax  Weighing around 150,000 DWT, this is the largest ship type that can pass through Suez Canal.

  • Malaccamax – A container ship weighing between 280,000 and 300,000 DWT and the largest to pass through Malacca Straits.

  • Capesize – Weighing above 150,000 DWT, these ships are large enough to pass only through the Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.

  • Seawaymax – With a weight between 10,000 and 60,000 DWT, this is the largest type of ship that can pass through St. Lawrence Seaway.

  • VLCC – Very Large Crude Carriers or VLCC are tankers that weigh between 150,000 and 320,000 DWT.

  • ULCC – Ultra Large Crude Carrier or ULCC are extra-large tankers that weigh between 320,000 and 550,000 DWT.

How Much Does a Cargo Ship Cost?

That depends on what you are planning to get. You can buy either old or new cargo ships from the market depending on their condition and your own budget. However, being revenue-generating vessels, cargo ships are usually more expensive than other ships you may have purchased in the past for fishing or sailing.

Typically, a new medium-sized ship can cost you somewhere around $15-$20 million. However, cargo ships are also available in the market that might cost you hundreds of millions of dollars depending on their weight, capacity and purpose of use. As a low priced option, you might consider looking for a used cargo ship for sale that is in good condition.

There are several businesses that can provide you with financing to buy your own shipping boat, allowing you to make monthly payments and charging you interest, just like any other debt.

If that does not sound feasible, you can also apply for a proper loan from a bank for business purposes since a cargo ship is considered to be a business asset.

Other than that, you can also look at partnership and investment opportunities. If you have a group of other like-minded individuals who want to get started with a shipping business, you can consider forming a partnership. Otherwise, you can invest in a current shipping company.


Beware of Sea Routes!

Before you get started with your shipping business or purchase a cargo ship, it is important for you to learn how sea routes work.

There are certain sea routes that are regarded as dangerous and are known as the routes where most accidents or mishaps occur. Among the different sea routes, the East Indies and the South China SeaBritish Isles and the east Mediterranean and Black Sea are considered to be most dangerous. The majority of accidents in these areas are caused due to bad weather and unpredictable climate.

Also, the waters near Somalia are considered to be highly risky for cargo ships due to the threat of pirates.

Check the Right Documents

Before you sign a deal for a cargo ship, make sure you have checked all the necessary documents carefully. One of the most important documents is the Marine Survey Certification that is an essential requirement before a cargo ship can set out to sail.

This certificate ensures that the cargo ship is properly functioning and is in a condition to transport the goods that it is made for. This certification should come with both new and used ships, and you should always ask for it before you close the deal.

Find a Cargo Ship for Sale Right Here!

So, if you have decided that you want to pursue your shipping business or want to continue it with a bigger and better cargo ship, there is no better place to look than here.

We match you with the best dealers and sellers who have both new and used ships to offer, and you can select the best one you like.

If you need any help regarding which ship is best for you, we are right here to help you out every step of the way.