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Technical Article

The Increased Use of Belt Conveyor Self-Unloading Vessels - A Coming Development in Ocean Bulk Shipping

Written by Jones, R.M. edited by mhd on 1. Nov. 2023
The author underlines the importance of self-unloading vessels for Great Lakes shipping and explains the reasons why and how belt conveyor type self-unloading bulk carriers are being used or planned to be used to an ever increasing extent for bulk movements on ocean routes. A survey of major shipping companies shows which companies are already operating or are planning to operate ocean-going belt conveyor self-unloaders.

Belt conveyor self-unloaders have been around for a long time since 1908 on the Great Lakes. This type of ship with a highly automated belt system can discharge independent of any dock handling facilities. Actually, a self-unloading, vessel with a :tong 250-260 ft deck boom, as most Great Lakes types are, can discharge where there is no dock just a river bank or shore line with deep enough water for the captain to be able to nudge the vessel's bow close enough to get the end of the boom over the shore (Fig. 1).

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