Industry

Over 90% of global trade is conducted via the seas

Tanker

Involves the carriage of liquid products such as crude oil, gasoline and natural gas.

Drybulk

Involves the carriage of bulk commodities such as grain and coal.

Represents approximately 54% of total seaborne trade, equating to over 5 billion tons per year or 70,000 voyages per year.

Container

Involves the carriage of containerized cargoes such as machinery, televisions and furniture.

DRYBULK COMMODITIES

Major Bulk

60% of Drybulk trade consists of the three “Major Bulk” commodities

Coal (24%)

Coal (24%)

Primary uses are as thermal coal for power generation (80%) and as coking coal in steel production (20%).

Coal-fired power plants generate 37% of global electricity.

Grain (9%)

Grain (9%)

70% wheat and other cereals and 30% soybeans.

Used for both human consumption and as animal feed.

Trade patterns vary widely due to seasonality and also irregular harvest yields from year to year.

Iron Ore (27%)

Iron Ore (27%)

Any of several types of rock with high iron content (around 50% or more). Used in production of steel.

About 60% of iron ore exports come from Australia and Brazil.

Minor Bulk

40% of Drybulk trade consists of the “Minor Bulk” commodities

Bauxite (2%)

Bauxite (2%)

The principal ore used in aluminum production.

The semi-refined form, called alumina, is also an important drybulk commodity.

Demand for aluminum has grown for several decades due to its strength, light weight, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity.

Cement (2%)

Cement (2%)

The binding agent that is mixed with aggregates to become mortar or concrete.

Seaborne trade has been driven by construction in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Fertilizer (3%)

Fertilizer (3%)

A variety of materials, both natural and synthetic, that improve plant growth. The main nutrients are compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium.

Forest products (7%)

Forest products (7%)

Examples include logs, lumber, wood chips, and wood pulp.

The primary importing nations are China, Japan and Western Europe.

Petcoke (1%)

Petcoke (1%)

Petroleum coke, or petcoke, is a solid product derived from the oil-refining process and made mostly of carbon.

Fuel-grade petcoke is used in power plants and cement kilns. High-grade petcoke is used to make electrodes for steel and aluminum production.

Salt (1%)

Salt (1%)

60% of salt is used in industrial processes such as chemicals production, well drilling, and manufacturing of products including metals, textile dyes, paper, and rubber.

Food uses are less than 20% of total production.

Road de-icing represents approximately 40% of salt use in the USA and Canada.

Scrap (2%)

Scrap (2%)

Steel scrap is used as a raw material for new steel production. It is derived both from material left over from manufacturing and from recycling of machinery parts and surplus materials.

Trade flow is primarily from mature economies to developing steel-making regions.

Steel (8%)

Steel (8%)

The largest minor bulk cargo by tonnage.

Includes semi-finished steel products such as coils or slabs.

Sugar (1%)

Sugar (1%)

Produced from sugar beets in temperate regions and sugar cane in tropical regions.

40% of all exports are from Brazil.

Drybulk Vessel Categories

Drybulk Trade Routes Hover pointer over commodity to highlight route

Trade Routes