A trend is taking place with respect to overseas shipping and dry bulk cargo ships, one that has large scale importers adopting the use of container ships over dry bulk carriers.
By apt definition, a “dry bulk carrier” is a shipping vessel contrary to liquid carriers which are built to transport the likes of oil, chemicals, or liquefied petroleum gas. Dry bulk cargo ships are frequently used for agricultural commodities, traditionally carrying one commodity at a time and often to a capacity that can reach up to 70,000 tons.
While the dry bulk carrier method is certainly efficient for the one way trip, sending the vessel back empty is clearly a waste of space. Very rarely will there be candidate cargo for the return trip that can fill the space of dry bulk carrier design. In a perfect shipping world one would export 70,000 tons of sugar and return with 70,000 tons of corn so that not an ounce of fuel or manpower is wasted. But this is simply not the case.