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Air Draft

The overall height of the vessel out of the water.

Apron bars

Steel bars riveted to the belt and attached to the chain at each end to support the load.


Universal term used to describe either powered or towed vessels generally limited in use to inland waterways or on estuaries, popular on the Rhein and Mississippi.


The width of the vessel measured overall the hull.

Belt Weigher System

Industrial control equipment used to measure the mass of material travelling over the conveyor.

Boom Feeder

Truck Unloader with integral conveyor belt which feeds to a boom for stockpiling or loading purposes.

Bulk Terminal

Describes a special import/export facility with extensive storage for the handling of bulk cargo only for inland distribution, usually by rail, or transhipment to smaller vessels and barges for distribution by inland waterways.


Very large ships that cannot transit the Panama Canal and must go via the Cape, typically over 150,000 DWT.


Very small vessels for the shipment of bulk materials over short distances not suitable for deep sea journeys.


Charges levied on the shipper if the vessel is delayed as a result of increased loading period. Generally a free loading period will be negotiated beyond which demurrage changes will be levied, commensurate with the vessel size.


The depth of water required to float the vessel when fully laden.


Dead Weight Tonnage commonly used to define the carrying capacity of the vessel including the contents of the holds plus stores and fuel, this is the figure generally used to specify the vessel size.

Eco Hopper

An import hopper used to receive dry bulk cargoes by grab. A variety of dust reduction and containment measures are employed to minimise pollution and material wastage caused by fugitive dust particles.

Flex flaps

Flex flaps are used on the Eco Hopper. When material is deposited into the hopper the flex flaps form a seal using the pressure differential thus containing the dust contaminated air.


The clearance distance from the water level to the level of the hold with the ship empty.

Free-Board Over Quay Level

This is generally a critical dimension required for ship loading equipment and defines the level of the hold above the level of the quay in a particular port.

Ground pressure

The pressure exerted on the ground by the part of the equipment directly in contact with the ground, typically the tyres or tracks. Ground pressure can be reduced by increasing the area of the footprint of the equipment.


The most popular size of bulk carrier in operation worldwide ranging from 25,000 to 35,000 DWT with beam generally in the range of 25 to 30m, these are often fitted with ships cranes (geared).


These vessels extend the Handysize range up to 55,000 DWT but generally limited in beam to around 30m.

Hold Cupboards

Describes the area of the hold beneath the fixed deck not readily accessible direct from the hold opening, often requires manual trimming using a Bobcat or Bulldozer.


There are several specialized ship sizes tailored for specific trades such as this being the largest size of vessel able to enter the port of Kamsar (Guinea)

Levelling blade

Used to control volume of material passing through a particular point.

Loading rate

For most applications the Loading Rate is expressed in “Tons per Hour” and represents the average rate cargo is loaded to the vessel often known as the “Through the Ship Rate”. For a loading rate of 1,000 tons per hour the client will expect a 30,000 ton shipment to be loaded in 30 hours plus.

Loading Spout

Generally a movable chute used to trim the vessel holds, the spout may be a simple tubular chute or may include dust control equipment (Cascade) and/or a rotating chute at the base to deliver material more accurately.


Raising or lowering the outer end of the boom (discharging end) of the equipment.

Material Feeder

Truck unloader or material reception unit with integral conveyor belt.

New Panamax

Extension of the Panamax to take advantage of the new locks on the Panama Canal with width to 55 metres allowing increased in DWT close to Cape Size.

Outloading boom

The belt covered beam projecting from the centre of the equipment along which material travels to stockpile or to be loaded onto a vessel or ongoing transport.


Larger vessels generally up to 75,000 DWT and limited in beam of 32 metres to pass through the Panama Canal, the most popular size for most bulk deliveries and accessible to most deep-water ports.


A mechanical device used to receive dry bulk cargoes and appropriately transfer them onto vessels.

Small Bulk Carriers

Generic term used to describe all bulk cargo vessels from coasters through to Handysize, typically from 5,000 to 25,000 DWT.

Spot loading rate

This is generally the instantaneous handling rate of the equipment loading the vessel and will be significantly higher than the average loading rate particularly when material is delivered to the loading equipment by road truck or where a continuous material supply cannot be guaranteed.


The SAMSON dry bulk material receiving unit with buffer holding facility and an outloading boom.

Through the ship rate

See loading rate

Thrower trimming

Using a Thrower (Jet-Slinger) material may be distributed evenly over the hold area and thrown into the hold cupboards. Throwers are limited in application to very free flowing materials and may not be used where dust pollution is important.

Tramp screen

Screen used at material entry point to prevent oversize and incorrect material entering the conveyor.


The practice of level loading a hold in order to distribute the material evenly over the hold area required for the stability of the vessel at sea. The level of trimming is the responsibility of the ship’s Captain or Mate and his/her authority is absolute in this situation.