Tramp shipping

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In tramp shipping (also on demand shipping) a ship travels - in contrast to liner shipping - without a fixed timetable and without fixed routes.

The schedule of a tramp is based solely on the goods loaded or still to be loaded. Usually, full shiploads of the freight forwarder are transported by the freight forwarder on a charter basis . Unlike in liner shipping, prices in tramp shipping are heavily dependent on supply and demand.

19th century

In the 19th century it was not uncommon for sailing ships to sail halfway around the world on a trampoline trip.

Jean Randier in his article on the great French freighters :

“The main sailing areas of the French sailing ships were: with English coal from Europe to Chile and with saltpeter back; with industrial equipment to the US West Coast and back with sawn timber; in ballast to New Caledonia and back with nickel ore; finally the Australian wheat journey; occasionally hitchhiking trips of over a year around the world. "

20th century

MS Bernhard Howaldt - Malmö ( Sweden ) at the coal pier, 1957
Many ships are in the bay of Hampton Roads ( Virginia ) at anchor, waiting for the loading of coal, 1957

The term tramp steamer ( English tramp steamer ) came up when increasingly steam-powered iron ships drove and made competition for sailing ships. 'Dampfer' was a synonym for steamship (= ship that is powered by a steam engine or a steam turbine). Tramp steamers were cargo ships used in tramp shipping with a steam engine as the primary drive , calling at various ports in irregular order . These ships were not tied to any route or timetable and accepted as freight what was offered to them at an acceptable freight rate (= transport price). This type of freight transport was widespread until around 1970. Many trampers were equipped in many ways to be able to transport a wide variety of goods. Most tramp steamers were 100 to 150 meters long and had between 1,000 and 10,000 ts (standard tons ). The most common size was around 4,500 ts and around 120 meters in length.

A tramp steamer could have various deck structures , with or without a protective deck , back deck or poop , with a short or long bridge deck, etc. Ships with their own ship's crane were independent of cranes in ports.

In the two world wars, the industries and economies of the main countries involved were used to a large extent for war purposes (see war economy ). The ships of the respective merchant navies were confiscated ( requisition ) or rented or bought by government agencies.

During World War I , the Royal Navy dominated the North Sea and other waters. They practiced a comprehensive naval blockade of the Central Powers; overseas trade to and from German ports practically came to a standstill.

The tramp steamers were mainly used as supply ships . During the Second World War , Allied ships often drove in convoys with escorts . Germany fought the Atlantic battle during the Second World War mainly as a submarine war . The latter peaked in June 1942; In that one month, the submarines of the German Navy sank 124 Allied merchant ships with over 600,000 gross tons. Until March 1943 (500,000 GRT) these numbers remained high; afterwards they decreased significantly.

MS Vogelsberg of the H. Vogemann shipping company unloading sacked and general cargo in Freetown , 1958

After the end of the Second World War, in which almost the entire German merchant ship tonnage was lost, the Allied victorious powers granted permission in the Potsdam Agreement in 1945 to build cargo ships up to a size of 1,500 tons . As of February 23, 1951, this restriction no longer existed. At that time the Korean War was fierce; it caused a worldwide growing demand for ship tonnage and high freight rates . First and foremost, the tramp shipping company benefited from this, who had bought old ships cheaply abroad, above all the shipping company Egon Oldendorff in Lübeck or H. Vogemann in Hamburg. From 1951, new ships of all sizes were built at German shipyards, for which there was a need, especially in tramp shipping. Everything that was possible was driven, for example coal, pebbles, general cargo, cars, military goods, oil cake , fish meal, ore, scrap, grain, etc. Shipping companies such as Bolten , Bornhofen, Hanseatische Reederei Emil Offen & Co. , Howaldt, Knöhr & Burchard , Komrowski, Leonhardt & Blumberg , Kauffahrtei Seereederei A. Wiards and others were successful in the tramp shipping business around the world during this “pre-container time”. Tramp shipping in the traditional sense and with conventional general cargo ships ended around the beginning of the 1970s and was replaced by regular container traffic .

Nowadays, bulk goods and, above all, project goods between industrialized countries are often handled by trampoline.

Typical ships in tramp shipping are tankers , general cargo , heavy lift , bulk carriers and refrigerated ships .


Individual evidence

  1. Ursula Feldkamp (Ed.): Around Cape Horn. With freighter to the west coast of America . Hausschild, Bremen 2003, ISBN 3-89757-210-9 (as a companion volume to the permanent exhibition of the same name in the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven).

Web links

Wiktionary: Trampfahrt  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations