Dry cargo

Cargo vessels category corresponds to a large variety of vessels transporting “dry” goods.

This category defines itself in opposition to the tankers vessels and includes all vessels that are not transporting liquid goods. For that reason, Ro-Ro vessels as well as containers transport are statistically considered as cargo vessels.

The split of the cargo vessels between the European countries is heterogeneous with a predominance of the Netherlands, followed by Germany, Belgium and France in accordance with the traffic concentration of the European inland navigation on the Rhine. Motor cargo are essentially split in the Western Europe countries.

Split of the cargo vessels capacity in Europe in 2014 ( in 1000 tons)

Source: CCNR Secretariat based on national authorities

Overall, if one aggregates motor cargo vessels and pushed barges, significant fluctuations in new construction activity are apparent in recent years. A wave-like trajectory can be seen, reflecting the economic cycles in the shipping industry.


New cargo vessels put on the market since 2008 per type of vessels (in units)

Source: IVR 

The increase in the period 2005 – 2008 reflects the expansion in freight transport and world trade in this period. The slump in the past years can be laid at the door of the economic crisis and the uncertain economic outlook. The crisis resulted in a slump in volumes and freight rates in inland navigation, reducing the willingness to invest in new ships.