Based on the usage, the ships are classified into the following types:

  • Container Ships– Container ship, as the name indicates are oceangoing vessel designed to transport large, standard-sized containers of freight.
  • Bulk Carrier Ships – Bulk carriers are a type of ship which transports cargoes (generally dry cargo) in bulk quantities. They carry unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal, ore, steel coils and cement, in its cargo hold.
  • Tanker Ships– Liquid cargo are carried by specialised vessels called Tanker Ships. They are used to transport or store liquids or gases in bulk.
  • Roll-on Roll-Off Ships– These type of vessels are used to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter.
  • Passenger Ships – As the name suggests these are used to transit passengers.
  • Offshore Vessels– When construction work has to be done at sea, offshore vessels are used.
  • Fishing Vessels– Ships or boats used for recreational or commercial fishing at sea are called fishing vessels.
  • Speciality Vessels– Speciality vessels are constructed and used for specific purposes like seismic vessels, hydrographic vessels, oceanographic vessels, polar vessels etc.
  • High-Speed Craft– High-speed crafts are a special type of technologically advanced high-performance (typically high speed) marine vehicles. Though most of these technologies are not used in commercial vessels, a few have been successfully implemented and tested in conventional merchant vessels of small scale.
  • Dredgers – Dredgers are vessels with excavation tools used for removing sand and other types of deposits from the seabed. Dredgers are used for several purposes such as making shallow coastal areas navigational, deep-sea mining etc.