Cargo Ship vs Oil Tanker: Difference and Comparison

Different methods are used for international trade that transports multiple materials from one port to another by crossing many oceans and seas.

There are different types of carriers depending upon different factors are chosen accordingly, such as a cargo ship, an oil tanker, bulk carrier, etc.

Apparently, these also affect countries’ GDP. Besides, these transport and export of materials are of significant value.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Cargo ships and oil tankers are vessels used to transport goods across the ocean.
  2. Cargo ships are designed to carry various types of cargo, such as containers, vehicles, and bulk goods, while oil tankers are designed to transport crude oil and petroleum products.
  3. Oil tankers are subject to more safety regulations than cargo ships due to the potential environmental impact of oil spills.

Cargo Ship vs Oil Tanker

The difference between a cargo ship and an oil tanker is that a cargo ship is a merchant ship that transports goods, cargo, and materials from one port to another. On the other hand, an Oil tanker is a tank ship that transports oil and its products.

Cargo Ship vs Oil Tanker

A cargo ship is a merchant ship that transports goods, cargo, and materials from one port to another.

It is designed in such a way that it requires cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload materials and the tank is made up of welded steel whose lifespan may be of 25 to 30 years even after being scrapped. 

An oil tanker is a tank ship as its name suggests itself. It transports oil and its products from one port to another.

Apparently, it is also known as petroleum tankers as it transports refined and unrefined products from refineries to market or vice versa.

Moreover, two different types of oil tankers; crude oil tankers and product tankers. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparison Cargo Ship Oil Tanker 
Type of ship A Cargo ship is a merchant ship.An Oil tanker is a tank ship. 
Transport Cargo ship transports goods, cargo, and materials from one port to another.An oil tanker transports refined oil to market or unrefined oil to the refineries. 
Inventor The Cargo ship was invented by Malcom McLean.An oil tanker was invented by Ludvig Nobel. 
Types Cargo ships are categorized into seven types of cargo ships according to the type of cargo being carried.An Oil tanker has only two basic types of oil tanker depending on their destination and type of oil being carried. 
LifespanCargo ships are much more durable as their lifespan is of 25 to 30 years after being scrapped. The Oil tanker has only 20 years of lifespan. 

What is Cargo Ship? 

Goods, Cargo, oil, and other materials are exported from one country to another and it makes an eminent impact on the GDP of a country.

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Therefore, it is an eminent factor considered by the country. A cargo ship is used to transport goods, cargo, and materials from one port to another. 

Besides, a cargo ship is a merchant ship that was invented by Malcom McLean. And it is expected to have 25 to 30 years of lifespan even after being scrapped as it is made of welded steel. 

Cargo ships are considered to handle mostly international trade and cross oceans’ and seas’ carrying goods. Even the unloading and loading of goods require cranes and other mechanisms for doing so. 

Moreover, it has been categorized into seven types, such as feeder ships, general cargo vessels, container ships, tankers, dry bulk carriers, multi-purpose vessels, reefer ships, and roll-on/roll-off vessels.

In fact, these types of cargo ships have specific materials to be carried. It also differs in size, dimensions, and capacity accordingly. 

Furthermore, being a significant carrier, it contributes to pollution as well. As cargo vessels are fueled with bunker fuel that has a higher sulfur level due to its low cost.

Thereby, it results in huge sulfur emissions. However, it is being replaced with a lower level of sulfur and nitrogen oxide content. 

cargo ship

What is an Oil Tanker? 

Oil is also transported through different carriers that are called oil tankers. It is also known as a petroleum tanker. The major work of an oil tanker is to transport bulk oil and its product.

Besides, an oil tanker is a type of tankship that was invented by Ludvig Nobel. And it is expected to have 20 years of lifespan. 

Apparently, it has been categorized basically into two types; such as crude tankers and product tankers.

Crude tankers transport unrefined crude oil from extraction sites to refineries, while products transport refined crude oil from refineries to their respective markets. 

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Moreover, it is also classified according to their work and sizes. As size varies from inland or coastal tankers to the mammoth ultra large crude carriers.

Even there are specialized types of oil tankers, such as navel replenishment oiler and ore-bulk-oil carriers. 

Furthermore, being a significant carrier, it contributes to air and water pollution as well. As an oil tanker carries crude oil Which contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are extremely hazardous for marine life.

So, Oil spills have a devastating impact on marine life. Apparently, they could be prone to underdevelopment, diseases, and abnormal reproductivity.

With that, it also impacts air due to bunker oil which is considered to be a high-level pollutant. 

oil tanker

Main Differences Between Cargo Ship and Oil Tanker

Merchant ships and tanker ships are essential ships for the transport of oils and cargo from one continent to another or one country to other.

However, merchant ships and tanker ships carry different materials from one another and they are very distinct from each other.

Therefore, the Cargo ships and Oil tankers are very distinct, yet people tend to mistake them for similar ships. 

  1. A Cargo ship is a merchant ship, while an Oil tanker is a tank ship. 
  2. A Cargo ship transports goods, cargo, and materials from one port to another, while an oil tanker transports refined oil to market or unrefined oil to the refineries. 
  3. The Cargo ship was invented by Malcom McLean, while the Oil tanker was invented by Ludvig Nobel. 
  4. Cargo ships are categorized into seven types of cargo ships according to the type of goods carried. Meanwhile, an Oil tanker has only two basic types of oil tanker depending on their destination and type of oil carried. 
  5. Cargo ships are much more durable as their lifespan is of 25 to 30 years after being scrapped. Meanwhile, the Oil tanker has only 20 years of lifespan. 
Difference Between Cargo Ship and Oil Tanker

References 

  1. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rsif.2009.0495
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2092521221000249

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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