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General Cargo

Storage and containerisation

Storage facilities need to be secure for valuable goods, or those on which there was a high customs duty. For instance, alcohol and tobacco were placed in bonded warehouses, where customs officials could keep an eye on them. Other less valuable but delicate items had to stored under cover to protect them from the weather. For these, tall warehouses were built, which can still be seen at the Merseyside Maritime Museum [www.nmgm.org.uk/maritime] at Liverpool`s Albert Dock. 

`Oriental Bay` container ship

Magnifying glass`Oriental Bay` container ship

General cargo carrying has changed enormously. Containerisation now means much of it is protected by a box which is simply lifted off by a container crane. Specialised ships often carry products such as palm oil, latex or orange juice in tanks from which it is simply pumped out into storage tanks on the dockside. Cars are now simply driven on and off specially-designed ships. Today, therefore, much of the skills, equipment and facilities once required to handle general cargo are no longer needed. 


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