A common measure of ship carrying capacity. The number of tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores and bunkers that a vessel can transport. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces 'light' and the number of tons it displaces 'when submerged to the 'deep load line'.' A vessel's cargo capacity is less than its total deadweight tonnage. The difference in weight between a vessel when it is fully loaded and when it is empty (in general transportation terms, the net) measured by the water it displaces. This is the most common, and useful, measurement for shipping as it measures cargo capacity.

Related Terms

AFT

Back of the vessel.

ASTERN

A backward movement of a vessel

ATHWARTSHIP

Across the ship, at right angles to the fore-and-aft centerline

UPBOUND

A vessel traveling upstream.

BUMPKIN

The spar projecting from stern of ship

BEAM

The width of a ship. Also called breadth.

BREADTH

The width of a ship.

TRAMP FREIGHTER

A cargo ship engaged in the tramp trade.

AFFREIGHTMENT

A hiring of a vessel

CORDAGE

Ropes in the rigging of a ship

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