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Bulk Carrier

With a long history of excellence, ABS provides a wealth of practical and technical experience at all relevant stages of a bulk carrier project. We currently class a significant share of the existing bulk carrier fleet, and our orderbook for these vessels is strong and growing. The majority of vessels are on order from Japan, China and Korea, but we have seen recent interests from Turkey, Denmark and China.

Our experience covers bulk carriers of all sizes from handy to capsize and very large ore carriers (VLOCs). We have in-depth knowledge of both single- and double-side skin bulk carrier designs, and we have given approval in principle to some of the latest, and as yet unrealized, ultra-large ore carrier (ULOC) concepts.

After delivery and throughout the life cyle of existing vessels, our worldwide network of more than 2,000 engineers, surveyors and operational staff supports the ABS-classed fleet with efficient, practical and responsive service.

ABS works in collaboration with many industry associations and has been granted permission from Intercargo to post their Guide for the Safe Loading of Nickel Ore.

Optional Notations for Bulk Carriers:

Design & Construction 

  • AT - specified structural components incorporate additional plate thickness than the required scantlings. It will also include a designation and number to indicate the location and magnitude of the additional thickness e.g. AT(DK+0.5)
  • CPS - the ship complies with the ABS Guide for the Class Notation Coating Performance Standard
  • ES - ship meets the requirements specified in the ABS Guide for Environmental Safety (ES)
  • GRAB[20] - signifies that the vessel's inner bottom has been designed for a specific grab weight identified in parentheses
  • Ice Class A0, Ice Class A1, Ice Class A2 - ship complies with the ABS Rules for ice strengthening of ships navigating in first-year or multi-year ice or complies with the Finnish-Swedish Rules for navigating in the Northern Baltic in winter, respectively
  • RES - ship has been built in accordance with the procedure and critera for calculating and evaluating the residual strength of hull contained in the ABS Guide for Assessing Hull-Girder Residual Strength
  • SFA(3) - ship complies with the requirements of enhanced dynamic analysis for the fatigue life identified in parentheses in North Atlantic conditions.
  • SH-DLA - ship complies with criteria for calculating and evaluating the behavior of hull structures under dynamic loading conditions and built in accordance with plans approved on the basies of the results of such analysis, in addition to full compliance with the other requirements of the Rules

Operational Safety 

  • ACCU - ship has the means to control and monitor an unmanned propulsion-machinery space in an approved manner from the navigation bridge and from a centralized control and monitoring station installed in, or adjacent to the propulsion machinery space
  • HAB, HAB+ - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Crew Habitability on Ships
  • HM1, HM2, HM3 followed by the applicable qualifier such as Slam Warning, Green Seas Warning, Ship Motion, Hull Girder Stress, Local Load Monitoring, Fatigue Monitor, VDR, Enhanced VDR -  ship complies with the requirements of the ABS Guide for Hull Condition Monitoring Systems and will be given the appropriate notation
  • MAN, MAN-A - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Vessel Maneuverability
  • NBL, NBLES, NIBS - ship complies with the relevant section of the ABS Guide for Navigation Bridge Design and Equipment/Systems
  • PORT - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Automatic or Remote Control and Monitoring Systems for Vessels in Port
  • PMA+ - permanent means of access for inspection of hull structures are provided in accordance with SOLAII-1/3-6 and the design accounts for ergonomics in conformance with the ABS Guide for Means of Access to Tanks and Holds for Inspection

Ship Management 

  • (S), (SE), (SH), (SQ), (SQE), (SHE),(SHQ), (SHQ), (HSQE) - ship complies with the relevant criteria for health, safety, quality and/or environment management systems in the ABS Guide for Marine Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental (HSQE) Management
  • SEC – ship complies with the ABS Guide for Ship Security Notation


  • HIMP - ship complies with the ABS requirements for the Hull Integrity Management program
  • RCM (CARGO), RCM(FIRE), RCM (PROP) or RCM (MACH) - ship complies with the ABS Guidance Notes on Reliability-Centered Maintenance as it applies to cargo handling, fire extinguishing, propulsion or both firefighting and propulsion, respectively
  • TCM - ship complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Classification Notation Tailshaft Conditioning Monitoring
  • UWILD - ship meets the ABS requirements for underwater inspections in lieu of dry dock

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