There is a wide range of different vessels. The international dry cargo and tanker markets are immense and are served by numerous ships of several types and of various sizes. Some of them follow standard designs and can carry a variety of cargoes while others are more specialized and able to carry commodities which the standard vessels cannot. According to the UNCTAD, in early 2019 the total world fleet stood at 95,402 ships accounting for 1.97 billion dead-weight tons (dwt) of capacity.
32 years have passed since the capsizing of Herald of Free Enterprise, only a few minutes after leaving Zeebrugge port on 6 March 1987, killing 193 people. The incident is considered, not only as the deadliest casualty involving a UK-registered ship since 1919, but also as a wake-up call for safety improvements.
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