As mentioned earlier the dry bulk market is used to carry heavy bulk items which are usually based on ores or agriculture based products. Over the past few years the products that have been transferred through the dry bulk market have been those which are slow moving, non perishable and can sustain on the ship for an extensive period of time. The growth in the dry bulk market over the years has been slow and creeping, recorded at one per cent per year.
Coal is one of the major products which is transferred through dry bulk containers in the market. However the trade for the product since 2003 has been limited for the European countries. The agriculture based market for dry bulk ranges at 15 million tonnes a year and is the second biggest cargo for bulk containers. However in 2001-2002 the trade in the agriculture based products took a downturn due to the foot and mouth disease amongst the animals.
The fleets and ships required for the dry bulk market had been relatively few I the past few years but in the period of 2005-2007 the economic activity in the dry bulk market has depicted an unprecedented growth. This unexpected increase in economic activity required additional fleets for dry bulk freight. Therefore currently the market is facing investments in terms of additions to fleets and infrastructure for the dry bulk market. “As of January 1st, 2006, the total bulk carrier fleet for ships of 300 gt and over was composed of 6,631 bulk carriers including 137 combined carriers (OBO). Compared with results at the beginning of 2005, the world bulk fleet increased by about 22 mill dwt to 341.7 mill dwt.” (2006, ‘ISL Market Analysis’)