Once the most popular type, nowadays general-cargo ships are still built but in small quantities. Their carrying capacity is 4,000-6,000 t on average and may reach 16,000 – 20,000 t. General cargo includes items which are packed (boxes, barrels, bags, packages) or not packed (pipes, bricks, machinery, rolls of wire). They usually have spacious holds which occupy the larger part of the hull. Refrigerator chambers to keep perishable foods, tanks for carrying vegetable oils and air-conditioned systems for furs needing special care are being provided on modern vessels.
However, the disadvantage is that loading and unloading takes a long time which causes delay. Ships for general cargo may sail on a fixed route (that is, making regular voyages between two ports) or may supply cargo wherever merchants want them to. The latter are also called trampers because they do not have a specific route. Trampers usually transport coal, timber, ores, cotton, etc.