Greater ChinaOperations

COSCO develops tech to transform pulp ship into a car carrier

In the unprecedented shipping markets witnessed during the pandemic, cargo types have migrated to all manner of alternate vessels, a new phenomenon which has seen boxes taken on bulk carriers, logs on newcastlemaxes and now cars in a pulp carrier.

China’s largest maritime conglomerate, state-run COSCO has developed a foldable car frame (pictured), where vehicles can then be stacked into ships not traditionally associated with the movement of automobiles.

The company’s brand new COSCO SHIPPING Wisdom, a 62,000 dwt multipurpose pulp carrier, which delivered from the company’s Dalian yard earlier this month, has now embarked on a maiden voyage from Taicang in Jiangsu province to deliver 1,100 Chinese export vehicles to South America.

COSCO came up with the concept to overcome tightness in the car carrier segment, a shipping sector that has seen rates leap up dramatically this year.

The COSCO SHIPPING Wisdom features a 72,500 cu m box-type cargo hold, ideally suited to this new form of car frames. Container spreaders can carry the frames on and off the vessel.

The ship will then carry pulp back from South America to China with more COSCO newbuilds slated to join this new service offering.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. A definite improvement over the way we carried cars in bulkers in the 60s.
    Is it Meccano crossed with LEGO?

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