How is Livestock Transportation Done Using Livestock Carriers?

Ships that are used for the purpose of transferring cattle across the seas are known as livestock carriers or cattle ships. Without the help of such ships, livestock transportation and livestock shipping would have been extremely difficult or completely impossible.

The animals that are used in such livestock carriers include sheep, goats, cows and other forms of cattle. Such transfer of cargo with animals as the main items of transportation is carried out as an import-export operation. This is why all animal cargo-carrying operations are required to be approved and licensed by the appropriate authorities.

There are mainly two different types of such cattle ships. These two differences are not in the weight-carrying capacity but in the storage aspect of the livestock that these ships carry. In terms of the weight-carrying capacity the ships used for livestock transportation are capable of hauling and carrying around 2000 to 2500 dead weight tonnage (DWT). This is quite high especially considering the amount of cargo that is required to be ferried in the form of livestock.

Livestock Carriers

The two main variations in the vessels used for the purpose of livestock shipping can be elaborated as follows:

Open Livestock Carrier Vessels

As their name goes, these types of livestock carrying vessels store or pen the animals openly. ‘Openly’ does not mean that the animals are left without proper containment. It means that the cages or storage areas for the animals are situated on the deck-side area of the ship. This type of penning of the animals ensures that all the animals get ample breathing space and there is no possibility of suffocation. But the major disadvantage of this sort of penning is that since these pens are located on the decks, the continuous sea-winds that blow increase the possibility of the animals getting adverse reaction to such winds. This is why in order to solve this problem, the concept of Closed or Mechanical Livestock Carrier Vessels emerged.

Mechanical Livestock Carrier Vessels

As mentioned in the previous point, the continuous winds and the ill-effects that these winds tend to have on the livestock led to the concept of the mechanised or closed pens. These closed pens are not located on the deck but are situated in the interior of the ship (below decks) where the winds cannot reach the animals. Such closed pens require continuous monitoring because if they are carelessly left untended, then due to the lack of cleanliness and hygiene, the animals could contract diseases and die even before reaching the intended port of destination.

It has to be noted that such livestock carriers also needed to carry huge and enormous amounts of food, water and any other material that could be needed by the animals at any point of time. Also important is the number of crew present in such cattle ships. Since the animals are more in number, the amount of crew also needs to be more so as to effectively handle the livestock present in the ships.

Livestock transportation is very difficult and risky. But with the help of livestock carriers, livestock shipping has become much more feasible and efficient in today’s times. Cattle ships offer proof that not just human passengers and goods can be transported across the ocean and seas – even animals can.

If you liked this you may also like Expedition Ship & Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessels .


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  1. Hi Dear Sir/Madam
    Cargo is Livestock Cattles 10000 /11000 Hereford calfs will be transported from Uruguay To Turkey
    Load Place:Uruguay
    Cargo will be ready in 22 /02/2011 or Vessel Date
    Discharge and Delivery Place :Turkey Mersin or Antalya port
    Each one between 150 and 200 Kg max weight
    Kindly offer your Livestock Vessel freight for above mentioned cattles and the other terms and conditions


    Capt Ismet Ates

  2. 10000 Hereford Calfs from Uruguay to Turkey
    170/240 Kg weight % 95 male % 5 Female can be

    Give us your price asper CIF Base to Antalya Port /Delivery Place


    İsmet Ates
    Turkont Import/Export Tr.Inc.

  3. Pleased to recv your firm offer for fllwg.

    2,400 heads of cattle, weight per head between 450 and 500 kgs
    Belem do Parra , Brazil/ Pto Cabello, Venezuela
    Laytime 3 days shinc load / 4 days sat pm shex uu disch
    End April, 2011
    Charts agents bends
    Gencon 94 cp sub dets
    3.75% ttl comm this endinc adc

    Wcyo Pls?

    TELS: (+58) 242-3622959, 3618939
    FAX: (+58) 242-3622959

  4. Dear Capt.


    Kindly send your livestock firm offers to our direct


    Ismet ates

  5. I am shocked by the number of live animal transports by sea from many countries. The festival of sacrifice takes place in October or November, thus the Middle East and Indonesia need 100 million animals to sacrifice. This is the most brutal death for these innocent animals. Hog tied, restrained by nose rings and grown men leaning on them, their necks are sawed into while conscious. The cut will eventually reach the spinal cord, but the animal is not beheaded until the blood is drained out, thus the suffering is immense. With the cut throat, the animal will try to breath making the most disturbing noise. With the wind pipe cut, breathing through the nose is futile. The butchers will poke knives into the severed neck trying to get greater blood flow. It is the most brutal, abusive, horrific, death. These animals deserve more respect and kindness than this. Many Muslims say these butchers are not following the laws of Islam. This is a huge stain on Islam. Muslims should revolt against these crazed, blood thirsty radicals as damaging to the Islam faith. This is why Muslims are getting a bad name. If Muhammad’s image is depicted on a cartoon, the Muslims broadcast their desire to kill these cartoonists. Why is there never a broadcast from Muslims to stop butchering animals against the teaching of Muhammad??? Animal Sacrifice to God was never a way to appease God. Animal sacrifice is a rite of cults and barbarians and is a blood sport with no connection to religious conduct.

  6. Port of Sudan to Baharain Salman Port
    10000 head of sheep
    25-30 kg/head
    need offer for livestock vessel

  7. South african port to Vietnam port
    5000 head of cattle
    possibility of shipments by-monthly.
    need your offer for vessel/freight etc.

  8. I want to work on a livestock vessel. I know how to treat animals for sicknesses. I know how to handle and move animals efficiently. I’m a hard worker.

  9. Hi,
    we need vessel for 10,000 cattle from Djibouti to BIK-port of IRAN.
    Kindly quote.
    Hassan Nasseri

  10. Hi everybody,

    Does anyone know if there is skrinkage of the cattle in a 16 days trip?

    Or do the cattle gain weight with their proper feeding?

    I´d like to send Livestock from Mexico to Middle East.

    Thank you

    Cesar Espinosa

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