Difference between a Liner and Tramp service

You might have heard the terminology Tramp service or Tramper or Tramp vessel and also the terminology Liner Service.. What is the difference between the two..??image for liner vessel

Liner Service – is a service that operates within a schedule and has a fixed port rotation with published dates of calls at the advertised ports.. A liner service generally fulfills the schedule unless in cases where a call at one of the ports has been unduly delayed due to natural or man-mad causes..

Example : The UK/NWC continent service of MSC which has a fixed weekly schedule calling the South African ports of Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and carrying cargo to the UK/NWC ports of Felixstowe, Antwerp, Hamburg, Le Havre and Rotterdam..

image for tramp vesselA Tramp Service or tramper on the other hand is a ship that has no fixed routing or itinerary or schedule and is available at short notice (or fixture) to load any cargo from any port to any port..

Example : A ship that arrives at Durban from Korea to discharge cargo might carry some other cargo from Durban to the Oakland in the West Coast of USA which in an entirely different direction.. From Oakland say for example it could carry some cargo and go to Bremerhaven..

One of the main differences between Liner and Tramp would be in the type of contract of carriage and Bill of Lading used..

In the case of a Liner, generally the shipping line operating the liner service will have their own pre-printed bill of lading or use a BIMCO CONLINEBILL 2000, whereas in the case of a Tramp service (which may be covered by a Charter Party), a bill of lading like the BIMCO CONGENBILL 2007 will be used depending on the cargo, charter party etc..


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Now that you have read it, why don't you share your views about it..

40 thoughts on “Difference between a Liner and Tramp service

  1. Liner Shipping means a specific mode of ocean transportation services where a shipping company operates their fleet of vessel for carriage of goods between fixed ports,at regular intervals under publicly advertised schedule. Chartering on the other hand refers to a kind of shipping business, where the entire ship is hired by a shipper or charterer either for a particular voyage or for a period of time say six months or one year, to fulfill his business commitment under some mutually agreed terms and conditions which is known as “Charter Party” in shipping trade. Thanks

    1. Muhammed says:

      Dear Kabir Can I get some similarities between Liner and Tramp Trade?????

  2. Sugianto says:

    Thank you. This is very helpful.

  3. ravi says:

    very wonderful jobs ……

  4. giorgos says:

    what are the important key terms of World Tramp Trade?

  5. Frank Tornyi says:

    it’s a pleasure been on this site i’ve acquired some knowledge here.thaks.

  6. Sivirike says:

    Am happy to be informed of this…,i may ask what about their differences in cargo carried.

  7. e.c says:

    goog stuff! Thanks for sharing info.

  8. ally says:

    hi pple i ws able 2 finaly learn mre abt shipping..thnx

  9. Asuquo bassey says:

    This site has helped me so much to knw more about shiping.

  10. arjun says:

    nice notes

  11. stephen kilonzo says:

    i was able to learn the facts i wanted on liner and tramp services and i highly appreciate.ics student.

  12. Kalappa Babu S. says:

    Good to know that this site is providing shipping knowledge bank on the website

  13. kostas says:

    where can i do my questions so to get an answer ?

  14. Oscar says:

    how do I track my cargo using a bill of landing that start with six letters?
    example being: LSSZEL12060075

    1. Manaadiar says:

      Oscar, it not always easy to identify the issuer of a bill of lading based on bill of lading number.. There are some big lines like MSC, Hapag Lloyd etc that issue bills with a bill of lading prefix like MSCU, HLCU etc which helps to identify the shipping line..

      But not all lines do this.. Especially if the bill of lading is issued by an NVOCC, not many people know those prefixes..

      This prefix you have provided is new to me and the only way you can tracking your cargo is by going to the website of the shipping line/nvocc or forwarder that issued the bill of lading, providing of course the site offers a tracking facility..