Coastal trading vessels, also known as coasters, are shallow-hulled ships used for trade between locations on the same island or continent. Their shallow hulls mean that they can get through reefs where sea-going ships usually cannot (sea-going ships have a very deep hull for supplies and trade etc.). Italian ship-rigged vessel Amerigo Vespucci in New York Harbor, 1976 A ship is a large, sea-going watercraft, sometimes with multiple decks. ... A reef surrounding an islet. ...
Specialized types of cargo vessels include container ships and bulk carriers (technically tankers and supertankers are cargo ships, although they are habitually thought of as a separate category).
The earliest records of waterborne activity mention the carriage of items for trade; the evidence of history and archaeology shows the practice to be widespread by the beginning of the 1st millennium BC.
Smaller vessels, such as coasters, are often owned by their operators.
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