A container transfer between two ships controlled by the same carrier.

Understanding Relay

It is the process of moving containers between ocean vessels owned by the same company or carrier. This is not a switching station, unlike relay terminals, where truck drivers switch roles. Transshipments, which involve moving freight to a middle destination between vessels, are sometimes mistaken for relays. Transshipments occur more often than relays.

Relays in the ocean are normally completed on feeder's vessels. Feeder's vessels are smaller, faster versions of shipping vessels. They usually hold between 300 and 500 20-foot containers. This type of shipping is shorter and slower. They also serve smaller ports. Typically, feeder's vessels are used to move containers between ports and terminals and large ships during a container relay. From the larger ships, the cargo will be sent to the destination. Cranes are typically used to move the cargo.

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