Capacity of vessel can be measured in many ways depending upon the type of vessel. Capacity of traditional general cargo vessel is defined as bale capacity or grain capacity. Number of 20-foot containers, which can be accommodated onboard, defines the capacity of container ships. Capacity of car carriers is characterised by number of standard cars which can be transported. Volume of cargo tanks defines the capacity of tankers.
- Bale cubic capacity – The space available for loading cargo extending to the inside of the cargo battens on the frames and to the underside of the beams.
- Grain cubic capacity – Maximum space available for cargo extending from the inside of shell plating to the underside of the deck plating.