Dry bulk cargo can be separated in two categories, as Major Bulks and Minor Bulks. Major bulks, which represent the largest segment of dry bulk cargoes (above 60%), include iron ore, coal and grains. Minor bulks include various steel products, forest products, non-grains agricultural products, sugar, construction materials such as bauxite / alumina and cement, fertilisers and sundry minerals including phosphate rock.
Global trading activity is closely correlated with global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) levels. The growth in the GDP of a country requires more raw materials and commodities to be imported in order to satisfy demand and production requirements thus generating demand for seaborne transportation. Historically the economies of North America, Europe and Japan have acted as the primary drivers of dry bulk trade, although in the most recent years the contribution of China and India is becoming more important as their GDP growth rate is significantly higher than the growth of the developed countries.