Linkspans are a type of drawbridge. Specifically, they are drawbridges that are used in the shipping industry to bridge the gap between the ship itself and the shore. Linkspans tend to use hydraulics to move and lower the drawbridge. This is useful because of the relative heights of the ship deck, the water and the harbour. Linkspans have been in use since at least the 1970s, and they are very widely used today.
Linkspans can be used to transport people, cars or cargo. They are thus used on a wide variety of shipping vessels, including passenger ships such as ferries and cargo ships that are transporting heavy duty loads. A linkspan is so called because it is made up of several links that span across between the ship and the shore. These links are made up of a set of ramps that connect up together to form a continuous walkway. The advantage of using ramps in this way is that it makes the drawbridge highly adjustable. Both the length of the drawbridge and its angle can be adjusted to make it easy to transport cargo, or to lead people, between the ship and the shore.