The term break bulk is derived from the word ‘breaking bulk’, which is used in the shipping industry lingo. Break bulk cargo is used to describe items that require individual loading. It is also known as general cargo. The main feature about this type of cargo is that it cannot be loaded in bulk with containers, grain or oil. It requires individual boxes and the ships that transport this type of cargo are known as general cargo ships.
This is the most economical international transportation mode and it takes place via sea. The following items are shipped via break bulk cargo services:
- Forest products
- Food items
- Forest products
- Bagged cargo
- Wooden barrels and casks
- Corrugated boxes
- Paper reels
- Wooden shipping containers
- Steel girders
The break bulk cargo shipping process is a very sensitive and comprehensive one. The crew onboard the ship is trained for equipment maintenance, ship navigation, and loading and unloading of cargo in a safe manner. Sometimes the cargo consists of sensitive and hazardous items and unless the crew takes care of it, it can cause damage to people as well as the ship. Therefore, the crew is trained to tackle this stuff and any situation in case of any unfortunate mishaps, which makes it a safe transportation process.
Benefits of Break Bulk Cargo Shipping
If you are wondering why you should choose this method for transportation of goods then we have the answer to your question.
- Wide Availability – The best part about this cargo service is that it requires minimum shore facilities. Therefore, if you are transporting goods to a port that is not well developed or lacks modern shipping facilities then this mode of transportation is the best option for you. The main components required to make this service work include: dock workers (for loading and unloading cargo), a wharf (for tying the ship), and warehouses (for storing the cargo material before or after the transport.)
- Larger Ports Require Break Bulk Cargo Service – Small, underdeveloped ports are not the only ones that accept this mode of shipment. Some larger ports prefer this cargo transfer method as well because the goods transferred via break bulk cargo shipping service can be easily off loaded to smaller vessels and transferred on to the shore. For instance, Tuvalu’s outer islands receive fuel oil in bulk for their power stations through this shipping service. It is convenient and does not cause any hassle.
Low Cost – One of the major benefits of this shipping service is that it costs low as compared to other transportation modes, even lower than ocean freight services. This makes it one of the most desirable choices for people who deal with the transportation of bulky goods. However, break bulk cargo services have decreased in amount with time. Therefore, finding a reliable break bulk cargo shipping service provider can be hard sometimes.