Break bulk cargo, Bulk Cargoes, Project cargo and Heavy lift, military equipment or almost any other oversized or overweight cargo which is too big or too heavy for a container (NCL).
What Is Break Bulk?
Break bulk cargo has been in a steady decline as container shipping has become more popular. There are still numerous products that are best shipped as break bulk, but break bulk tends to be more expensive than container shipping.
Break Bulk Shipping
Break bulk is a term used in the shipping industry. It refers to cargo that needs to be individually loaded. Break bulk cargo cannot be shipped in inter-modal containers or in bulk, like grains or oil. It has been the most common type of cargo since the beginning of shipping. In modern times, container shipping has become more popular and break bulk has declined.
How Break Bulk Cargo is Shipped
A bulk of cargo is broken into groups that can be easily loaded using the equipment available at the port. Break bulk cargo is often shipped on pallets. Break bulk cargo can also be shipped in barrels, drums, boxes or bags. It is more labor-intensive and time-consuming to load and unload than container cargo.
The majority of ships can carry different types of cargo. It is not uncommon for a ship to carry break bulk cargo, containers and even bulk cargo. Small, inter-island ships are often loaded with a variety of cargo types. These days, 80 percent of cargo is moved in containers.