Break Bulk Shipping

What is Break Bulk Shipping

Break bulk shipping is a method that involves shipping items that cannot be stored in conventional shipping containers. Instead, these items are transported in various ways such as in drums, barrels, crates, etc. Break bulk also includes oversized items that need to be shipped. Alternative measures such as rolling or lifting onto a ship can also be used for these items. For items to qualify as break bulk, they must be individually onboarded.

Benefits of Break Bulk Shipping

Here are some of the major benefits of break bulk shipping:

  1. Move around oversized items
  2. No need to dismantle and rebuild items, which leads to quicker dispatch times
  3. Access to smaller ports that wouldn’t be able to accommodate larger shipping vessels
  4. Items don’t need to be grouped in containers, allowing for individual shipping

Challenges of Break Bulk Shipping

Here are some challenges faced by break bulk shipping:

  1. More susceptible to theft and it’s riskier to handle break bulk items
  2. More labor intensive and requires more handling

Break Bulk vs. Bulk Shipping

The key difference between break bulk shipping and bulk shipping is that the former deals with large individual shipped goods whereas the latter is concerned with shipping loose goods such as grain. One thing to note is that both types of shipping require a specific vessel to transport goods, and requisite mechanisms in place to onboard and offload the cargo.

When To Use Break Bulk Shipping

The best time to use break bulk shipping is when you deliver items that don’t fit into a shipping container. Some examples include manufacturing equipment, construction equipment, vehicles, structural steel, and other large items.

Shipping cargo that doesn’t fit inside standardized shipping containers is challenging, but recent developments are making break bulk shipping more accessible to interested parties. And although it might not be the most convenient option on the market, in terms of shipping oversized and expensive equipment that can’t be shipped conventionally, it is probably your best bet.

Related Shipping Terms

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