Breakbulk shipping is a common method of shipping used to successfully transport goods or cargo which are bigger than the standard size. The term breakbulk is derived from an older phrase i.e. ‘breaking bulk’, which refers to the removal of a section of a ship’s cargo, or the beginning of the unloading process from the ship’s hold. To be classified as breakbulk, the products must be loaded separately and individually, not in intermodal containers or in bulk, like liquids or grains. The cargos are delivered in bags, boxes, crates, drums, or barrels. In modern times, breakbulk is meant to encompass cargo that is transported in the above-mentioned ways.
Breakbulk warehousing is a place where raw materials are stored in large volumes and it manages the logistics of delivery, such as petroleum being delivered by tanker, cement by containers and others. The warehouse in this example is used to receive big shipments from the plant via long-distance transportation and break them down into smaller shipments for local delivery to various clients. This allows tiny shipments to take the role of long-distance shipments.
Let’s take an example. Plant A is sending a large consignment to multiple customers, P, Q and R who are all located in a similar zone or a nearby location. This large consignment goes to a breakbulk warehouse and depending on the customer order at P, Q and R, they are broken into smaller chunks and delivered locally using a local transportation delivery system.
Another example is deliveries from multiple plants, A, B, and C, are aggregated at two breakbulk warehouses before being supplied to clients D, E and F based on their needs. The reason for the breakbulk warehouse is that if customer D buys the material straight from plants A, B or C, the shipping costs will be extremely expensive. So, in this scenario, the breakbulk operator in a breakbulk warehouse manages the bulk logistics costs, and clients D, E and F receive only what they bought despite the fact that a combined shipment is delivered to the breakbulk warehouse.
Examples of commonly shipped breakbulk cargo commodities include:
- Bagged or sacked cargo
- Barrels, drums and casks
- Corrugated and wooden boxes or containers
- Equipment, vehicles and components
- Any long, heavy or over-sized goods
- Reels and rolls
- Bailed goods
- Steel girders and structural steel
Benefits of Breakbulk Shipping
- The ability to transport objects that are too large or too heavy to fit into a container or cargo.
- Deconstruction and reconstruction time is cut in half, allowing things to be dispatched sooner.
- Goods can move in smaller ports which are typically unable to lodge larger container ships or tankers.
- Items can be shipped separately and don’t have to be combined to get shipped.
When shipping breakbulk cargo, the largest issue is that it necessitates additional resources and coordination – longshoremen, loading and unloading cranes, warehouses, specialist ships, transport vehicles, and so on. That’s why partnering with a professional and experienced breakbulk logistics provider can make all the difference.
- Posted by WiserTech Solutions
- On April 11, 2022