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The Ultimate Guide to Break Bulk Shipping

Some things are just too big to ship in a traditional way.

Whether it’s due to size, shape, or weight, some items simply won’t fit inside traditional cargo containers. This is where break bulk shipping comes into play.

It’s the ultimate solution to transporting things that don’t fit in cargo holders and cannot be neatly stacked onto vehicles. 

If you’re looking to find out more about the ins and outs of break bulk shipping, how it works, and who can provide it, then you’re in the right place. Our ultimate guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is Break Bulk Shipping?

It’s a common logistical solution in which difficult-to-transport items are put in more versatile containers such as bags, boxes, crates, or barrels to be moved. Sometimes even these containers aren’t suitable, and the material is simply lifted and loaded onto the transport with no container.

What Kinds of Items Require Break Bulk?

There are several common things shipped by this method. Here are some examples:

  • Manufacturing Equipment
  • Large Vehicles
  • Building Material e.g. Steel Girders
  • Reels and Rolls
  • Heavy Goods
  • Oversized Goods
  • Turbine Components

The use of the break bulk shipping method has increased in popularity, with more and more senders choosing to forego containerization. It is a reliable way to ship, as there is no sudden change facing the industry that will put a strain on shipping companies.

How Are Bulk Cargo and Break Bulk Cargo Different?

The two terms are not interchangeable, and it is important to make sure that you book the correct shipping services for your cargo. The differences between bulk and break bulk are significant.

Bulk cargo is the name for loose cargo in transport. It applies to materials such as coal and forms of grain, as these materials are often loaded onto trucks without excess containerization.

Break bulk describes the loose transportation of individual items that are otherwise difficult to move. Bear this in mind when organizing break bulk shipping services.

The Key Advantages of Break Bulk Shipping

The benefits of shipping break bulk comes down to a few key things. Bookability, flexibility, and transport speed. These things are achieved in a number of different ways.

Break bulk shipping takes place at countless ports, which means it is very bookable for a lot of oceanic shipping jobs. As it is a traditional method, even old ports facilitate break bulk shipping. This form of transportation was around when many routes were designed, meaning that they all accommodate the method.

It is a flexible method because of the sizes and shapes it can accommodate. The benefit of break bulk is that these factors are not limited by the sizes and shapes of shipping containers. It is also possible to transport hazardous materials by break bulk as the cargo is simply split up from the other materials on the transport.

Speed may not seem an obvious benefit of shipping break bulk, but it is the most efficient way to send items of the size and heft often found in break bulk shipping. The method removed the need for disassembly and reassembly, packing, and separated shipping. 

All of these factors play into making break bulk the most affordable way to ship large items. It is, without doubt, the most effective way to move items that would gain nothing from being taken apart in order to fit inside standard containers. Break bulk shipping rates are more than worth paying – they offer the knowledge that your cargo is being transported in the optimal way for its size and shape.

Break Bulk Shipping

When Not to Use Break Bulk

The process of break bulk shipping is undoubtedly the best way to maneuver items that are hard to ship in standard containers. Many of the benefits will become redundant if you can containerize your cargo with ease.

If you’re certain that your products would be difficult to ship in containers, then break bulk is for you. There is no more cost-effective way to move things that are not a standard size or shape.

The Shipping Process

Just as the cargo is unique in size and shape, so are the arrangements that must be made when handling a break bulk shipping case. Handling and organization require care and attention, and all documentation must be filled in promptly and accurately.

Loading and unloading are some of the riskiest stages of the break bulk shipping process. It is the point at which the most focus, power, and attention to detail are required so as not to damage the cargo or put anyone in harm’s way.

Bespoke arrangements are often made for these stages of break bulk shipment.

Equipment such as cranes is often required, along with longshoremen to oversee the careful process of unloading an atypically shaped shipment. With the right planning, the load and unload will go as smoothly as it would be expected to with more traditionally shaped cargo.

Working with a reliable break bulk shipping company is vital when transporting valuable goods. Professionals will know exactly what to do to get your cargo from A to B without damage or delay.

Get Your Large Cargo Moving Without Worry or Delay

If you’re struggling to see how your huge, weighty products can be transported to their final destination, break bulk shipping is for you. It is a method tried and tested by countless businesses and persists to this day as the most effective way to move atypical loads.

It’s time to get your cargo on the move.

To get started on booking your transport, search ‘break bulk shipping near me’ to find a provider. Or better yet, get in contact directly with an expert break bulk shipping agency today!

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Onsite Global Logistics is a third party logistics provider 3PL helping companies with innovative global logistics and supply chain solutions

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