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What is breakbulk cargo?

What is breakbulk cargo?

Breakbulk is a type of shipping process that is used frequently in the transport sector of the services industry. It is used for transporting goods that can’t be shipped into the average containers, breakbulk usually contains drums, barrels, bags, boxes, various kinds of instruments and devices, as well as crates and uneven containers. This means that the items in a breakbulk cargo are easy to handle and are loaded on the ship with ease.

Breakbulk covers a vast array of goods, items such as steel beams, paper reels, steel slabs, manufacturing machinery, construction material, vehicles, and all the heavy materials are considered breakbulk. For a long time, the traditional process of shipping that is; simply put, the cargo into containers and boxes that’ll make it easy to ship, has been quite successful. But regardless of its success, it still has numerous limitations, that provides breakbulk a breakthrough, especially in recent years in which, this process is being used more often.

A huge reason for its rise is the shift in the manufacturing, construction, and transportation industry. With industry revolutionization at its peak, it makes the shipment of heavy machinery and diverse equipment (that is difficult to put into containers or boxes), will be more than ever.

In terms of volume, almost half of the world’s cargo is shipped and received as breakbulk. And it is expected to maintain these numbers, as the experts don’t foresee any drastic changes in the industry, anytime soon.

ADVANTAGES OF BREAKBULK CARGO

Now that we’ve grasped the concept of breakbulk, let’s move toward its significance and benefits in the shipping industry;

CHEAP TRANSPORTATION:

One of the biggest advantages of breakbulk is that the cargo is moved on wheels rather than boats and ships. This saves a lot of resources and revenue; goods are shipped as a whole which is much easier as compared to small containers and boxes which requires a lot of time and meticulous planning. 

EQUIPMENT AND CARGO TOO HEAVY OR DIFFICULT TO MOVE:

The most significant feature is that we can easily load, unload and ship the items that are problematic and complex to break down. Shipping big products or goods that are uneasy to divide into smaller parts has always been an issue, so the only way to solve it is to find a way to the shipped item as it is.

Strong barges are used to roll on and roll off most of the shipments. Other than that, the vessel carrying breakbulk has the capability and the tools (such as high-strength cranes) to load and unload all the items that are either too heavy to lift for containerized shipping or goods that are unusual and can only be shipped in their original state without any altercations. 

 

SAVES TIME AND SIMPLE PROCEDURE 

Breakbulk is a cheap way of moving goods, other than saving shipping costs, it also saves the time of loading and unloading, as most of the items are rolled off and don’t need to be detached or broken down into parts. 

IT DOESN’T REQUIRE THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE PORT 

It can be easily loaded and unloaded on ports that are underdeveloped because it doesn’t require the latest technology advancements. The tools required to unload products are already mounted on the ships.  

LESS HECTIC 

Breakbulk is simple, it doesn’t need the items to be separated, and shipped in different containers. All the hefty and difficult items are simply lifted by cranes and loaded and unloaded from ships, making the process less hectic.  

WHAT’S THE FUTURE FOR BREAKBULK?

Although Breakbulk has many advantages and benefits, it also has some downsides, rolling down containers and items can require a lot of manpower, but other than that; using old methods can sometimes risk the safety of items, as it doesn’t have the standard packaging. 

But despite ups and downs, the breakbulk method is here to stay, at least, for a while. It’ll remain in use unless all the ports around the world are equipped with the latest technology and machinery and it’s not happening any time soon. So, the combination of both containerization and breakbulk will remain in effect!

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