Break Bulk Cargo

Logistics Term

Break Bulk Cargo Definition

Break bulk cargo refers to the consignment of storing goods into smaller units in the storage area on the deck or within the holds of a ship. It also goes by general cargo, breakbulk, or break-bulk. The bill of lading of a break bulk cargo entails the commodity on board and its total weight or volume. Usually, break bulk cargo comes in these tiny units for more effortless loading and unloading. The means employed to do so include the use of hands, conveyors, and forklifts. In this expertise, specialist break bulk vessels are employed for their heavy-lift cranes that can handle cargo more efficiently, unlike dockside cranes.

Loading and Unloading Break Bulk Cargo

Break bulk cargo is delivered to the quay using trucks and loaded onto a ship. Occasionally, it rests in the port warehouse before a ship's estimated arrival time. Upon arrival, the cargo is unloaded directly onto trucks for transportation to the point of destination. Similarly, it can stay in a port warehouse. Break bulk cargo is different from bulk cargo. The latter refers to a mode of shipping where large quantities of product are loaded loosely and directly onto a transport vessel. No packaging is done in this scenario. Another key term to understand is a break-in-bulk point. It refers to where goods shift from one mode of transport to the next, for example, where goods are moved from a ship to a truck.

The Essentials to Understanding Freight Shipping

Explore Other Logistics Industry Terms