Breakbulk

Breakbulk

Breakbulk and its glamorous subset, project cargo, remain a dynamic shipping segment, and the multipurpose and heavylift (MPV/HL) carriers that serve it are just beginning to recover from chronic overcapacity and a decade of doldrums.

Breakbulk cargo has been defined as ‘whatever is left over’ after the bulk and container ships are full. While the shift of commodities such as cotton and coffee from breakbulk into containers has largely run its course, other breakbulk and project cargos continue to move on MPV/HL vessels. Not every shipment of breakbulk cargo involves a complex mega-project or thousands of freight tons that require full charters and heavy-lift capacity. Many of these movements are very complex, and require additional planning, expertise and equipment. Project cargo shippers often work closely with carriers’ engineering teams to create transport plans.Simple breakbulk cargoes can often shift shipping modes fairly seamlessly. Steel, for example, flows from breakbulk to bulk carriers to, for some forms of steel, roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) and container transport. The preferred mode will depend on volumes, prices, schedules and demand. Container and ro-ro services offers shippers fixed schedules, predictable routes and prices, and more commoditized handling, simplifying the equation – but only when it makes sense for the cargo.

News & Analysis

28 Nov 2022
US-based MPV operator Intermarine is expanding into Asia and Europe via a partnership with Thailand’s WeShip.
30 Nov 2017
Considering how advanced some industries are in digitizing their processes, the maritime industry is still far behind.
29 Nov 2017
Breakbulk carriers generally do not operate on a fixed schedule as container lines do.
27 Nov 2017
The connectivity will facilitate trade between Bangladesh and a landlocked Indian state.
24 Nov 2017
With land and location, Brownsville is on the verge of attracting multibillion-dollar projects.
15 Nov 2017
The port said it is in negotiations with an unnamed potential operator for the new Dames Point auto terminal.
13 Nov 2017
“It’s a first step, but a critical first step.”
09 Nov 2017
Last week’s ruling by Judge Rudolph Contreras of the US District Court for the District of Columbia is the latest development in a years-long dispute over pilotage fees.
06 Nov 2017
The primary issue is with “field formations” that must still set up systems and procedures for handling RFID e-sealed containers.
06 Nov 2017
That state aid scheme underscores the importance the Narendra Modi government places on coastal and short-sea shipping.
04 Nov 2017
The shipment of outsized or heavyweight air freight has demanded agility, speed, and quick thinking from forwarders, charter brokers, and carriers.
03 Nov 2017
Receita Federal (customs) officers in the port of Santos are escalating their slowdowns and strikes that began last week.
01 Nov 2017
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the US Export-Import Bank has described the bank as “corporate welfare” that should be abolished.
01 Nov 2017
The World Bank will provide 5.3 billion taka of the funding.
28 Oct 2017
Transporters of outsized cargoes now must obtain permits to cross borders and even to move from region to region within countries.
24 Oct 2017
Dirk Visser, senior shipping consultant and managing editor at Dynamar, sees improvement in the breakbulk and project cargo industry.
19 Oct 2017
Port officials are evaluating the best ways to keep capacity above demand.
19 Oct 2017
Optimism has been in short supply for breakbulk and project carriers.
18 Oct 2017
The facility will be the first in Mexico dedicated exclusively to handling vehicles.
18 Oct 2017
The carriers said that despite their exclusive cooperative agreement, they will maintain separate operations.
16 Oct 2017
Disruption is unavoidable for container shipping as multiple technologies converge with unprecedented speed.
12 Oct 2017
Santos Brasil’s plan to sell two terminals will cost it its title as South America’s largest container terminal operator.
11 Oct 2017
The world was shocked by British citizens’ decision on June 24, 2016, to withdraw their nation from the European Union.
11 Oct 2017
ExxonMobil said that it expects new fuel formulations will appear in order to meet demand for bunkers with a sulfur content of 0.5 percent.
09 Oct 2017
Ships were converted into specialized vessels for wind power components after being designed for containers.
06 Oct 2017
Ports must invest more than $100 billion over the next five years to upgrade infrastructure for big ships. Private equity funds ready to step if, if the deals fit their investment strategies.
05 Oct 2017
“The expectation is that the work on the short-term solution will begin later this year.”
21 Sep 2017
Disputes over Coast Guard's rate-setting create "rat's nest of problems."
20 Sep 2017
Transporters of outsized cargoes now must obtain permits to cross borders and even to move from region to region within countries.
18 Sep 2017
"You just find an export credit agency in another country. When that happens, the supply chain leaves the United States and goes to that other country.”
13 Sep 2017
IHS Markit estimates about half of Florida’s filling stations have fuel now, though widespread shortages were still being reported Tuesday.
12 Sep 2017
Port to advance funds to get project started more quickly.
12 Sep 2017
Analysts and transportation providers say Hurricane Irma, which followed hot on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, could have lasting impacts on truck rates and capacity through January 2018.
08 Sep 2017
Hurricane Irma’s arrival this weekend threatens to roil US supply chains and seriously impact trucking rates.
08 Sep 2017
The global logistics industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers.
07 Sep 2017
Trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union is significant and will face serious challenges should Brexit see the United Kingdom leaving the EU Customs Union, British ports warn.