Breakbulk

Breakbulk

Not every shipment of breakbulk cargo involves a complex mega-project or thousands of freight tons. In such cases, a shipment can often shift modes 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. It depends on markets, prices, and demand.

Breakbulk/project cargo remains a dynamic market. Chronic overcapacity and fierce competition are driving carriers to jockey for position when it comes to carrying breakbulk and project cargo; not just from other multi-purpose breakbulk and project cargo carriers but from roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro), container carriers, and bulk carriers.

For years, containerization has been attracting a significant share of traditional breakbulk cargo. Containerization offers shippers strict schedules, predictable routes and prices, and  commoditized handling; vastly simplify shipping compared with the complexities and unpredictability of breakbulk and project cargo.

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 multipurpose vessels. Many of these movements are becoming more complex, and require additional planning, expertise and equipment.

News & Analysis

06 Dec 2019
James Lyons’ successor as head of the Alabama State Port Authority will have plenty on their plate as the Port of Mobile looks to expand its container handling capacity and attract new shipping services amid growing volumes.
06 Nov 2019
As expected, greater clarity is emerging around the low-sulfur surcharge and how it will apply to shippers in cost-per-container terms as carriers get ready to queue up at the pumps.
06 Nov 2019
A deal between India and Bangladesh is designed to open more inland waterway routes, furthering developing coastal trade.
06 Nov 2019
Carriers that do not have a significant number of their vessels equipped with scrubbers could be at a cost disadvantage as shipping prepares to comply with the IMO 2020 sulfur cap.
06 Nov 2019
The multipurpose/heavy-lift (MPV/HL) market has endured a decade-long downturn, but with rates slowly climbing and project cargo shippers reporting healthy order books and backlogs, the sector could finally be turning a corner.
06 Nov 2019
Shipment management software provider CargoSmart has tested a connection between a Hong Kong banking platform and shipment data provided by terminals and container lines to speed approval of trade finance processes and expand the range of shippers who can receive financing services.
05 Nov 2019
Sponsored: Logistics service providers need to understand that cargo owners are expecting the visibility of Amazon packages for their freight, said Michelle Gaubert, director, CyberLogitec America.
05 Nov 2019
Over the course of two months this summer and fall, the JOC interviewed numerous industry stakeholders, economists, and other experts about the lasting impact the US-China trade war has had on supply chains that, in some cases, were decades in the making.
05 Nov 2019
A massive decline in China-bound shipments has been offset in part by increases to other Asian countries, but even that demand is beginning to wane, dragging total year-to-date US agricultural exports down for the first time in four years.
05 Nov 2019
The freight rate management software provider has developed a uniform way for carriers to convey real-time rates to forwarders and NVOCCs using its rate-sharing platform, allowing for quicker and more accurate quoting to shippers.
05 Nov 2019
Moving a 238-metric ton transformer over the road from Houston to New Mexico requires meticulous planning, detailed route surveys, and the building of a massive transport trailer.
Challenge to ELD rule resurfaces at FMCSA
05 Nov 2019
Regulators are accepting comments on a petition to exempt small carriers from the ELD mandate, as the final compliance deadline for truck drivers and carriers approaches.
05 Nov 2019
The rail freight transit times from China to Europe are shortening as forwarders adjust service routes to avoid bottlenecks at major train transfer hubs.
05 Nov 2019
As spot intermodal rates begin to save shippers more money than earlier in 2019, shippers are seeing reduced savings on contract business.
05 Nov 2019
Sponsored: What keeps shippers up at night? Kuehne + Nagel's EVP Otto Schacht discusses customer concerns around fuel pricing and availability with the approaching IMO 2020 low-sulfur regulation, freight rate market fluctuations, the future of contracting, and the e-commerce impact on predictability expectations.
05 Nov 2019
The container growth rate at Indian ports during the first seven months of the fiscal year shrunk to 3 percent, down from 8.4 percent in the same period a year ago.
05 Nov 2019
CMA CGM has put a price to its low-sulfur surcharge per container moving on the North Europe-Asia trade.
05 Nov 2019
Sponsored: Guangzhou Ports (Europe) CEO Johannes Nanninga on the cargo flow transformations happening in South China and the rise of the Port of Nansha as the west side of the Pearl River Delta strengthens as a manufacturing and warehousing hub.
04 Nov 2019
The Port of Philadelphia is planning for an increase in rail cargo and refrigerated goods as it as it prepares to handle larger vessels when the dredging of the Delaware River is complete.
04 Nov 2019
For the world’s largest container carrier, embarking on a radical departure from its traditional business model while simultaneously leading a historic quest to decarbonize shipping represents a level of risk-taking and ambition without equal in today’s industry.
04 Nov 2019
A group of agricultural exports blames ocean carriers and terminal operators for creating crippling terminal congestion and then profiting off the problem.
04 Nov 2019
While India’s supply chain reforms move forward, stakeholders say they need more clarity on the changes in order to allow for a smooth implementation.
04 Nov 2019
The trans-Pacific spot market has begun to rebound as aggressive capacity management and early shipping ahead of looming US tariffs have pushed rates higher.
01 Nov 2019
Talk of a port-wide interoperable chassis pool no longer dominates discussions about how to increase efficiency in supplying chassis at the Port of New York and New Jersey, where a series of smaller measures have helped provide fluidity for truckers.
01 Nov 2019
The pace of hiring at US for-hire trucking companies continues to slow as low unemployment and alternative work challenge recruiters.
01 Nov 2019
Carriers do not plan on carrying any of the costs of complying with the IMO 2020 low-sulfur fuel regulations, and will levy a surcharge on spot rates and shorter contracts.
01 Nov 2019
Cooperation between super-heavy carriers is a sign of a strengthening project market.
01 Nov 2019
Carriers are finally seeing an increase in Asia-North Europe rates and hoping the upward movement in prices carries through to the end of the year.
01 Nov 2019
DSV Panalpina is now in the top three air and ocean logistics service providers, but the expanded geographical footprint also exposes the forwarder to weakness in global trade.
01 Nov 2019
Bill Keyes, global logistics director of operations, Fluor on trade tensions and IMO2020 pricing risks, questions for the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) side of the freight transportation business.
01 Nov 2019
Port of New Orleans Commercial Director Janine Mansour on the 2019 reality of the long-awaited resin boom, expansion plans, inland logistics, volume-related equipment challenges.
31 Oct 2019
Stakeholders in the container shipping industry are debating how demurrage clocks should begin, when they should be suspended, and when it’s fair and unfair to assess penalties to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs).
31 Oct 2019
Multiregional LTL carrier Saia generated more revenue, volume, and profit through expansion into the Northeast and in ‘legacy’ markets.
31 Oct 2019
Top intermodal providers had few positives in describing the current state of the market with little to no seasonal uptick in container volumes on rail.
31 Oct 2019
The Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA) — consisting of Hongkong International Terminals, Modern Terminals, COSCO-HIT Terminals and Asia Container Terminals — said last month it standardized operation policies for the 12 dedicated barge berths.
31 Oct 2019
The Indian government has been forced to offer incentives to encourage trade activity on the low-volume shipping corridor linking Afghanistan via Chabahar port in Iran.