Breakbulk News

Up-to-date breakbulk news and analysis about the end-to-end movement of breakbulk cargo and heavy lift and project cargoes. Coverage tracks breakbulk news about premier gateway ports, terminals, carriers and charterers. It also covers wind cargo, roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) newbuildings, storage and processing capacity, inland supply chain connectivity and landside transport for energy, infrastructure, construction and other industries.

The latest Breakbulk News & Analysis

MPV/HL charter rates falling faster than expected: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Despite softening daily charter rates, the multipurpose and heavy-lift (MPV/HL) sector remains optimistic thanks to a growing renewable energy market and near-static fleet capacity.
Breakbulk News

Ro/ro surge driving new investment by carriers

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Recovering automobile exports and demand for high and heavy cargo are driving a ro/ro resurgence and a spate of new ship orders.
Ro/ro cargo

Georgia Ports Authority adds Nissan to OEM roster

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
US auto imports slid 8 percent during the first seven months of 2022, reflecting supply chain snarls, even as high and heavy imports gained steam.
Ro/ro cargo

Investors skittish on ordering new MPV/HL ships despite strong cargo demand

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
MPV/HL ships could be harder to find in coming years as carriers have difficulty finding funding for new ship orders, despite strong demand and higher rates than they have been able to command for years.
Breakbulk News

Ship orders defy declining reefer fleet trend

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
A handful of reefer carriers, having received an unexpected shot in the arm during the pandemic, are adding vessel capacity despite the long-term decline of this niche fleet.
Breakbulk carriers

Summer slump, market uncertainty pressuring MPV rates

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The MPV sector’s long-term outlook remains strong, but shippers are holding off booking in the hope that rates will continue to slide, analysts say.
Breakbulk carriers

Demand spike breathes new life into specialized reefer fleet

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The specialized reefer fleet has been shrinking for years as perishables shippers have migrated away from breakbulk shipping to refrigerated containers carried on global liner services, but “the mode keeps rescuing itself,” says one observer.
Breakbulk carriers

Multipurpose ships boosting container line capacity: Alphaliner

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Container carriers are adding incremental capacity to their regional and feeder liner services with MPV and other non-container ships, maritime analyst Alphaliner says.
Breakbulk carriers

dship Carriers acquires secondhand ship for MPV fleet

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
While spillover cargo flows back to the container market, a strong breakbulk market is keeping the MPV sector afloat.
Breakbulk carriers

Policy, pandemic disruption slowing US wind energy development

Chris Barnett |
Developers have installed a total of 139 gigawatts of onshore wind energy production across the US, with another 23 GW under construction or in advanced development as of the second quarter of 2022.
Breakbulk NewsProject cargoEnergy projects

Super-heavy carriers see war-driven energy boom

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The global super-heavy carrier fleet is at 91 percent utilization as governments accelerate energy investments amid the rush to cut ties with Russia.
Project cargo

New Orleans H1 breakbulk tonnage doubles amid ‘spillover’ surge

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Pandemic congestion may be easing as container rates fall, but breakbulk spillover cargo shows no sign of slowing at the Port of New Orleans.
Breakbulk carriersBreakbulk ports

Breakbulk carrier, box maker team for trans-Pac domestic container service

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
Carrier53, a joint venture of a breakbulk vessel operator and container manufacturer, said it will offer trans-Pacific sailings from China to the US West Coast with a special emphasis on domestic intermodal containers.
Container linesForwardingBreakbulk carriers

MPV/HL charter rates may have peaked, but no crash ahead: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Easing container congestion and the summer “doldrums” have sent MPV rates drifting downward, but carriers expect energy-related demand and tight capacity to keep the sector healthy in the long term.
Breakbulk carriers

Maersk targets project cargo with latest acquisition

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
Maersk is expanding its footprint in the heavy-lift sector with the acquisition of specialist logistics provider Martin Bencher that will be central to its new Maersk Project Logistics product.
Project cargo

Specialized reefer fills gap for shippers of perishable goods

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Congestion and unreliable service from liner carriers is driving some cold chain shippers back to the conventional reefer fleet
Breakbulk carriers

Uneasy labor talks put US rail transport of energy-related project cargo at risk

Marco Poisler, COO of global energy and capital projects at UTC Overseas; and Daniel Elliott, principal at GKG Law |
The transport of crucial project cargo bound for power generation facilities and renewable energy projects in the US could be stymied by a possible rail strike.
Energy projects

Legislation threatens US offshore wind ambitions

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Legislation now under consideration by a Senate committee could put the kibosh on the Biden administration’s ambitious plans to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
Energy projects

Carrier SAL orders up to six super-heavy MPVs

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
SAL joins competitors AAL and UHL with firm orders for multipurpose newbuild vessels, even as charter rates soften a bit from their current high levels.
Breakbulk carriers

Short-term breakbulk pessimism offset by long-term rate strength

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Uncertainty and congestion are undermining market confidence, but MPV rates are expected to stay well above pre-pandemic levels, according to breakbulk analysts.
Breakbulk carriers

Some shippers sticking with MPVs even as ‘spillover’ market subsides

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The breakbulk industry’s scramble to manage spillover cargo is ebbing as shippers' need for alternative tonnage eases, but that does not necessarily mean a rush back to pre-COVID norms.
Breakbulk carriers

Chaotic ‘spillover’ market reveals value of breakbulk shipping skills

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Old-fashioned breakbulk and supply chain skills have served shippers well in the “spillover” market, and some practices may linger after the container market normalizes.
Breakbulk carriers

Breakbulk demand heating up as spillover market plateaus

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Millions of tons of project cargo freight will be moving soon as energy projects, including Qatar’s massive LNG facility, gather steam, logistics executives say.
Project cargoEnergy projects

‘Spillover’ cargo market shows signs of waning

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
Softening container rates are expected to pull “spillover” cargo back from the breakbulk sector, but the just-ended COVID lockdowns in China may slow a market normalization.
Project cargo

Container shippers tapping ro/ro capacity amid tight vessel space

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
Container ship capacity has become so scarce that cargoes are spilling over not only to breakbulk and multipurpose vessels, but to the roll-on/roll-off sector as well.
MaritimeBreakbulk NewsRo/ro cargo

Chaotic breakbulk market won’t return to pre-pandemic norms

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The outlook for project cargo demand is bright, but tight capacity, congestion, high costs, and low schedule reliability will likely persist in the breakbulk sector.
Breakbulk News

Breakbulk shippers feeling the pinch from increased detention charges

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
In a hot breakbulk market, carriers are asking for — and getting — far higher detention fees to cover their potential losses when shippers delay loading or picking up their cargo.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk ports

MPV indexes hold steady at high levels as container spot rates soften

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
No “summer slump” is expected for the multipurpose sector even though softening spot rates for container shipping will send some spillover shippers back to boxes.
Breakbulk carriers

European short-sea ro/ro market undercut by Russian sanctions

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Demand for long-haul ro/ro services is strong, but COVID lockdowns and growing global economic uncertainties are constraining vehicle volumes, executives say.
Ro/ro cargo

MPV carrier UHL orders two F-900 ‘Eco-lifter’ newbuildings

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
The latest vessels in UHL’s F-900 series will be built in Hudong, China, and are due to be delivered in late 2023 and early 2024.
Breakbulk carriers

Higher oil prices, Russian sanctions may not drive long-term project investment

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
As the global energy transition gains momentum, a “mismatched” market will become more complex, partitioned, and costly, according to Jim Burkhard, head of oil market research at S&P Global.
Project cargo

MPV rates plateau, but long-term strength expected: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift |
A tightening supply of multipurpose ships bodes well for carriers and their bottom lines, but signals a higher “new normal” ahead for breakbulk and project shippers.
Breakbulk carriers

Container shippers pooling cargo to charter breakbulk ships

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
The presence of container shippers at JOC’s recent breakbulk conference shows that while global container volumes are slowing, plenty of logistics managers are concerned enough about future capacity on US trades.
Container linesBreakbulk News

Global car carrier fleet to expand, get greener

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
The latest newbuild order from Japan’s MOL continues a flurry of vehicle carrier orders made in the last month that will result in a bigger — and greener fleet — global fleet.
Ro/ro cargo

Pitfalls increase for breakbulk importers as sanctions grow in complexity

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent |
Breakbulk importers must navigate complex sanctions rules and a CBP crackdown on goods made with forced labor, attendees at JOC’s 2022 Breakbulk and Project Cargo conference were told.
Breakbulk carriers

Steel, other US commodity imports face severe shortage of storage space

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent |
Severely limited warehousing capacity at North American ports is adding to the challenges facing breakbulk shippers in 2022, attendees at JOC’s Breakbulk and Project Cargo conference were told.
Breakbulk carriers

‘Troublesome’ outlook ahead for breakbulk shippers

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Multipurpose and heavy-lift vessel capacity will remain tight for years, keeping upward pressure on pricing, carrier executives said at the JOC Breakbulk & Project Cargo conference.
Breakbulk carriers

Offshore wind plans driving investment in installation vessels

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Massive investment in offshore wind energy projects planned for Asia and the US is fueling orders for installation vessels, but at least one analyst expects an equipment shortfall by the end of the decade.
Project cargo

War, market uncertainty stall MPV rate growth: analysts

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Although rates could plateau or slide as global stressors impact the MPV market, underlying demand will not soften as the energy transition accelerates.
Breakbulk carriers

Maersk unit orders wind installation vessel for US projects

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Maersk Supply Service has ordered a new wind turbine installation vessel to build offshore wind projects on the US Atlantic seaboard.
Energy projects