Breakbulk shipping

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 as well as 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 shipping News & Analysis

Offshore wind plans driving investment in installation vessels

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Apr 25, 2022, 10:23 AM EDT

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 | Apr 12, 2022, 3:05 PM EDT

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 | Apr 1, 2022, 7:00 AM EDT

Maersk Supply Service has ordered a new wind turbine installation vessel to build offshore wind projects on the US Atlantic seaboard.
Energy projects

Recovering EPC forecast complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Mar 21, 2022, 1:45 PM EDT

Burned by losses, key engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms continue to shift away from lump-sum contracting and toward more risk-averse strategies in the oil and gas space.
Breakbulk shippingProject cargo

US Gulf ports project continued breakbulk recovery, container ‘spillover’

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent | Mar 18, 2022, 3:50 PM EDT

Rebounding steel and project cargo volumes and a congested container market that continues to push both cargo and containers to the breakbulk mode are driving strong growth at the key Gulf Coast ports.
Breakbulk shipping

Industry veteran to drive new approach at Combi Lift

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Mar 14, 2022, 5:15 PM EDT

Combi Lift will serve as a wholesale "integrator" of owner Harren & Partner’s assets, including the carriers SAL Heavy Lift and Intermarine
Breakbulk carriers

GPA spending millions to beef up ro/ro, breakbulk capacity

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Mar 11, 2022, 4:52 PM EST

The Georgia Ports Authority plans to spend $150 million to create a “massive gateway port” for ro/ro and breakbulk cargo.
Ro/ro cargo

Ukraine invasion could tighten already-scarce MPV tonnage

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Mar 7, 2022, 5:11 PM EST

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could exacerbate a tonnage shortage in the global MPV/HL sector driven by ongoing container-side congestion and spillover cargo.
Breakbulk carriers

Loss of AN-225 in Russian attack a blow to Ukraine's Antonov Airlines

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Mar 2, 2022, 3:21 PM EST

While Antonov's smaller AN-124s continue to operate, restoring the behemoth AN-225 will take five years and cost more than $3 billion, according to the Ukrainian government's news outlet.
Breakbulk carriersAirports

AAL bucks MPV ordering trend with two new ships

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Feb 22, 2022, 12:06 PM EST

MPV/HL newbuildings expand dship, BBC Chartering fleet as AAL places orders for a total of six new ships.
Breakbulk carriers

‘Trickle-down’ expectations pressuring MPV operators

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Feb 11, 2022, 11:32 AM EST

While a rate "plateau" may be looming, container congestion and equipment supply shortages will continue to push spillover cargo into the MPV sector, analysts say
Breakbulk carriersProject cargo

Rebounding vehicle production highlights looming landside labor shortages

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Feb 8, 2022, 6:00 AM EST

Auto makers and finished vehicle logistics (FVL) service providers say a dearth of car-haul drivers, dockworkers, and auto processing labor could hinder the tentative recovery in auto manufacturing.
Breakbulk shippingRo/ro cargo

Ro/ro volumes surge at NWSA as cargo shippers flee container chaos

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent | Feb 7, 2022, 11:05 AM EST

The Northwest Seaport Alliance saw record breakbulk tonnage in 2021 thanks to container congestion and booming demand for construction machinery.
Ro/ro cargo

Ro/ro carriers brace for auto surge amid capacity crunch

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Jan 28, 2022, 2:00 PM EST

Even a slight recovery in auto production means shippers should brace for the reality that already tight vessel capacity will become even scarcer, ro/ro carriers warn.
Ro/ro cargo

US offshore wind buildout will require additional assets, labor

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Jan 24, 2022, 5:14 PM EST

As the offshore wind buildout gains momentum, logistics providers are adapting European models to meet the specific needs and constraints of the US market.
Energy projects

Expect high MPV rates, tight capacity through 2022, say analysts

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Jan 11, 2022, 6:05 PM EST

Soaring freight rates are incentivizing MPV carriers to turn down lower-value backhauls and return empty to load ports.
Breakbulk carriers

Outlook 2022: MPV/HL demand to remain elevated despite receding container ‘spillover’

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Dec 27, 2021, 4:15 PM EST

Although spillover cargo from the congested container market will recede as the market stabilizes, breakbulk and recovering project demand coupled with shrinking capacity are expected to keep MPV/HL rates from sinking to pre-COVID-19 levels
MaritimeBreakbulk shipping

Container imports jump at Everett as carriers seek alternative ports

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent | Dec 22, 2021, 12:36 PM EST

Extra-loaders carrying spillover cargo are dramatically increasing container imports at the Port of Everett in Washington state.
Breakbulk carriers

MPV extra-loader demand expected to last into 2022

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Dec 21, 2021, 4:01 PM EST

In a bid for predictability, shippers are signing up for long-term MPV charters despite rocketing rates fueled by strong cargo demand from traditional customers and freight forwarders managing spillover container cargo.
Breakbulk carriers

MPV newbuildings won’t dent coming capacity shortage

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Dec 21, 2021, 11:06 AM EST

While newbuildings add needed tonnage to the MPV/HL fleet, they will not stave off what sector participants say is a looming capacity shortage.
Breakbulk shippingBreakbulk carriers

No slowdown in MPV demand amid wind growth: Toepfer

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Dec 9, 2021, 9:30 AM EST

Ambitious global plans to increase wind energy capacity, ongoing spillover demand from the container market, and a scant orderbook are poised to drive a capacity shortage in the multipurpose vessel market.
Project cargo

MPV rates up, but rate of increase easing: Drewry

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Dec 8, 2021, 11:42 AM EST

"Spillover" demand in the MPV/HL carrier segment is not yet slowing, thanks to ongoing port congestion and shippers willing to use alternatives to traditional container shipping.
Breakbulk carriers

Digital bulk, breakbulk marine management startup raises $8.4 million

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Dec 2, 2021, 12:17 PM EST

Low-code digital platform Voyager Portal is focused on reducing complexity and cost in non-containerized global shipping operations.
Project cargoLogistics technology

Container inquiries dropping for MPV sector: analysts

Special Correspondent Keith Wallis | Nov 30, 2021, 7:00 AM EST

While the urgency of containers being carried on multipurpose/heavy-lift vessels is easing, the spillover market will continue to affect the MPV sector into 2023, analysts say.
Breakbulk carriers

Global ro/ro carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen names new CEO

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Nov 29, 2021, 5:38 PM EST

Lasse Kristoffersen, former CEO of bulk operator Torvald Klaveness, will take the helm of Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Ro/ro cargoBreakbulk carriers

Container 'spillover' into breakbulk market stabilizing

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Nov 16, 2021, 8:00 AM EST

Consolidation and a looming capacity shortage will shape the MPV sector once the spillover market has calmed.
Breakbulk carriers

Wallenius Wilhelmsen posts record Q3 profit despite volume decline

Special Correspondent Keith Wallis | Nov 12, 2021, 8:00 AM EST

Elevated freight rates and strong high and heavy and breakbulk volumes boosted roll-on/roll-off carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s earnings even as vehicle volumes slide due to chip and parts shortages.
Ro/ro cargo

Rate gains in MPV/HL sector to slow: analysts

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Nov 5, 2021, 3:24 PM EDT

Both shipper panic and carrier euphoria are calming as the breakbulk market becomes more predictable, albeit at higher rates.
Breakbulk carriers

Fuel prices, driver shortage cloud forecast for heavy-haul transport

Special Correspondent Chris Barnett | Nov 3, 2021, 10:29 AM EDT

New projects and those that had been delayed have begun moving, but the truck driver shortage and higher fuel costs could dampen a bright outlook for the US heavy-haul sector.
Heavy-haul transportTrucking

MPV/HL demand rising, but growth to slow longer term: MSI

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Nov 1, 2021, 5:09 PM EDT

A strong short-term market is pushing MPV/HL demand, but carriers sense the market frenzy is abating.
Breakbulk carriers

Siemens Gamesa to build first US offshore wind blade plant

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Oct 26, 2021, 9:31 AM EDT

Investments in the US' budding offshore wind industry are gaining momentum along the eastern seaboard, with Siemens Gamesa building the first US offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Virginia.
Project cargo

AAL orders four new heavy-lift ships

Special Correspondent Keith Wallis | Oct 19, 2021, 8:00 AM EDT

While the “spillover” container market that is driving up MPV rates and creating a capacity shortage will eventually dissipate, in the longer term a low orderbook could mean a capacity shortage, analyst Drewry says.
Breakbulk carriersProject cargo

Combi Lift launches forwarding division targeting smaller cargoes

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Oct 11, 2021, 12:00 PM EDT

Combi Lift’s forwarding operation will organize the shipment of equipment components or individual pieces of equipment that would normally be too small to interest its projects division.
Breakbulk shipping

Driver shortage hampers heavy-haul trucking recovery 

Chris Barnett, Special Correspondent | Oct 11, 2021, 9:41 AM EDT

Equipment costs and a lack of skilled drivers may undercut a bright forecast for heavy haul truckers as wind energy, industrial, and infrastructure projects ramp up.
Breakbulk shipping

MPV/HL charter rates up 137 percent since October 2020: Toepfer

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Oct 7, 2021, 4:04 PM EDT

The spillover market will not dissipate until box rates dip below five figures, according to Geodis' senior VP for global ocean freight.
Breakbulk carriers

Growing share of US imports arriving on MPV/HL ships amid capacity crunch

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Oct 6, 2021, 3:57 PM EDT

Skyrocketing demand is pushing imports into the US toward MPV/HL and other non-container carriers in a wave of spillover cargo.
Breakbulk carriers

MPV/HL market shifts toward longer-term commitments

Janet Nodar, Senior Editor, Breakbulk and Heavy Lift | Oct 4, 2021, 11:25 AM EDT

In a change from long-held norms, earlier contracting is becoming more standard in the breakbulk and project market as cargo shippers labor to secure capacity and reduce risk and price volatility.
Project cargoBreakbulk carriers

Höegh Autoliners orders eco-friendly Aurora-class car carriers

Special Correspondent Keith Wallis | Oct 4, 2021, 11:18 AM EDT

Oslo-based Höegh’s latest order for vehicle carriers comes amid growth in imports of China-made vehicles at European ports.
Ro/ro cargoBreakbulk carriers

Lack of visibility dampens long-term ro/ro outlook: UECC

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Sep 23, 2021, 1:26 PM EDT

While the ro/ro market booms thanks to high consumer demand and spillover container cargo, soaring vessel costs and an ongoing chip shortage add risk.
Ro/ro cargo

High and heavy cargoes push up European ro/ro volumes

Special Correspondent Keith Wallis | Sep 21, 2021, 9:50 AM EDT

Ro/ro carriers are adding capacity and ordering ships as Brexit snarls supply chains and complicates European labor shortages.
Ro/ro cargo