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Glossary

Break Bulk

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Break bulk is described as cargo that does not fit in standard shipping containers or cargo bins.

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What is Break Bulk?

Break bulk is a shipping term for cargo that does not fit in a standard shipping container or cargo bin. Break bulk cargo is instead transported individually in bags, boxes, crates, drums, or barrels. 

Shipping break bulk takes more time than shipping in standardized containers because each item must be loaded and unloaded individually using special equipment. 

Break bulk is different from bulk cargo, which is free flowing, liquid, or dry items shipped loosely and unpackaged. 

Examples of breakbulk cargo include the following: 

  • Construction equipment
  • Manufacturing materials
  • Oversized vehicles
  • Boats
  • Ship propellers
  • Generators
  • Large engines

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Related Glossary Terms

Bulk Cargo

Rolled Cargo

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