Bulk cargo is a shipping term for items that are shipped loosely and unpackaged as opposed to being shipped in packages or containers.
An item may be classified as bulk cargo if it is not containerized and easily secured on a vessel. Items such as oil, grain, or coal are all examples of bulk cargo.
Bulk cargo is classified as either free flowing, a liquid, or a dry item. This type of cargo is typically dropped or poured as a liquid or solid into a merchant ship, railway car, or tanker truck.
Items may also be referred to as break bulk cargo, which is cargo that is packaged but non-containerized. Some examples of break bulk include drummed fuel, bagged cement, vehicles, and large parts to build an airplane. Items described as break bulk cargo can be transported in bags, barrels, and pallets.
Use the following diagram to determine if your product classifies as bulk cargo:
Get weekly insights into all things freight, delivered right to your inbox.