A Peep into the Freight and Cargo Terms

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Shipping and freight cover a range of topics to understand. It is a vast area of understanding, and getting the terms in the true sense is a big challenge often. Many words look alike and mean entirely two different things. One common mistake is the words bulk and breakbulk being used interchangeably. But both words convey a different meaning in entirety.

Understanding Bulk in Freight and cargo

Bulk is carrying the dry cargoes like iron, Alumina, Coal, Phospate in their loose form, and these are directly loaded onto the ships. The ships that carry such cargo are termed as Bulk Carriers, ore carriers or Bulkers. These ships will be classified based on deadweight, which means the weight the vessel can carry safely, which includes the cargo, the crew, stores, water, fuel, etc. If the total weight is more than the deadweight, it shows the danger of the ship sinking.
Broadly the bulkers are of two types :

  1. Geared: this means that the ship has its loading and unloading equipment and this can be done at any port rather than depending on ports supporting these features.
  2. Gearless: This means the ship doesn’t own its loading and unloading equipment and should work at the specific terminals which have these facilities.

So, what is Break Bulk?

This means the trades where the cargo is carried in a unitized form such as palletised,bagged, strapped, bundled, drummed, and crated and not unitized general cargo like vehicles, steel, etc. The ships carrying such load are called Breakbulk,multi-purpose or general cargo vessels, and come in different sizes, and types like single decker, tween decker, box hold. In these ships, the cargoes can belong to different customers, there is no requirement of dedicated berth or terminal, and these can operate freely from any berth.

There are two types of break bulk geared and gearless, which are similar in meaning like break.

The loading of cargo can be done in different styles in these ships.

Also, they support cargo from one customer and many customers in a specific style t make their arrangements easier.

The necessity to understand Cargo terms

The shipping industry is a rapidly growing industry that offers various employment opportunities today. Thus, these terms are quite essential to be understood in general.

Also, it is still a fascination for many to see ships handling cargo in a very professional way, and finding out the right terminals or possessing the right equipment is a priority.

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