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Breakbulk Cargo

Breakbulk cargo refers to goods that are transported individually, often packed on pallets, crates, or other containers, rather than being shipped in large standardized containers like those used in containerized shipping. Unlike containerized cargo, breakbulk cargo is typically loaded and unloaded piece by piece or in small groups.

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breakbulk cargo

Examples of breakbulk cargo include machinery, vehicles, heavy equipment, steel, lumber, and other large or irregularly shaped items that are not suitable for containerized shipping. Breakbulk shipping often involves specialized handling and may require additional logistics planning and equipment for loading and unloading at ports or terminals.

Breakbulk shipping and bulk shipping are both methods of transporting goods, but they differ in terms of the type of cargo they handle and how they are loaded onto vessels:

Breakbulk Shipping:

  • Breakbulk shipping involves transporting individual pieces or units of cargo that are loaded onto a vessel individually or in small groups.

  • Cargo in breakbulk shipping is typically loaded and unloaded piece by piece or using specialized equipment such as cranes.

  • This method is suitable for goods that are too large, heavy, or irregularly shaped to be containerized, such as machinery, vehicles, steel, lumber, and other project cargo.

  • Breakbulk shipping requires careful handling and may involve additional logistics planning and equipment at ports or terminals.

Bulk Shipping:

  • Bulk shipping involves transporting large quantities of homogeneous cargo, such as grains, ores, coal, minerals, or liquids, that are poured or pumped directly into the hold of a vessel.

  • Cargo in bulk shipping is not packaged or containerized but is loaded and unloaded in bulk form.

  • This method is ideal for goods that are uniform in nature and can be efficiently loaded and unloaded in bulk quantities.

  • Bulk shipping vessels are specially designed with features such as large hatches, conveyor systems, and tanks to accommodate bulk cargo.

Breakbulk cargo is typically priced based on various factors, including:


The weight of the cargo is a significant factor in determining the price, as heavier cargo may require more handling and transportation resources.


The volume or size of the cargo also influences the pricing, as larger or bulkier items may require more space and handling considerations.


The distance the cargo needs to be transported affects the overall cost, with longer distances generally resulting in higher prices due to increased fuel and transportation expenses.

Handling Requirements

Special handling requirements, such as the need for cranes, forklifts, or specialized equipment, can impact the pricing of breakbulk cargo.

Special Services

Additional services such as packaging, labeling, storage, insurance, and customs clearance may incur extra charges.

Market Conditions

Market demand, supply availability, and other economic factors can also influence breakbulk cargo pricing.

Overall, breakbulk cargo pricing is determined based on a combination of these factors, with shipping companies and logistics providers considering various aspects to provide competitive and cost-effective pricing for their customers.

Need Help with Shipping Your Breakbulk Cargo?

A & A Global Logistics has partnered with several giant shipping lines worldwide. We specialize in shipping a wide range of cargo types, including break bulk. We can help you move your breakbulk cargo with a fleet of ships designed to transport this type of cargo safely and efficiently. We also offer various packaging options to protect your cargo during shipping. We offer competitive rates and can work with you to find the most affordable shipping solution for your needs. Contact us today for a consultation and to ask for a free quote for your shipment.

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Why Choose A & A Global Logistics?

Whether you are shipping goods from the USA to Canada or vice versa, A & A Global Logistics is one of the leading international logistics companies and your trustworthy partner for reliable and efficient shipping. Our commitment to exceptional service, attention to detail, and vast industry experience ensure that your shipments reach their destination smoothly and on time. Do you need the services of a reliable global logistics company for shipments between the US and Canada? Reach out to us today to streamline your shipping process and gain peace of mind while expanding your business across borders.

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NOTE: All details pertaining to CARM R2 processes are based on the current information available at the time of writing. As this is subject to change, it’s recommended you periodically check in with the CBSA or your customs broker.