Bulk cargo shipping involves products shipped loose and unpackaged instead of containers or other packaging solutions. The commodity cargo is unpackaged in large quantities, making it challenging to maintain on a ship. Bulk cargo may include oil, grain, iron, coal, and more. Whether it’s free-flowing, liquid, or dry, bulk cargo shipment is usually poured or dropped onto a cargo vessel, tanker truck, or railway car for shipment. And since bulk shipments require special carriers, shipping costs can vary widely. In this guide, we highlight how the right dry bulk shipping software and other parameters affect bulk shipping and bulk shipping costs.
Bulk Cargo Shipping Process
The bulk cargo shipping process involves carrying vast quantities of cargo from one location to another and straight onto a shipping vessel. There are three steps involved in the bulk cargo shipping process: loading, unloading, and storing. Although break bulk cargo is challenging to transport, there are specially designed carrier ships for transporting these commodities worldwide.
These sophisticated bulk vessels provide safety, longevity, capability, and efficiency, and they make up 21% of the world’s commercial fleets. These giant cargo ships, primarily designed to transport mineral ores like coal, can carry 400,000 metric tons or more of dead weight. Overall, bulk cargo shipping uses the mode of transportation as the container, and the cargo is measured in mass or volume.
Dry Bulk Shipping Software Solutions
It is extremely difficult to manage dry bulk cargoes and cargo vessels efficiently; many processes are involved in the handling of contract and liability claims. Dry bulk ship owners, operators, and ship managers need a dynamic solution that helps them make the right decisions and centrally manage risks.
Fortunately, there are special bulk shipping software solutions that enable ship owners to ship commodities that no other shipping system can handle, like coal, grains, metals, and more. A tool like Detrack enables ship owners, operators, and commodities traders to make the best decisions and adapt to continually evolving market conditions.
What Determines Bulk Shipping Costs?
Freight rates for bulk cargo shipping are usually calculated in dollars per ton of cargo. However, the overall cost is subject to changes based on the global and shipping economy. In some cases, ship owners may charge per diem bulk cargo shipping rates. In general, the cost of bulk shipments is dependent on four main factors:
- Shipment size and weight: Bigger and weightier bulk shipments will undoubtedly cost higher, and vice versa
- Freight class: The freight class is determined by factors like the value and density of the bulk shipment, how susceptible the items are to damage, as well as the product’s handling characteristics. For example, delicate and valuable goods have a higher freight classification, meaning higher freight rates.
- Distance traveled: The longer the bulk shipment travels to reach its destination, the higher the shipping cost.
- Dimensional weight: This standard formula considers the shipment’s density to work out shipping costs. Lightweight goods that take up a lot of space are often charged by dimensional weight. For example, a large number of pillows would take up much space and is often charged by dimensional weight.
When to Consider Bulk Shipping
Bulk shipping ensures millions of goods are transported around the world every day. Bulk shipping can benefit you if you have copious amounts of items to transport from one location to another. Generally speaking, bulk shipping can be useful for bulk agricultural or industrial items such as corn, iron, wheat, ore, and coal. It can help you conveniently manage your cycle inventory to fulfill regular sales orders. Bulk shipping is also a cost-saving e-commerce shipping solution if you sell wholesale.
When exporting bulk cargo, you need to keep your cargo at a convenient port storage facility as you prepare to load and depart your shipment. This strategy can save you the stress of making hasty, scheduled deliveries. And since the unloading, storage, and offloading of bulk cargo entail enormous paperwork and rules, you need to hire the right customs broker to supervise the entire process. You may also need to hire unloading, storage, and offloading services from various firms at the port to help you with handling and storing bulk cargo while waiting for shipment. These businesses can save you time and money by navigating the complexities of bulk shipping. Contact us today if you need professional help with bulk cargo shipping.
Christian Rodgers is the founder and SEO of Smart Software Advice, an online publication focused on providing expert advice on various software solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. With a software development degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA, Rodgers is experienced with software development, leadership, business strategy, accounting, and operations with an emphasis on building great teams and increasing profitability.