Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Breakbulk Cargo

In shipping, break-bulk, breakbulk, or break bulk cargo, also called general cargo, refers to goods that are stowed on board ship in individually counted units.

What is Breakbulk Cargo?

Traditionally, the large numbers of items are recorded on distinct bills of lading that list them by different commodities. This is in contrast to cargo stowed in modern shipping containers as well as bulk cargo, which goes directly, unpackaged and in large quantities, into a ship's hold(s), measured by volume or weight (for instance, oil or grain).