Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Bulk Cargo / Bulk Freight

Goods that are shipped loose - not in packages or containers (e.g. grain, coal, sulfur).

What is Bulk Cargo / Bulk Freight?

When you need to determine whether you should use bulk cargo shipping, you may want to figure out what bulk cargo is first.

Bulk cargo means cargo that is shipped loose as opposed to being shipped in packages or containers. Usually they can be classified as liquid or dry.

Grain and coal are the most common examples of goods usually shipped as bulk cargo. Essentially, bulk cargo refers to anything that is not easily containerized, so material in either liquid or granular, such as petroleum/crude oil, sand or gravel needs bulk cargo shipping when transported.

Bulk cargo is usually dropped or poured into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car/railway wagon, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body.