What are the main types of cargo/bulk moved by shipping and chartering agents?

It’s impossible to understate the importance of shipping and chartering agents because without the services that they provide, life as we know it would not be possible. We live in an interconnected world, and shipping companies play an integral role in ensuring that the materials we need to heat, build, and provide for our nation arrive in a timely, organised manner.

There are countless materials that arrive from other parts of the world via ship. In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at the main types of cargo that typically require the services of a chartering agency.

Dry Bulk

You can think of dry bulk as the raw materials that make modern life possible. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have access to coal, iron ore, steel, wood pellets, and aggregates. The UK is not equipped to produce the quantity of these materials that we need. Instead, we look to foreign countries to provide them for us. The majority of these items could only be imported to the UK via ship.

Dry bulk goods have special requirements and cannot be transported on a standard vessel. For instance, they must be kept dry and are usually of an irregular shape and size, which means it is difficult or impossible to pack them in a traditional way. Because the transport of dry bulk materials is highly regulated, it’s important to work with a company that offers port agency services.

Dry Bulk Examples:

  • Coal
  • Wood pellets
  • Aggregates
  • Gypsum
  • Iron ore
  • Steel products
  • Biomass

Liquid Bulk

Liquid bulk is just what it sounds like — it can refer to any type of liquid that is transported in bulk. The free-flowing nature of liquid means that other shipping methods, such as by air, are usually not possible. The transport of liquid bulk involves loading the liquid into a special container via pumps and pipes.

There’s no shortage of liquids that can be transported via liquid bulk, including crude oil, liquefied natural gas, and chemicals. It’s also possible to transport consumable products, such as milk and cooking juices, via liquid bulk.

The process of loading and unloading liquid bulk is generally more complicated than other cargo types, especially in the case of petroleum and liquefied natural gas, when the correct temperature and other safety measures must be maintained. As such, it’s important to work with an experienced chartering company when moving these types of goods.

Project Cargo

Project cargo refers to the shipping of large, complex, or high-value pieces of equipment, both internationally and domestically. It’s one of the most complex transportation tasks within the shipping industry due to the weight and size of the products being moved.

There are usually many conditions and constraints involved with project cargo. For instance, the items may be sourced from multiple locations. The shipping must also take place within tight deadlines and typically adhere to rigid safety requirements. Due to the size of the equipment, in some cases, special accommodations are required, such as a police escort or road closures. The complex nature of these types of shipments mean they usually require the most detailed planning.

Companies in the construction, oil and gas, engineering, mining, and other equipment-heavy sectors rely on project cargo transportation.

What are the main types of cargo/bulk moved by shipping and chartering agents?

Other Types of Cargo

The materials and goods we outlined above are the primary types of bulk that chartering agents manage, but they’re not the only ones. As we said at the beginning of the article, modern life essentially depends on shipping routes for just about everything — there aren’t too many modern conveniences that do not involve cargo in one way or another.

Some other forms of cargo involve the transport of cars and vehicles, livestock, frozen food, and consumer products. Indeed, if you take a look at the origin of where the next product you buy came from, you’ll probably find that it came from overseas — and that it got here via ship.

Contact Bay Shipping Today

Do you need to move cargo? Bay Shipping can help. As one of the UK’s leading shipping agents/ship brokers since 1992, we have the experience and expertise to ensure that your goods arrive on time and within budget. Our highly skilled team handles over 10 million tonnes of cargo each year and have the tools and resources needed to transport a wide range of cargoes such as steel, coal, recyclables, gypsum, and more in a way that maximises efficiency and minimises headaches.

To get in touch, simply give us a call at 02920 453 399 or send an email to agency@bayshipping.co.uk