India might soon start shipping goods as ‘break cargo’ to overcome the current crisis of a shortage of containers. Breakbulk cargo is typically transported using bags and boxes. As a result, these take up lesser space in vessels, permitting more cargo to be transported, facilitating faster export.
The commerce department of the country has sought data from the industry on the kind of packaging used for cargo and shipment weight. The information would help finalize the items that could be transported as breakbulk cargo. The target is to build a comprehensive database of commodities that could be transported as breakbulk cargo on priority berthing to augment the export of the suitable commodities. The information was shared by an official who did not want to be named.
Such a solution is being considered when the berthing time of vessels is over a month at ports of Europe and the US. Bulk and breakbulk freight are 25-30% lower than containerized cargo based on the vessel’s trading area.
A yawning shortage of vessels and containers is among the current threats, an industry insider said on the condition of anonymity. The individual added that lately, trade is happening using containers as these are safer. But the price of bulk cargo is reported to be lower even when the cargo’s safety is not compromised.
A ship with the capacity of 12,000 metric tons can load up to 8,000 metric tons if loaded with containerized cargo.
Once sellers and buyers finalize this type of arrangement after ensuring that the safety of the cargo can be taken care of, it will help resolve container issues greatly.