Here’s an interesting article published by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, about the differences in shipping break bulk cargo like boats and machinery, RORO vs. container or deck cargo.

Of course containers are great for general cargo, but need careful consideration for oversize and break bulk cargo

Hidden costs quickly add up with containers

The issues with container shipping go well beyond the sustainability of the business model. Attractive low rates draw in customers, but there is so much more to consider when shipping breakbulk.

Customers with cargo too large to fit inside a container must pay for the additional space that can not otherwise be filled. That cost is significant, as if your cargo is both over-width and over-height you could be hit with a bill for an additional five slots.

Cargo that cannot be loaded while resting on flat racks requires labour- and time-intensive lifting operations outside standard processes. Not only does this increase costs, it also adds risk for potential damage as less experienced crew may be handling your cargo.

In addition, when transported on flat racks, the cargo is likely to be exposed to weather and sea spray, impacting the quality and integrity of the products. Although underdeck storage is possible, it increases the complexity for the carrier (and therefore, cost for the customer) as containers above the hatch will need to be discharged before the cargo can be unloaded.

To read the fully article read more