Around the year, all the goods shipped across oceans are accounted for only about 5 percent by air freight. The rest of the cargo, that is over 95 percent of shipments, move via water transportation. For instance, computer parts produced in China are more likely to enter the United Kingdom or United States of America through sea freight. In general, there are two primary types of sea freight - break bulk and container shipping.
According to logistics operation experts, container shipping came into being around 1956. The International Organisation for Standardisation declared the standard sizes for containers in 1961. The service gradually started gaining substantial importance on the forefront of global trade. At present, there are a wide range of containers used for transporting everything from leather goods to tennis shoes. They include open end, open top, open side, flat rack, half height, liquid build, refrigerated, standard dry and modular options. For example, goods that are temperature-sensitive can be stacked inside refrigerated containers.
Containers carrying cargo are generally stacked on board or within deep holds of a ship. Due to being sealed long before they are actually shipped, containers serve as a highly secure way to move various items overseas. Some of them can be easily loaded on railroad cars or truck-beds, which allows them to be moved out of ports without any wastage of time in unloading.
Let’s talk about break bulk shipping a bit. This technique of transporting cargo overseas has been in existence since times immemorial. Earlier, break bulk shipping was very much inefficient due to risk of thefts, wastage, damage during loading and unloading, etc. In the modern times, however, the service has improved dramatically because of advanced navigation systems and availability of theft deterring technologies.
There are plenty of logistics management companies in UK that provide break bulk shipping services. Items that are not moved via containers, basically loose material, get packaged into bags and cardboard boxes. After that, the boxes and bags filled with loose goods are loaded inside a ship.
Both container shipping and break bulk have their own unique advantages. While the former streamlines the procedure by reducing turnover at ports, the latter makes it easy to handle cargo for ports that do not have cranes to hoist containers and are incapable of accommodating big container ships. However, each of the services are used by many exporters and therefore, play an important role in international trade.