Hamburg Süd Newsletter

Break bulk and project cargo – anything other than standard

Hamburg Süd not only transports cargo in containers, but also “out of the box”. As a rule, this applies when cargo is particularly heavy or, due to its dimensions, does not fit into a standard container. It calls for a special degree of know-how and experience. Break bulk expert Gunnar Finck reveals more.

Mr. Finck, what exactly is meant by break bulk and project cargo?

Break bulk is conventional general cargo that does not fit into a container on account of its weight or dimensions. Up to certain dimensions, these goods can be transported in so-called open top containers or flat racks “out of gauge” (OOG). Anything beyond that is shipped separately. Typical of this category are construction machinery, transformers, and brewing equipment, but also yachts or entire production plants. It also includes the transportation of large animals; we’ve previously transported ostriches or giraffes, for example.

What is the advantage for customers to transport break bulk or project cargo on a container ship?

As a liner shipping company, we score with our schedule, for instance, and enable long-term and reliable planning for our customers. In addition, compared with tramp shipping, we have much higher frequency and faster transit times. Moreover, alongside heavy-lift cargo, project cargo frequently includes goods that can be shipped containerized in standard and special equipment. As a container shipping company, we can enable our customers to transport the complete consignment on one ship.

What does the customer need to know prior to booking?

We give our customers a straightforward procedure – and the first thing we check in connection with the booking is whether there is enough suitable space available for the cargo. At the same time, our employees do all they can to accommodate ad hoc inquiries as well as regular project cargoes. The top priority is, of course, safety ashore and on board, but the capacities and restrictions of the particular ports also have to be factored into the stowage planning process. So an important aspect is close cooperation with ports and terminals – without our comprehensive regional expertise, we wouldn’t get far in that respect. For heavy cargo, say, mobile and floating cranes have to be taken into account at the planning stage. There are various technical possibilities, but also on the strength of our expert knowledge and our experience, we can make a very great deal possible that goes beyond standard container transportation.

Any further questions? Feel free to contact us:

You will find more information on our website at:
Film: Special cargo – Out of the box (English)
Flyer Break Bulk and Special Cargo (English) (PDF, 3 MB)