Break Bulk and Bulk Terminals

Dingena Schott, Marielle van den Hoed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryScientific


This article reviews the equipment and technology used for transport and handling of break bulk or general cargo on break bulk terminals. The product groups in break bulk are categorized into five groups: bags, bananas, steel and timber, project cargo, and roll‐on roll‐off. Each of the categories has its own specialized equipment for efficient and safe cargo handling, which means break bulk terminals are specialized in handling of a single product group. An outlook over the future of break bulk reveals expected growth in steel and timber due to increasing infrastructural projects. In addition to heavy lift project cargo, an increase is foreseen driven by oil and gas developments together with clean energy projects. An increase in containerization worldwide will ultimately lead to a reduced share of bags and bananas transported as break bulk. Perhaps, the most prosperous of all break bulk shipping is the roll‐on roll‐off product group and more specifically wheeled cargo.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Maritime and Offshore Engineering
EditorsJohn Carlton, Paul Jukes, Choo Yoo Sang
ISBN (Electronic)9781118476406
ISBN (Print)9781118476352
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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