BREAKBULK CARGO, Figure Out The Back-End Logistics!


Breakbulk cargo

The exportation of solid breakbulk cargo is often classified as an advanced way of shipping, looking at the maritime industry, and as such, require a professional logistics approach owing to the fact that goods shipped in this form are often exported on a large scale, which in some cases require vessel chattering

For instance, a look at this category of goods that could be shipped in this form, such as agricultural produce (grains, often shipped in bags), chemical products, iron foil, steel pipes, and oversize goods, are exported or shipped without the use of containers due to their nature.

Meanwhile, in order to take a close look at some vital factors which should be considered very important even as one embarks in this category of freight exportation, bearing in mind that practical approach of this form of freight is our concern, however, these are itemized as follows. Firstly,

  • Identify goods to be exported in form of breakbulk, and establish contact with the producers of such goods.
  • Obtain government licenses in order to export such goods.
  • Establish contact with consignee(s) or buyers of such goods.
  • Contact a shipping line or ship owners (the latter is on the basis of vessel chatterer).
  • Own or have access to the required capital for the exportation of such goods.
  • Be equipped with its logistics knowledge (cargo handling and documentation).


The first step is to identify the commodity to be exported as general cargo or breakbulk cargo, precisely on its large scale, such as grains (wheat, rice, and soybeans), steel pipes, chemical products for industrial or agricultural use, and oversize goods.  Once that has been identified, if it happens that you are not the actual producer of the identified goods desired to be exported, then, it’s important to establish direct contact with the farmers or factories producing such goods.


At this point, it is expected of you or the firm responsible for the exportation to obtain a government license as a credible tool for the exportation of such goods on a large scale, while avoiding certain conditions that could violate the law of its ex-portability under foreign trade policy coupled with other laws enforced. However, in order to have this license issued a firm, the firm’s certificate including other documents attached, also an application letter will be required to process the required license.



                                                 Ports and Trade Center


                                                 Tel: ******2727

14 February 2019

Your Ref: *******

Our Ref: ********

The Director-General

Ministry of Mines and Resources

Federal Secretariat


Dear Sir,


In our letter dated 22 December 2018, we introduced our freight company to you and as well, stated our goals and objectives in the area of freight logistics that was honored and approved.

Today, we are pleased to inform you that our organization has some client’s goods to export as breakbulk cargo. You have reasons to take us seriously as a freight forwarder, and as we know, local goods exported on a large scale have a huge impact on our country’s economy.

Attached here are our firms’ documents and that of the goods, and with this, we, therefore, request your agency approval and will be delighted to bring along, all relevant documents for screening. 

Yours Faithfully

For: ABC Export Logistics Ltd

Michael I.

General Manager.

Once the approval is granted, proceed with the next step.


This stage may require aggressive marketing of the goods you want to export, bearing in mind that appreciable volume would be required if the freight forwarder would be shipping the goods as breakbulk. This is why you need consignees or big buyers that will buy in large quantities. But when the volume falls below breakbulk freight, it’s then classified as general cargo shipment.  

Note: It’s advisable while embarking on breakbulk cargo export to consider organizations such as food processing factories, industries, commercial farms or farmers, NGOs (humanitarian aid), factory suppliers (dealers) as first and viable clients to establish contact with.


The handling and documentation process required for the exportation of a breakbulk is done directly by freight forwarder(s) with a shipping line or ship owners. But when the whole vessel or ship is chartered to ship certain or a particular product, note that a chartered bill of lading would be required for such shipment. For example, if you intend to export cement or solid mineral products, grains of wheat, or rice in large quantities, chartering a vessel is considered the best option, though it’s capital intensive. But on the other hand, if you wish to export any of these goods in bags or to secure a section of a vessel, you could as well ship it on the basis of breakbulk. Therefore, a master or house bill of lading may be issued for such exportation of goods.


It is expected of you or the company to have access to the capital needed to export goods that fall under this category (massive volume). As we know, breakbulk cargo export is capital intense, and this cuts across the freight charges, handling, and other logistics.


The logistics process required for a breakbulk is tedious, and this is why, professional approach is required, which is often based on the nature and the sensitivity of this category of goods. The handling process of these goods should also be done professionally coupled with its documentation.

Once you are done with that, prior to its (goods) export, documents relating to the goods should be submitted to customs and other law enforcement agencies for inspection and verification purposes in order to ascertain its exportability, and if the authorities are satisfied, then the goods to be exported will be transferred to where it’s to be stored and shipped on board. That’s all, Congratulation.

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