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Commodities That Can Be Transported in Containerized Bulk

Learn Which Commodities Can Be Safely and Efficiently Transported in Bulk and How to Choose the Right Shipping Option for Your Business


Containerized bulk shipping is a popular method for transporting large volumes of goods efficiently and cost-effectively. From liquids to dry goods, there is a wide range of commodities that can be shipped in containers. Whether you're new to containerized bulk shipping or just looking to expand your knowledge, this guide will provide essential information to help you navigate the world of bulk shipping.

What Are The Different Containerized Transport Types for Bulk Liquids?


Transporting liquids in bulk can be a cost-effective and efficient way to move large cargo volumes. But what are the different types of containerized bulk liquids you can choose from? Here are the three primary categories:

ISO Tanks

These are cylindrical containers built to international standards that can hold up to 26,000 liters of liquid cargo. They are durable, reusable, and suitable for transporting a wide range of liquids, both hazardous and non-hazardous.

Flexitanks

These flexible containers can hold up to 24,000 liters of liquid cargo. There are various specifications, although two main types being single or multi-layered.  Other variations include barrier technologies for sensitive cargos, or temperature controlled, agitation-based solutions.

IBCs & smaller package types

These are intermediate bulk containers, drums, and other smaller packaging options that can hold up to 1,000 liters of liquid cargo. They are suitable for smaller shipments or over shorter distances.  For certain cargo the package types may require an additional lining.

By understanding the different types of containerized bulk liquids available, you can decide which option best suits your needs. Consider factors such as the nature of your cargo, volume, distance, and any regulatory requirements or restrictions that may apply. 

Which Industries Benefit From Containerized Bulk Shipping?


Bulk shipping plays a crucial role in transporting large quantities of goods across the world, providing a cost-effective and efficient mode of transportation for many industries. The following sectors are just some of the many that benefit from bulk shipping:

Chemicals

The chemicals industry relies heavily on bulk shipping to transport a range of petrochemicals, oleochemicals, natural and synthetic latex, and food and feed ingredients such as lactic acid, polyols, betaines, and emulsifiers. Bulk shipping is a cost-effective and efficient method for transporting large volumes of chemicals across long distances.

Mineral oils

Bulk shipping also benefits the mineral oils industry by enabling the transportation of base oils, transformer oils, white oils, and finished lubricants. These materials are essential for many manufacturing processes. They are often transported in bulk to reduce transportation costs and improve supply chain efficiency.

Agricultural and foodstuff

The agricultural and foodstuff sector is another significant beneficiary of bulk shipping. Commodity goods such as edible oils, syrups, juice concentrates, cocoa and chocolate, dairy products, mineral water, and pepper mash are often transported in bulk to ensure efficient and cost-effective delivery.

Chemicals

The chemicals industry relies heavily on bulk shipping to transport a range of petrochemicals, oleochemicals, natural and synthetic latex, and food and feed ingredients such as lactic acid, polyols, betaines, and emulsifiers. Bulk shipping is a cost-effective and efficient method for transporting large volumes of chemicals across long distances.

Mineral oils

Bulk shipping also benefits the mineral oils industry by enabling the transportation of base oils, transformer oils, white oils, and finished lubricants. These materials are essential for many manufacturing processes. They are often transported in bulk to reduce transportation costs and improve supply chain efficiency.

Agricultural and foodstuff

The agricultural and foodstuff sector is another significant beneficiary of bulk shipping. Commodity goods such as edible oils, syrups, juice concentrates, cocoa and chocolate, dairy products, mineral water, and pepper mash are often transported in bulk to ensure efficient and cost-effective delivery.

How Do You Know if Containerized Bulk Shipping Fits Your Industry?


If you're considering transporting bulk liquids, there are several factors to consider. First, to better understand your needs, share your Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), tonnage, and trade lane with a bulk liquid logistics operator for study. By asking the right questions and working with an experienced operator, you can ensure that your bulk liquid transport is efficient, cost-effective, and meets all necessary regulations. To help you make the right decision, here are some questions you should ask:

  • What is the desired payload you need to deliver? 
  • Do you have excess handling for the distribution of smaller packages? 
  • Do you require alternative solutions to reduce your transportation costs? 
  • What transport regulations do you have to comply with? 
  • Do you have enough storage capacity to load and unload 20 tons or more consignments? 
  • What cargo temperature do you need to load and unload at to ensure the liquid flows properly? 
  • Is your cargo classified as dangerous? 
  • What are the quality requirements of your cargo? 
  • For food cargo, what are the food safety requirements?

Why Choose Containerized Bulk for Transporting Your Liquid Cargo?


If you are looking to transport your liquid cargo most efficiently and cost-effectively, containerized bulk transportation might be the answer you are looking for. Here are the top reasons why:

Optimized transport costs

By transporting your liquid cargo in bulk, you can avoid the additional costs associated with packaging, such as containers, drums, or totes. Bulk transportation can also allow for better utilization of transport modes, resulting in more liquid being transported in fewer trips.

Efficiency gains at shipper and receiver sites

Bulk containers can help reduce the time and labor required to handle and load the cargo and minimize the risk of damage or spillage. Similarly, receivers can unload bulk freight more quickly and efficiently than packaged cargo, which can help reduce congestion and turnaround times.

Lower environmental impact

Containerized bulk transportation can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your liquid cargo transportation. By reducing the amount of packaging needed and the number of trips required, bulk transportation can help reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, bulk containers can be reused, further reducing waste and environmental impact.

Improved quality of your cargo

Transporting your liquid cargo in bulk can reduce the risk of contamination and damage that can occur during packaging and handling. In addition, by minimizing contact with packaging, bulk transportation can help preserve the quality and purity of your liquid cargo.

Optimized transport costs

By transporting your liquid cargo in bulk, you can avoid the additional costs associated with packaging, such as containers, drums, or totes. Bulk transportation can also allow for better utilization of transport modes, resulting in more liquid being transported in fewer trips.

Efficiency gains at shipper and receiver sites

Bulk containers can help reduce the time and labor required to handle and load the cargo and minimize the risk of damage or spillage. Similarly, receivers can unload bulk freight more quickly and efficiently than packaged cargo, which can help reduce congestion and turnaround times.

Lower environmental impact

Containerized bulk transportation can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your liquid cargo transportation. By reducing the amount of packaging needed and the number of trips required, bulk transportation can help reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, bulk containers can be reused, further reducing waste and environmental impact.

Improved quality of your cargo

Transporting your liquid cargo in bulk can reduce the risk of contamination and damage that can occur during packaging and handling. In addition, by minimizing contact with packaging, bulk transportation can help preserve the quality and purity of your liquid cargo.

Can Goods Classified as Dangerous be Transported in Containerized Bulk?


If you need to transport dangerous goods, containerized bulk can be a smart choice to keep your cargo safe. But how do you ensure a successful and secure transport? Depending on the nature of the hazardous cargo, ISO tanks, drums, or intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) may be used for transport in containerized bulk. You cannot carry dangerous goods in flexitanks.

In addition, transporting hazardous cargo requires strict adherence to best practices and regulations. Therefore, working with an accredited and experienced operator is essential to minimize the risk of incidents.

Top Tips for Transporting Liquids in Containerized Bulk


If you're planning to transport liquid cargo in containerized bulk, it's essential to ensure the process is safe, efficient, and cost-effective. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of this transportation option:

Provide detailed information

Share your MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), tonnage, and trade lane with a Bulk liquid logistics operator to thoroughly analyze your requirements. It can help you identify potential issues and determine the most effective way to transport your cargo.

Consider your options

When deciding on the transport modality and transit time, consider your cargo's specific requirements and desired outcome. It will help you make informed decisions and avoid delays or disruptions.

Check infrastructure

Consider the existing infrastructure, including ports, terminals, and storage facilities, to ensure that the transport process is smooth and efficient. Also, think about your end customer's experience and how you can optimize the delivery process to meet their needs.

Work with certified operators

To ensure that your cargo is handled safely and responsibly, work with certified and responsible operators with access to technical support at both origin and destination. It can help you minimize the risk of incidents and ensure that your cargo arrives at its destination in optimal condition.

Following these top tips, you can streamline your containerized bulk liquid transportation process and optimize your results. Whether you're transporting chemicals, mineral oils, agricultural or foodstuff, or hazardous goods, containerized bulk can be an effective and reliable option.

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