Everything You Need to Know About Bulk Shipping

Bulk shipping is indeed a necessity when it comes to shipping commodities all around the world. Since moving across locations is a tough job, especially when you consider items in bulk, we need to make sure that we make use of better bulk shipping solutions. If you notice, we can see that things that we put to use every day are shipped in bulk quantities to reach us. Things like rice, wheat, barley, iron ore, grain, steel, coal, etc., fall into the category of bulk shipping commodities. Luckily we have bulk cargo options, which ensure that our goods reach on time and safely. Here we look at everything you need to know about bulk shipping.

What are bulk shipments?

The items that are unpacked and shipped loosely, for example, rice, steel, etc, come under bulk shipments category. These items are loaded into the shipping vessel directly. Mostly the bulk cargo is shipped loosely in vast quantities. In most cases, the means of transport act as the container itself.

How Does Bulk Shipping Work?

Bulk shipping entails three major steps: unloading, storage, and loading. 

Whenever a shipment arrives at the port, you unload it and then transport it to the bulk storage facility managed by the shipping carrier or a fulfillment center, and then further transportation inland is done to help the items reach the customers. Most of the shipping carriers have their storage option right at the port, which gives them the advantage of taking ample time for packing and shipping the items again to ship to the desired locations. If you do not own a storage facility, you can always opt for fulfillment centers that can offer you plenty of options in the most economical way.

Another important aspect is your customs clearance at the port. Most of the time you can seek the assistance of a customs broker, who is well-versed with the formalities when it comes to shipping taxes and customs clearance. Also, you need to look into the loading, unloading, and storage services offered by other shipping companies or associated ones at the port to assist in shipping and handling the bulk products when they arrive. These are quite important when it comes to handling bulk quantities, as they make the process quite smooth. 

What Goods Can I Send Through Bulk Shipping?

So what are the kinds of goods you can send via bulk shipping? These kinds of goods are classified into two types:

  • Solid Goods
  • Liquid Goods.

Solid Bulk Goods

Solid goods include items like grains (wheat, rice); minerals (copper, and limestone); chemicals (resins, pellets, fertilizers); salt and wood, etc. These items are stored mostly using conveyor belts, cranes, hoppers, or silos, etc. They can be dispatched from the fields, mine, factory, or the original material locations itself. These items are then sent via carriers meant to ship items in bulk quantities, which consists of a single deck with several hatchways.

Liquid Bulk Goods

As the name suggests, these items are liquids. Most of these items can be loaded and unloaded using pipes and pumping stations. They can be shipped in specialized tanks or anything that can hold the liquid items. Some examples include liquid nitrogen, natural gas, petroleum, cooking oils, and refrigerated goods like milk or fruit juice. Tankers are used to handle bulk shipping of these items. Most of these tankers can handle over 400,000 tonnes of deadweight.

Remember that when shipping certain liquid items, they might fall in the restricted or prohibited item category, hence it is important to keep a check on it. 

How Much Does It Cost?

When you are shipping items in bulk, the cost or freight rate is calculated in dollars per ton of cargo. There are several factors that affect the freight rates while shipping. The daily capsize varies in most cases. 

You can calculate the cost in dollars per Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU). Hence, when you are calculating for a full container load (FCL), the cost will be somewhere between $2000 to $3000. For less than container loads (LCL), the cost is shared across the shippers, as the container space is shared and used among various shippers. 

Factors Affecting Bulk Shipping Prices

Several factors affect the cost of bulk shipping. Majorly the factors like weight, dimension, and distance influence the price of the shipping. Here are a few important things that do affect bulk shipping prices:

Size and weight of the shipment: It is important to make sure that you provide the right size and weight of the shipment. Also, every shipment should have a National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) number, which depends on the size and weight of the shipment.

Freight Class: This considers things like density, the value of the shipment, how vulnerable your items are to damage, and the product’s load ability and handling characteristics. The fragile items will surely incur higher charges.

Dimensional weight: Most of the time, the shipping cost is calculated based on the dimensional weight or the gross weight of the shipment, whichever is greater. For example, items that might not be weighing much but occupy a lot of space will be considered under the dimensional weight.

Distance Travelled: Distance traveled does influence the shipping rate. However, the price does not increase on a per-mile basis. You can either calculate the shipping cost manually, or you can use a shipping calculator to help you arrive at the rate easily.

How to generate bulk labels for your shipments from your WooCommerce store? 

If you are shipping items in bulk, you might surely need to print the shipping labels in bulk from your store. Printing each label will surely take all day, and time doesn’t wait for you. To make it all easier, we have the bulkprinting add-on plugins which work great with the shipping plugins.

The process is quite simple, you can install the shipping plugin and the add-on for bulk printing labels on your WooCommerce store and get this done in a jiffy. Once the add-on is installed, you can go to the add-on page and then choose the range of order-ids or the date range to get the labels printed in bulk.

bulk shipping

So once these labels are generated, you just need to download and get them printed with the help of the iLovePDF developer account.

Get to know more on how to print the labels in bulk from the respective add-on products page.

Ship Smartly with Bulk Shipping Solutions

Shipping in bulk helps us in delivering items that are most needed in day-to-day life. Using the right mechanisms in place for shipping and handling will surely help to speed up the process. 

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