breakbulk

In shipping, breakbulk cargo or general cargo is a term that can be described as goods that must be loaded individually, and not in intermodal containers nor in bulk as with oil or grain. Ships that carry this sort of cargo are often called general cargo ships. The term breakbulk derives from the phrase breaking bulk - the extraction of a portion of the cargo of a ship or the beginning of the unloading process from the ship's holds. These goods may not be in shipping containers. Breakbulk cargo is transported in bags, boxes, crates, drums, or barrels. Unit loads of items secured to a pallet or skid are also used.