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Breakbulk July2016

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22 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE JULY 2016 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE The most logical and profitable crossover niche for Cosco Container Lines America has been over-dimensional breakbulk pieces. For Kris Krischke, the company's national out-of-gauge and dangerous goods sales manager, the breakbulk category encompasses cargoes that do not fit into containers, are typically extremely large and/or heavy, including machinery, construction equipment, oil and gas equipment, and smaller vessels. "Cosco Shipping is focused on these commodities as they are better suited for container vessels," he said. "By using flat racks to build a platform for these commodities, they are better secured and protected for transport, typically below deck. The traditional breakbulk commodities incur higher costs for container vessel operators and do not allow for efficient vessel utilization. Cosco limits the traditional breakbulk cargoes to containerized transport if the customer can accommodate," Krischke said. But to limit breakbulk to those commodities that defy containerization is an oversimplification. There are a number of raw and manufactured products that, while they could be accommodated in containers, continue to move in the traditional breakbulk format. This is tied to port handling capabilities, origin- destination pairs, relative cost of delivered goods, container and chassis availability, vessel configurations, shipping delays at congested container ports and overtaxed surface transportation systems. Configurations for these breakbulk shipments are as varied as the commodities themselves. Examples include palletized goods, uniformly packed neo-bulk, unitized freight, supersacks, which convert bulk shipments to the breakbulk format, and components and spares related to major project undertakings. "Our definition of breakbulk is cargo that doesn't fit into a container, and you can't run your fingers through it (bulk, liquid and dry)," said Andre Elmaleh, senior manager of business D iscussion of the ups and downs of the energy market and the increased container line interest in breakbulk freight can often eclipse the continued steady business that exists in traditional breakbulk. For ports as well as carriers, the market has room for expansion, and those investing and exploring new efficiencies are the best poised to take advantage.

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