Breaking bulk is a legal term that refers to the act of unloading cargo from a ship, train, or other carrier. When goods are transported in large quantities, they are often packed together in containers or crates. However, when the cargo arrives at its destination, it needs to be separated into smaller units so that it can be distributed to its final destination.
Breaking bulk can involve several steps depending on the size and type of cargo. For example, if the cargo is a large ship carrying multiple containers, the ship needs to be docked, and the containers need to be unloaded using cranes or other equipment. Once the containers are on land, they are opened, and the goods are sorted and organized based on their destination.
Breaking bulk is an essential part of international trade as it enables goods to be transported from one location to another efficiently. It also allows for the consolidation of goods from different shippers, which can reduce shipping costs and increase efficiency. Breaking bulk is usually conducted at designated ports or transportation hubs, where specialized equipment and personnel are available to handle the cargo.
In terms of the law, breaking bulk is regulated by various international and national rules and regulations. For instance, there are laws that govern the handling of dangerous or hazardous goods, as well as rules about customs clearance and inspection. These laws are designed to ensure that the goods are transported safely and efficiently while also protecting the rights of both shippers and receivers. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines and other penalties.