What Is Dry Bulk Shipping?

by | Freight Shipping

Dry bulk shipping is the transportation of materials in large quantities by truck, freight, or land. It is an essential part of many industries’ supply chains, as it affects the supply of raw materials (ie., coal, steel, wood, etc.) needed to manufacture products consumers use on a daily basis.

Some of the common commodities that are transported via dry bulk shipping are:

  • iron ore, coal
  • steel
  • lumber
  • cement
  • food products like grains and other agricultural materials

Usually, large amounts of construction materials are moved via large metal boats whereas raw materials in megatons are dry bulk shipped via cargo.

This is why this process is an important aspect of construction, industries like steel production, and general manufacturing.

How Is the Dry Bulk Shipping Process Done?

This is generally how dry bulk shipping typically progresses:

Stage 1

First, the cargo arrives via freight at the holding port. This is the initial stage of the shipping procedure, where manufacturers send bulk orders out for shipping and handling.

Stage 2

Next, the contents are unloaded in order to properly store the items. Goods shipped in bulk are stored properly in order to help the port manage the schedule of shipping properly.

This is because the capacity of cargo ships and container ships is fairly limited, and proper loading of a large volume of goods can keep delivery on schedule.

Stage 3

The next stage of the process occurs when the shipment is taken from the storage and loaded onto the freight vessel or trucking service that will carry the dry bulk shipment to its next destination.

Depending on where the shipment is going, this stage could very well be the longest part of the process.

Stage 4

Finally, once the cargo ships have reached their destination, the last two stages of the process take place. The goods are first stored once again while they wait for the delivery from port to the final destination.

Stage 5

This is the home stretch. This is where the dry bulk commodities are picked up from the port and delivered to their destination.

Dry Bulk Shipping Costs

The costs are determined by a number of factors, including the load’s mass, type of handling done, the distance traveled, and the overall density of the material being shipped.

Types of material

The material being shipped can be classified into two classifications: solid bulk goods and liquid bulk goods.

1. Solid bulk goods

These are the more common types of bulk commodities and are what most people think of when they hear “bulk shipping.” This includes materials like coal, grain cargoes, iron ore, and steel products.

2. Liquid bulk goods

This is a less common type but still needs to be transported. This can include liquids like milk, oil, chemicals, and even wine.

Transport of these liquid goods is trickier since the volume can be restricted by the capacity of the containers of these materials.
This limiting factor can drive up the cost, as these cannot be transported by general cargo ships. Instead, a ship capable of transporting 400,000 tons of deadweight by volume will be used for liquid bulk goods.

Computation and Freight Rates

The cost of shipping bulk cargo is calculated by dollars per ton of cargo. This market’s price depends greatly on dry bulk factors and does fluctuate depending on these factors, including the current rate of trade, product demand, and product supply.

The fluctuation, however, is limited and regulated by multiple territories, and any changes in price are short-term at best.

For those shipping using containers, such as traders in the iron ore trade, the calculation is at dollars per twenty-foot equivalent unit.

To make matters easier, some freight services already have custom brokers who oversee the whole process for the people who are willing to avail of their services. These individuals or entities are the ones tasked with handling the numerous permits and regulations during the whole process.

Dry Bulk Shipping Companies

Taking into account the large amounts of material that is being shipped in cargo, some countries consider the dry bulk shipping industry as one of their major industries since it affects the supply of raw materials, such as coal, iron ore, steel, wood, among others.

These materials come from producers of raw materials such as steel mills. The materials shipped are used to supply the mass production of goods.

These are also used by the construction industry where megatons of steel, cement, rocks, and other items are needed to build various infrastructure projects such as buildings, bridges, and roads.

Fleet size is important

Dry bulk and minor bulks shipping companies are usually judged by the size of their fleets.

A good example of a shipping company that specializes in moving dry bulk cargo and feeding the iron ore and steel demand is Value Truck, an Arizona-based full-service trucking company.

Our company has a fleet of 200 trucks and 500 trailers. Companies of this size are guaranteed to deliver your shipment efficiently.

We have a wide array of propositions and services involved in dry bulk shipping and in the transportation of materials en masse up to 100,000 tons or more.

Dry Bulk Shipping Stocks

These commodity and dry bulk shipping companies also offer a wide range of career opportunities and services in the dry bulk shipping and freight industry.

For example, at Value Truck, we have a total of almost 300 employees across the United States of America and our outlets in both neighboring countries Mexico and Canada.

A lot of the job offerings offered by these companies are freight agent jobs that connect shipments with drivers to ensure quality delivery, positions that directly run the freight such as truck drivers, owners, operators, and other jobs heavily involved in freight trucking and dry bulk shipping.

The industry of dry bulk shipping is an essential economic activity since its impact on both the state’s and country’s economic growth is due to the movement of the supply of raw materials and necessary components in building key infrastructures across the country.

Additionally, the dry bulk shipping industry covers bulk shipping via freight and land transportation of food materials such as dry goods and agricultural products, as well as other agricultural support products like fertilizer and maybe even soil.

Given all of the points above, it is no doubt that the dry bulk shipping industry attracts many investors. It has proven through the years that the sector is essential in the development and flourishing of the economy, not just to iron ore and steel demand speculators.

This is such a vital market that the Baltic Exchange has become an important reference for companies looking to purchase dry bulk commodities such as coal, iron ore, and steel.

The market provides data through its indices that list the stock price of each commodity, in the same manner as the New York Stock Exchange lists the stock price of companies, and the New York York Mercantile Exchange publishes stock prices of fuels.

Finding the Right Logistics Company for Your Bulk Shipping Needs

With all that’s been said, it’s important for individuals trading dry goods and involved in industries like steel production to work with a shipping firm that they can trust.

If you are looking for a shipping company that can help you with your dry bulk shipping needs, you may want to give Value Truck a call and find out what we can do for you.

We offer our services, such as dry bulk commodities shipping, all across North America. We have different terminals all across the United States of America, 2 terminals in Mexico, and operations in Canada.

We also provide a wide range of services such as trucking, warehousing, transloading, and much more.

If you have any questions about our bulk shipping services or any of the other services that we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We would be more than happy to assist you with all of your logistics needs.