General Cargo Shipping

We, at CSI—Cargo Shipping International—specialize in general cargo shipping services and find ships which fit the cargo. The term ‘general’ can often be misleading as it conjures up an image of a commonplace ship that offers no specific purpose. However, this could not be further from the truth.

A general cargo ship is exceptionally adaptable and can be used for the transportation of a variety of dry non-bulk cargo, ranging from railway lines to agricultural machinery. General cargo ships have their own gear, which is their distinct feature. This allows the general cargo ships to be versatile and trade to smaller ports or terminals that do not have equipment for shore-side loading and unloading.

Although these ships are typically used for shipping abnormal loads that cannot be accommodated by other ships, when need be, they can be used to carry containers, bulked and bagged cargo.

While there are various types of cargo that are shipped across the world, some are more unusual than others. Containers, crude oil and dry bulk get more attention than other forms of cargo that fall outside these categories and are just as important for usage in daily life. These include over-sized goods, such as a non-motorized barges or road sections, as well as heavy cargoes, such as industrial generators and reactors. Such cargo also requires special treatment and attention.

Livestock is another form of specialist cargo that requires to be transported in comfortable surroundings to ensure that the livestock reaches its final destination at ease and in the most favorable condition. Moreover, manufactured goods and perishable items often come in different shapes, sizes and storage constraints.

Thus, such cargo requires to be treated differently than free-flowing cargo like grain. For example, there are millions of computers and computer parts shipped around the world globally. Having to move them individually would be nothing short of a logistical nightmare! Instead, under general cargo, these ‘units’ are enclosed together and labeled as ‘unitized cargo’ prior to being transported.

Often the terms ‘unitized’ and ‘containerized’ are used interchangeably. However, both cater to different types of cargo. Unitized cargo is diverse and includes, but is not limited to, the transportation of containers, pallets, barges, closed wagons, goods trailers and trucks. Unitized cargo covers a range of products such as forest products, metals and metal goods, machines, electronics, food chemicals, raw materials, and consumer goods, etc. While some unitized cargo may be containerizable, not all of it is. General cargo, bulk, liquid, heavy lift vessels are used to transport the cargo that is not containerizable.

Specialist cargo—whatever the type it may be—is carried by ships that are especially designed for the purpose of carrying that specific type of cargo. For example, ships that are designed to carry livestock require climate control, feed dispensers, watering equipment and equipment for manure removal, and need to carry large quantities of bedding and food. On the other hand, heavy-lift ships are designed to use ballast to counterbalance the weight. Others may use hydraulic feet to secure itself on the dock.


For quotes and further queries about our general cargo, break bulk or project shipping services, contact us.