Bulk cargo

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Bulk , and bulk , bulk goods or shortly Bulk ( English bulk , mass', 'amount') is, by definition, the United Nations each cargo , which is due to its uniform physical properties of bulk envelope and -transport offering.

According to a further definition specifically for the maritime sector , every cargo is in bulk if it takes up an entire shipload or at least most of it; including those that would normally be viewed as piece goods due to their uneven physical properties , e.g. B. bananas , automobiles , coffee sacks , live animals or tree trunks .

These are goods in large delivery quantities, which are usually not intended for the end consumer, but for dealers and processing companies, and mostly still flow into an end product. Bulk goods are therefore usually semi-finished products and production goods .

Sea freight and air freight

Due to their mostly physically uniform character, bulk goods are very suitable for transport and bulk handling. They can be classified as follows, among other things:

  1. Liquid bulk cargo ( liquid bulk ) as crude oil , liquefied petroleum gas , liquefied natural gas , and liquid petroleum products, as well as
  2. Solid bulk cargo ( dry bulk ):

The latter can in turn be divided into:

Solid bulk goods can then be stored and transported in big bags .

IT area

In the IT sector, it happens that bulk goods are also sold directly to end customers. In this case, it is hardware (hard drives, processors, CD burners) that, unlike retail goods, do without manuals, drivers or other accessories.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, food industry, mineral oil industry, detergents and cleaning agents

In the pharmaceutical industry, a distinction is made between drugs and drugs . Medicinal substances, also known as active ingredients, are often manufactured and traded in bulk quantities of a few 100 kg, several 1000 kg or even larger quantities and then converted into drugs and packaged in the pharmaceutical industry - possibly with the addition of auxiliaries Tablets , dragees or infusion solutions. Similarly, in the cosmetics industry, for example, large quantities (bulk) of shampoo are produced and then portioned into individual packs. The same applies to the production of pesticides from active ingredients in pesticides or to lubricants in the mineral oil industry , which are first produced in bulk and then offered to the consumer in individual packaging. For example, the food industry sells freeze-dried coffee in batches of several 100 kg (= bulk goods) packed in big bags to processing or packaging companies.


As the typical elements of a ready-to-sell product - such as the (color-printed) sales packaging and the printed operating instructions , and occasionally software additions - are missing from bulk goods , these are often sold more cheaply than the retail version (see also: Bundle offer , boxed ) . Often there is no extended manufacturer's guarantee for bulk goods ; however, this does not invalidate the statutory warranty on the part of the seller.


  • Martin Stopford: Maritime Economics. Routledge, London 1997, ISBN 0415153107

Web links

Wiktionary: Bulk goods  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bulkware ( Memento from December 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) - in the glossary of the network logistics association .
  2. Bulkware - term in the glossary of at-mix.de .
  3. Definition or explanation: Bulk goods ( Memento of November 8, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) - definition and explanation on bullhost.de .