Break bulk cargo is non containerized and is usually transported as individual pieces due to cargo often being oversized and overweight meaning freight containers cannot accommodate the cargo. Cargoes include goods such as construction equipment, oil and gas equipment, windmills, yachts and steel etc.
Due to reduction of costs and minimizing the possibility of theft/ damage much of the worlds freight is now containerized meaning it fits into ISO standard containers but because of size/weight restrictions there is still a lot of cargo (such as oversized and heavyweight equipment) which has to be shipped break bulk.
Break bulk freight transportation still has a major role to play in the international trade industry as countries expand infrastructure and require these large cargos to for the development of things such as wind farms, power plants, highways etc.
Many specialist break bulk vessels come fitted with heavy lift cranes which can manage the heaviest of cargo safely and quicker than dockside cranes, this can speed up the process of loading/unloading and reduce costs for the shipments.
Although break bulk shipping rates are often seen as more expensive than containerized shipping costs when taking into account the costs (and time delays) of disassembling, packing, shipping, unpacking and re-assembling, shipping break bulk can often make commercial sense.