When most people hear the term project cargo they are at a loss to know how project cargo would differ from regular cargo. In this article we will explore what is meant by the term “project cargo” and the various ways this type of cargo differs from all other types.
While the term project cargo can involve a lot of different volumes, sizes, and numbers of components, the most common type of project cargo is that which would not fit in the standard 40 foot or expanded 40 ft. high cube container. In short, the object(s) that are being shipped are too big to fit in the box!
A Little History
In the past few decades, we have seen a large growth in international commerce. Along with that growth the size and complexity of many of these multi-national commerce activities have dictated the need for more unusual and oversized components…..think wind turbine blades that can be the length of a football field for example. To get these types of components from one part of the world to another has spawned a huge growth in the type of cargo designated as project cargo.
How to Ship Project Cargo
It is important when shipping project cargo internationally that you have an experienced logistics specialist to organize, plan, and execute the transportation of your cargo. At Eagles Air & Sea we have learned that planning, communication, and engineering analysis are the important keys to the successful execution of the transport of project cargo. If you choose Eagles Air and Sea to manage your project cargo we will assign an experienced project manager to work with you to ensure that:
- Maximum weight and the overall size of the cargo are understood and accounted for throughout the entire trip, from origin to destination.
- Customs regulations are reviewed and understood by everyone involved.
- Loading and unloading arrangements are all accounted for.
- Routes on both land and sea are mapped out and timing is considered at each consolidation or pinch point along the route.
While we have been using an international ocean based example, it is important to note that project cargo can also be handled via air freight modes when time or unique destinations dictate an alternative method of transport. Large planes specifically designed for unusually large, heavy or odd shaped cargo can be hired to a single, dedicated delivery. In this type of situation costs need to be managed carefully and contingency plans have to be in place for unplanned events or emergencies that can occur.
In summary, moving project cargo around the world puts a premium on the logistics and freight forwarding functions. For that reason, it is important that you choose a freight forwarder that is experienced in the management of project cargo and someone who can ensure that your cargo will be handled safely, securely, and economically as it traverses the earth. If you have project cargo, please contact Eagles Air & Sea for an initial consult of your unique requirements.
Frequent Asked Questions
What is the difference between “breakbulk” and project cargo?
In reality, not much. The term “breakbulk” means that the cargo won’t fit into a standard or high cube container and needs to be either broken down or arranged on the ship using different methods to secure and protect the cargo during transit. In essence, this job becomes a special “project” or project cargo.
Are their restrictions on project cargo?
Yes, and they vary greatly depending on the country of destination. Often, the restriction will be limited to the size and weight compared to the roads and trucks available to move it once it has arrived at the port.
What information do I need to provide to my shipper?
A description of the cargo, delivery order, and bill of lading for starters. Your freight forwarder will typically handle all of the necessary paperwork. If they ask you to take care of the documentation, you should start looking for a new freight forwarding partner!