How to Better Manage Shipping Goods in Bulk

Bulk shipping is the process of transporting unpacked goods in large quantities. The process involves storage, loading, and unloading of the goods depending on the carrier used. Goods can be transported through air, land, and sea methods. Bulk cargo is divided into liquid, solid, and break bulk. These goods include grains, coal, crude oil, iron, and phosphate rock.

cargo vessel

Transporting goods in bulk helps to reduce costs as you can save on packaging and enjoy discounts from the freight company. Online businesses often depend on shipment companies to deliver goods across the world at a cheaper cost. Managing your bulk shipment is essential in promoting business growth. Here are tips to improve bulk shipping.

Bulk shipping

As you run your business and target global customers, you need to know how to shop in bulk. Understand the cheapest transport modes, and profit after the shipping costs. And every detail involved. What determines freight cost?

  • Size and weight of the shipment
  • Distance covered during transportation
  • Dimensional weight
  • Freight class

Here are ways to manage bulk shipping.

Manage Inventory

Purchasing goods in bulk is cheap. You need to have up-to-date inventory records. Also, use leading manufacturing software to track stock levels, demand patterns, and reorder points. Bulk shipping is often beneficial for businesses that use staple goods with high customer demands and long shelf life. Unlike products with fluctuating market demands, you can control your inventory through ABC analysis, automate as much as possible, avoid manual spreadsheet tracking, and set reorder points.


When you track your shipment you will know where it is at any given time and whether it will reach its destination on time. Using a container tracking system, you can easily track your goods from the origin to the destination. Tracking devices ensure proper communication between shippers, carriers, and customers about the status of their shipments. Also, notify them of any delays in the delivery process. Tracking devices reduce cases of theft and vandalism, as you will monitor your goods as they travel from one point to another. Use barcode scanning technology to track products and prevent cargo losses. Tracking also ensures the right customer receives the shipment, minimizing cases of fraud and wrong deliveries. 

Strategic Planning

Planning, whether in business or our personal life, has always helped us to have a pattern and stay ahead of challenges that may come. Strategic planning in freight shipment can help the business to scale its operations and improve profits. As written in the Maritime Economics book, the shipping industry is extremely impacted by fluctuations in the global market. To ensure you stay ahead of the market cycle, you can:

  • Embrace digital technologies
  • Plan for peak seasons
  • Use accurate data
  • Focus on customer satisfaction
  • Collaborative logistics

Supplier Relationships

Building relationships between buyers and sellers is essential for the smooth shipment of goods. It can ensure good communication, which builds trust. It can help the buyer to enjoy discounts which reduce transport costs. Relationships can help in understanding each other’s business, leading to efficiency in operations and improving the supply chain. It can also ensure transparency in terms of delivery time as they understand each other’s goals.

Manage Risks

Purchase shipping insurance to protect against damage, loss, or theft during transportation. Have plans in case of delays or obstacles during delivery. Risk should be handled depending on the possibility of occurrence and the impact on business operations. By evaluating your risks, you will cut costs as you will ensure to comply with all regulations and research potential hazards to avoid them.

Optimize Packaging

Designing a packaging material that showcases your brand and protects your product can improve your sales. When shipping goods in bulk, you think of avenues that reduce the packaging and transport costs. You want your customers to enjoy the product and have a memorable unboxing experience. You need to consider the right design for your product, a suitable amount of packaging, monitor international shipping regulations, and use valid data when packing. 

Collecting data will reduce the chances of under-packing or over-packing. Your packaging material should be able to protect your product from damage and not be too much that it can increase shipping costs. You can pack it in boxes that can be flattened to ensure shipping more at an affordable price. 

Consolidate Your Cargo

This can reduce your costs on bulk shipment. Cargo containers for consolidation are in two types. FCL, which means Full Container Load, involves transporting all goods of a shipper to fill an entire container, ensuring efficiency and reducing freight costs. LCL, which stands for Less than a Container Load. It allows multiple shippers with cargo loads not large enough to fill a vessel to combine their goods in a single container. It helps to reduce costs.

Transport Mode and Carrier

Choose the appropriate shipping mode for your goods. Understand your needs and customers’ demands. If they are less and you need to cut costs, you can use air or road as ships take longer to travel. Tips for choosing the appropriate carrier include:

  • Reliability of the company
  • Costs and services
  • Shipping destinations
  • Delivery period
  • Tracking services
  • Types of products
  • Carriers reputation


Having the necessary shipping documents can save you products or custom claims for the goods. The necessary documents will show every handler of the goods, the exact destination, and all information to ensure it’s delivered to the correct destination. These documents are necessary to ensure the goods comply with the laws and regulations of the country it’s being transported to. Keep digital copies of the documents for easy access.

Customs and Regulations

car carrier

Stay updated about the import and export requirements before shipping your goods. Just like immigration regulates the legal movement of people, customs regulate the movement of goods by the laws of the land. Following customs guidelines can help to reduce shipping costs as you can request refunds of customs duties that have been paid in excess during importation. It can help you to abide by the restrictions and customs prohibitions to avoid the loss of your products. Complete the necessary paperwork to avoid delays at customs, such as packing list, invoice issued by seller, insurance certificate, purchase order of the buyer, and bill of entry.

Shipping your goods in bulk is an advantage to your business, as it reduces costs and improves efficiency. You can manage bulk shipping through strategic planning, managing risks, picking the best carrier, adhering to custom regulations, tracking your goods, and consolidating when necessary. Evaluate the data before designing a package for your products. Have the documents to reduce loss of goods or customs claims.

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