Different shipping methods are available for ocean freight transportation of out-of-gauge cargo: these include shipping the cargo pieces on Flat Racks or break bulk in a container vessel, using Ro/Ro shipping and shipping via break bulk vessel. Key indicators for selecting a proper ocean freight shipping method include the nature of goods to be shipped, the possibilities to arrange for seaworthy packing and appropriate ways of cargo handling e.g. for loading and discharging to or from the ocean going vessel. Same applies to transit times of the vessels and the shipping rates.
There are several ways of shipping oversized and heavy goods.
The cargo pieces are loaded into the vessel “pre-lashed” – that is, they are stowed and secured on the Flat Racks prior to be loaded onboard.
Container vessels have a set sailing schedule with quite fixed routes (port rotations) and transit times. Sailing frequencies are high, making it a comparatively flexible shipping option for out-of-gauge cargo.
Break bulk vessels are operated in liner and charter service. As for transit times they generally cannot match those of container vessels or Ro/Ro ships – at least not, if shipping is not done by full-charter. Regarding shipping rates, however, they often present an attractive alternative to the other two shipping methods.