break bulk cargo

Conventional, uncontainerized cargo that is shipped in units of one (such as uncontainerized machinery or trucks) or shipped in units or packages (such as palletized or boxed cargo).
(U.S. Customs) Cargo that is not containerized and that cannot be classified as “bulk” cargo under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection definition. For example, new and used vehicles are considered break bulk cargo. Although uniform in nature, vehicles have identifying marks (such as a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN). One necessary aspect of bulk cargo is fungibility (goods that are identical with others of the same nature). The presence of a VIN removes that component from the shipment of new or used vehicles.
It is important to note that the difference between bulk and break bulk is based not only on the type of cargo, but also on the way in which the cargo is stowed or loaded. For example, bananas stowed loosely in a hold (not in boxes or containers) is considered bulk. Palletized boxes of bananas loaded directly into a hold (but not loose or containerized) is considered break bulk. See bulk cargo.

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