Comparison Between Bulk and Containerized Commodity Transportation


Bulk (grains, energy, minerals) Containerized
Sectors Primary / Transformation Manufacturing / Retail
Driving Force Cost / Volume Time / Flexibility
Mode of shipment Large batches Small shipments
Frequency Low High
Flows One way More balanced
Terminals Dedicated by commodity General container
Seasonality From low (iron ore), average (coal) to high (wheat) Low (retail cycles)
Markets Mass (Futures and Forward) Niche (spot)

In spite of appearing to be very different modes of shipping, there is an emerging complementarity between bulk and containerized shipping.