The Categories of Cargo - Straight Forwarding
The Categories of Cargo - Straight Forwarding

A freight forwarder, or forwarding agent, can organize shipments with carriers to move cargo from place A to place B. And in the world of logistics and freight forwarding, almost anything can be shipped from its origin to a destination. But different types of cargo require different methods of transportation. The cargo category decides on what type of container it gets shipped in, and how it gets processed once it enters customs clearance. 

What Are the Different Categories of Cargo? 

  • General Cargo 
  • Bulk Cargo 
  • Special Cargo 

General Cargo 

In the freight forwarding industry, the term general cargo refers to goods that can be transported individually in one piece. These include palletized goods, packages, barrels, or boxes. General cargo is unitized, and each general cargo container load has a defined way of measuring the units it contains. 

What falls under the umbrella of general cargo? 

Bulk Cargo 

Bulk cargo is often referred to as loose cargo. These types of shipments are comprised of items that do not require packaging or are weirdly shaped and cannot be shipped within containers, or cargo that cannot be strapped down to a pallet. Learn more details about bulk cargo here: An Introduction to Loose Cargo 

What is classified as bulk cargo? 

  • Liquid Cargo: gas, milk, petrol, etc. 
  • Dry Bulk: coal, grains, gravel, sand, etc.  

Special Cargo 

As the name suggests, special cargo pertains to the different types of cargo that need to undergo special shipping procedures. Their initial documentation, handling, and loading processes will all be different and specific to the type of cargo being transported. 

What are some examples of special cargo? 

Have Any Questions? SFI Can Help! 

Consider working with SFI today! We work with packaging industries, and can handle cargo transportation, regardless of which category it falls under. If you need any assistance regarding freight forwarding, contact SFI today and we’ll take care of your shipping needs. We have professionals ready to help resolve any shipping problems you may have. Email us at or call us at (909) 594-3400.

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