Manufactured products and perishable goods come in a variety of shapes and sizes, often with considerable storage constraints. Consequently, these cargoes need to be treated very differently to free-flowing dry bulk cargoes, like grain.
Imagine having to individually move the millions of computers and computer parts transported around the world every year: it would be a logistical nightmare. Instead, these ‘units’ are packaged together as unitised cargo before transportation. While the terms unitised and containerised are often used interchangeably, strictly speaking unitised, as a cargo type, includes containers as well as a number of other modes of transportation, such as pallets, barges, closed wagons, goods trailers and trucks.
Unitised cargoes can be very diverse, covering forest products, metals and metal goods, machines, electronics, food chemicals, raw materials, and investment and consumer goods, among others.