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Top 6 Strategies to Mitigate Bulk Shipping Risks


Gone are the days of precarious bulk shipping. With modern automated systems, stringent regulations, dependable bulk shipping air and road carriers, and advancements in technology, bulk shipping carriers now facilitate the safe loading and unloading of bulk cargo.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) claimed that global air cargo markets showed a sign of recovery in July 2023, as it was just 0.8% below the previous year’s levels with a flat demand as compared to 2022. These details show an improvement in performance considering declines in global trade volumes.

Approximately 9.5 billion tonnes of goods are shipped across the globe annually, with dry bulk, which represents the largest cargo group. This proves the critical importance and reliance of global trade on the bulk shipping industry. 

In this post, we will discuss key strategies that shippers and bulk carriers can undertake to mitigate risks while bulk shipping.

Read on!


Top 6 Strategies to Mitigate Bulk Shipping Risks

The landscape of bulk shipping is evolving, with a particular focus on road and air transport.

Here are the top ways to reduce bulk shipping risks and improve the security of air cargo:


1.  Follow IATA Regulations and Road Transport Guidelines

Adhere to IATA regulations for air cargo and specific road transport safety standards.

Make sure you adhere to the compliance rules laid out as international shipping rules and regulations that have been introduced to ensure the safe operation of bulk carriers.

This is specifically for the carriage of cargo and dangerous goods, along with additional safety measures for bulk carriers. The other codes are:

  • Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) for products that can potentially cause harm to the people on board or the aircraft. The dangerous cargo or hazardous materials are duly governed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or the local Civil Aviation Authority Regulations.
  • Cargo Border Management that implies integrated border procedures, and automation of risk management principles introduced by national regulators or international organizations like WTO, WCO, ICAO, and UN.
  • Cargo Operations in the form of Master Operating Plans (MOP), which are a vital aspect of Cargo Operations that are significant for seamless operation and handling.
  • Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) deals with the packaging and handling of temperature-sensitive products, especially in response to the pharmaceutical industry’s needs. 

2.  Maintain Proper Documentation and Stay Updated

Make sure proper road and air cargo information and documentation are listed, including the correct Bulk Cargo Shipping Name (BCSN). You have to provide a declaration that the cargo information is correct.

It is also important to conform to the relevant IMSBC Code schedule to find out the cargo’s general and specific hazards.

3.  Take Proper Precautions Against Common Shipping Hazards

Every shipment must incorporate remedial measures, compliance requirements, and preventive strategies to deal with the top shipping hazards.

These could be:

  • Fire
  • Contamination
  • Corrosion
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Structural damage
  • Cargo Liquefaction
  • Dust from working cargo
  • Cargo falling from height
  • Cargo shift

Implement strategies to manage risks like fire, contamination, structural damage, and cargo shift, specific to road and air transport.

Focus on precautions unique to each mode of transport, such as cargo securing for road and pressure changes for air.

4.  Emphasize on Safe Loading and Unloading Procedures

Shippers need to ensure that the cargo monitoring equipment is ready and appropriate protective gear is available to ensure the safety of people and products.

There should be a proper loading plan to ensure that the permissible forces and moments on the carrier, whether by road or air, do not exceed while loading or unloading. This should include the quantity and rate of loading or unloading, sequence, and the de-ballasting or ballasting capability of the carrier.

Follow all instructions to carry forward the loading or unloading operation, considering the carrier’s limits.

Make sure you use technological automation and analytical tools to monitor the road and air cargo loading or unloading procedure and record the same in the logbook, which will help check significant deviations later.

5.  Opt for Breaking Bulk Where Appropriate

Breaking bulk involves transporting goods as separate units like crates, bags, or barrels, instead of in a single, consolidated package, eschewing the use of containers for individual item shipping.

6.  Invest in Employee Training

Focus on specialized training for handling road and air cargo, emphasizing on safety, regulatory compliance, and efficient handling of technology.

Studies have shown that well-trained personnel can boost operational efficiency in bulk shipping projects by up to 87.5%. Such training equips employees to adeptly navigate the complexities of modern IT systems and safely operate in potentially hazardous environments, in line with federal and international regulations.

So make sure you invest in ongoing training programs that are designed to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively mitigate risks, enhance safety measures, and improve overall operational efficiency in your bulk shipping projects.



Bulk shipping, in interstate or international commerce, is governed and regulated by various laws and treaties so that shippers feel protected from risks once their products are loaded.

Shipyaari, a bulk shipping solution, ensures that the safety and mitigation of risks of bulk shipments are maintained while packaging, loading, and offloading. We guarantee the utmost care and professional rigor for every parcel, ensuring the safety of your goods and steadfast reliability in your global commerce ventures.

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