Bulk and Breakbulk Commodities


Bulk commodities are shipped in large, unpackaged units. Breakbulk commodities are shipped in smaller, packaged units. Bulk or breakbulk commodity inspections, which involve packaging in bags, have unique characteristics compared to other types of inspections. These inspections can include agricultural commodities as well as mineral commodities, each having its own specific set of inspection standards. For instance, GAFTA or FOSFA standards regulate grain and feed inspections, while ICUMSA covers sugar. To a large extent, the sampling and testing methodologies utilized for these commodities can be standardized so that approved inspection bodies follow the same rules and conduct laboratory tests accordingly. As far as agriculture is concerned, these include moisture, infestation, broken or pinked kernels, GMO status, or grade. In mineral inspections, the percentage of a metal is determined (which determines the value), moisture, flashpoints, ash content (for coal), etc. Bulk and breakbulk commodities are typically inspected by metric ton or container rather than by man day.

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