Parcelling

Parcelling. Generally in dry-cargo shipping, the smaller the quantity of a commodity, the more expensive it is to ship. Recognising this, some Operators specialise in transporting smaller parcels of a commodity by grouping them together in a vessel sailing from one or more ports in a particular region to one or more ports in another area. This trade is prominent, for example, in commodities exported from Australia to destinations in the Far East and in the Atlantic Basin. Specialist operators in the area contract to move parcels of commodities, thereafter grouping these together with other parcels in one ‘bottom’, probably contracted in on a trip-timecharter basis. (Even today you will encounter the old-fashioned expression ‘bottom’ as an alternative to the word ‘ship’ or ‘vessel’ -tradition dies hard in the shipping industry). Consequently, in addition to negotiating the highest possible freight rate and best terms for each, individual parcel, the Operators seek the widest possible date speed during which to load the parcel and a wide cargo quantity margin, so as to give themselves maximum flexibility to fit the individual hold compartments of whatever ship they contract, thus easing their chartering restrictions for suitable tonnage. Having identified the most suitable vessel, the Operators then rely on their shipping expertise to timecharter-in the ship at a cost which is, overall, less than the freight they expect to earn from the collection of various parcels the ship will carry -the difference, less their overheads, creating the profit element they seek.