In logistics, the term general cargo refers to goods that can be transported individually in one piece. This can be a pallet or a package, a barrel or a box. If these units are collected from different shippers and combined into larger units, they are generally referred to as groupage freight.
Liquid cargo such as gas, milk or petrol, on the other hand, is not referred to as general cargo – nor are gravel, sand or other bulk goods. A further distinction is made between packages – the smallest unit of a consignment – and pieces – several packages that are sent together as one consignment unit.
How the boundary to the package can be drawn has not yet been conclusively regulated. The maximum weight of a parcel is usually assumed to be 50 kilograms. Anything weighing more than this should be transported by a specialised general cargo shipper.
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