Head Office: 8th Floor, St Vincent House, 1 Cutler Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1UQ

+44 (0) 1394 674822


General Cargo

With over 50 years of experience, Cory Brothers are experts in managing liner agency services on behalf of our principles. Our knowledge as ships agents and of world trade lanes position us
as your ideal partner for general cargo liner representation in the UK.

Cory are liner agents for both unitised and non-unitised (general) cargo. As a general cargo liner agency, we provide UK representation for carriers of bulk, break-bulk and Ro/Ro cargo. Our experienced team are here to maintain your high customer care as an extension of your business.

Find out more about our general cargo liner agent services here.

Roll-on/Roll-off Cargo: 

  • Cargo that is designed to be driven or towed on/off a vessel and can include cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles.
  • Vessels designed to carry this cargo either have built-in or shore-based ramps or ferry slips that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel whilst in port.
  • Platform or “mafi” trailers can also be used as a type of cargo base, enabling goods to be lashed to said platform for safe transport onboard. This is usually associated with static project cargo which is generally smaller in size.
  • Rolling cargo carriers can usually also accept static breakbulk cargo, up to significant sizes, within vessel and port capabilities, meaning they are multi-functional.

Breakbulk cargo 

  • Covers a wide range of cargo that is too large, too heavy, or not cost-effective to ship in containers.
  • It can be a very affordable way to avoid dismantling goods and as a result, reduce the time and cost with supplying goods to their end destination.
  • Breakbulk cargo can more readily ship to smaller ports, or those without the infrastructure needed to manage containers.
  • It can be a great way to large quantities of items easily between main areas, like pipes, bales.

Find out more about our general cargo liner agent services here.

We don't only provide general cargo liner agency services:



Temperature Controlled




Represented Principals


Ro/Ro, Bulk, and Break-Bulk Liner Services - FAQs

What is a liner agent in shipping?

A liner agent acts on behalf of a carrier, or shipping line, to market and facilitate their operations in an area where they do not have a physical presence. Liner agents sell the carrier's services to local shippers, to secure bookings, as well as manage ancillary services on the carriers’ behalf, such as haulage, container tracking, documentation and customs clearance.

Carriers will often have a network of liner agents in their shipping network so that they can have greater coverage whilst eliminating the need to have their own offices in each location. 

Cory Brothers provide liner services for principles around the globe. Contact us for more information on our services today.
If the goods are shipped in a container, the ocean freight rate will be calculated per container. These rates can be different for the size and type of container that is being shipped (EG 40’DV & 40’HC), so ask for a quote for the exact shipping equipment that you require.

If the goods are shipped as part of a loaded container (LCL), then the sea freight will be determined using the FCL container rate (that the co-loader will pay to the carrier), the loading/unloading, the administration and the volume/weight of your consignment.

At Cory Brothers, we provide you with cost-effective ocean freight. Get in touch for more info.

What is the difference between bulk and break bulk?

The difference between bulk and break bulk is that bulk is loose cargo, and break bulk is cargo that can be given a unit count. An example of bulk cargo is coal. An example of break bulk is drums of liquid. 

Bulk and break bulk vessels come in 2 varieties, geared and gearless. Geared vessels have cranes onboard to assist with the loading and unloading, allowing the vessel to call into ports that do not have the necessary equipment to handle bulk goods. Gearless vessels do not have cranes on board and rely on shoreside equipment for loading and unloading. 

 Cory Brothers provide liner services for general cargo carriers. Get in touch for more information.
The beginning of the process is making the booking with the carrier to move your goods on a specific vessel, using a particular piece of equipment. The haulier will then collect this equipment from an assigned depot, advise the equipment number to your ocean freight forwarder and load the goods.

The carrier will book the equipment onto the port by updating the export manifest with the equipment number. Whilst the carrier must allocate the equipment numbers to a manifest, the customs clearance agent needs to provide the carrier with a clearance before the vessel is loaded.

If the shipment is bulk or break bulk, the goods will be unpacked at the port and loaded to the vessel directly. If the shipment is an LCL, then the goods will be taken to a warehouse for loading with other consignments before the containers manifest is provided to the carrier for vessel loading.

Once the goods are received at the Port Of Arrival (POA), they will require carrier release, customs clearance and inland haulage to take the goods to their destination. If the goods are LCL, then they will go to an Electronic Remote Transit Shed (ERTS) for devanning and collection by the importer.

Cory Brothers are experts in Ocean Freight coordination. Please get in touch for more information

What is the difference between a liner service and a tramp service?

A liner service is based on the published schedule of a vessel, or vessels, that carriers use. The ports that the vessel(s) will visit, and the estimated transit time, follow a pattern that allows for space to be sold well in advance. This can apply to all types of cargo vessels.

A tramp service is where a vessel has no fixed schedule or routing for its port calls, meaning that the vessel is made available for loading when it is unloading in the same area. This vessel can then be booked for nearly any destination that the shipper needs, at a moment’s notice, instead of waiting on a liner schedule to facilitate the next load.

Cory Brothers provide liner and tramp agency services for our principles. Please contact us for more information.
If your goods are coming from China to the UK, the ocean freight will take approximately 30 days to get to the Port of Felixstowe, or 36 days to get to the Port of Liverpool. This is because most vessels from China will go to Felixstowe but Liverpool containers will need transhipping in Europe first.

From arrival, your goods will be booked for delivery to you. This is usually within 5 days because of container free time but there may be longer free time available with certain carriers. To collect the container, it must be customs cleared and the Bill Of Lading presented to the carrier.

For LCL shipments, the container will usually be devanned and your goods available for collection within a week. However, even if your shipment is customs cleared, if there is a holdup of one consignment within the groupage container with Port Health, the container will remain in port.

Cory Brothers can give an accurate forecast for whatever movements you need. Contact us today.

What is Ro/Ro in shipping?

Ro/Ro stands for Roll On / Roll Off and classifies shipments that are wheeled on and off a vessel, as opposed to being lifted on and off using cranes (Lo/Lo). Vessels that carry Ro/Ro shipments are loaded and unloaded using ramps that are either built into the ship’s platform or shoreside.

There are various types of Ro/Ro vessels, often combining the transportation of Ro/Ro vehicles with the passage of people, such as cruises, ferries and barges. Ro/Ro vessels that are solely for the transportation of vehicles are pure car carriers (PCC) and pure truck and car carriers (PCTC).

Cory Brothers provide comprehensive Ro/Ro liner agency services for our principles around the globe. Contact us for more information.
When looking at the cost between ocean freight and air freight, sea freight is always preferable when there is no urgent need for a larger volume of goods. Air freight is normally selected when the goods are required asap, or for important documents, and the additional costs are worth the speed.

Cory Brothers supplies cost-effective solutions for ocean and air freight. Contact us for more info.

Are there any general cargo types that you don’t do?

General cargo refers to the transportation of all kinds of goods. Any goods that are not restricted (requiring specialised licenses and permits) can be booked for carriage onboard a suitable vessel as general cargo.

Restricted cargo refers to the transportation of dangerous or illegal goods, which require special licenses and permits to transport. 

Cory Brothers provide restricted and general cargo liner services for our principles. Please contact us for more information today.
During normal times, ocean freight fluctuates around $900 for a 20’ and $1800 for a 40’ from China to the Pot of Felixstowe in the UK. The transit time, terminal charges and the free time differ by carrier so these should also be factored in when deciding which carrier to use for your ocean freight.

LCL shipments will incur a fraction of the costs for container handling, as this is shared between all of the consignments inside a container. However, there will be other fees (again, as a fraction) incurred for the additional handling, administration and transporting of your shipment from the co-loader.

At Cory Brothers, we give you the best ocean freight options for your business. Get in touch today.