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Broken stowage

Definition Broken stowage refers to the unused spaces or gaps left in a storage area or compartment after loading cargo or supplies. This could be due to irregular shapes, packing inefficiencies, or arrangement limitations. In military operations, minimizing broken stowage is crucial for optimal utilization of space and resources. Key Takeaways Broken stowage refers to […]


Broken stowage refers to the unused spaces or gaps left in a storage area or compartment after loading cargo or supplies. This could be due to irregular shapes, packing inefficiencies, or arrangement limitations. In military operations, minimizing broken stowage is crucial for optimal utilization of space and resources.

Key Takeaways

  1. Broken stowage refers to the unused space in a ship or other military transport vehicle, which is left empty due to irregular shapes or sizes of cargo.
  2. It is an essential factor to consider in planning and optimization of cargo arrangement in military operations. Minimizing broken stowage allows for efficient use of space and potentially increases the capacity of transport vehicle.
  3. Methods such as proper pre-planning, selection of compatible cargo, and effective packing techniques are used by military personnel to reduce broken stowage and ensure efficient transport of goods and equipment.


Broken stowage is an important military operations term referring to the spaces or gaps that occur within the stowage of cargo, ammunition, and supplies during transportation or storage activities.

Efficient utilization of these spaces ensures optimal use of available storage capacity, enhances the overall organization, and ultimately leads to an increase in operational efficiency and effectiveness of military logistics.

By addressing broken stowage concerns, the military can ensure that resources are readily available and quickly accessible during times of need, resulting in more streamlined and successful missions for the armed forces.


Broken stowage is a concept employed in military logistics as well as in commercial shipping to optimize the storage and transportation of various assets during maritime operations. Its primary purpose is to ensure efficient use of space aboard vessels in order to accommodate cargo of different shapes, sizes, and weight while maximizing accessibility and stability.

The underlying principle of broken stowage lies in filling void spaces between larger items with smaller ones. This allows vessels to carry more cargo and better protect sensitive equipment by minimizing movement and dispersing force throughout the transportation process.

In the realm of military operations, the importance of broken stowage cannot be overstated as it directly affects the effectiveness and success of missions. Efficient storage of supplies, weapons, and equipment enables swift, smooth, and safe delivery of materials to units who require them in order to maintain their operational readiness.

To achieve this, specialized military logisticians work out plans, carefully coordinating with other military departments to ensure that the vessel’s load is balanced and does not exceed its carrying capacity. As a result, broken stowage not only ensures optimal utilization of space and efficient transportation but can also prove to be crucial in tactical missions, both in peacekeeping or during times of conflict.

Examples of Broken stowage

Broken stowage is a term used in the military and logistics operations, referring to the unused or wasted space that results from irregularly shaped cargo or gaps between items when packing and transporting goods. Here are three real-world examples of broken stowage in military operations:

Humanitarian Aid Shipments: During natural disasters or humanitarian crises, military units are often tasked with delivering aid supplies, such as food, medicine, and other essential items. When these supplies are hastily packed into shipping containers, aircraft, or vessels without proper planning or care taken to efficiently utilize the available space, broken stowage may occur. This can lead to less cargo being transported and delay in delivering the much-needed supplies.

Military Equipment Transportation: Military forces often need to rapidly deploy large amounts of equipment to various locations. In such cases, vehicles, weapons, and other gear may be irregularly shaped and difficult to pack efficiently. Broken stowage can result in not only wasted space but can also lead to increased fuel consumption and transportation costs, as more trips may be needed to move the required equipment.

Deployment of Troops: When troops are transported overseas or to remote locations, they often bring with them personal gear, along with military supplies and equipment. Broken stowage can occur when soldiers’ duffel bags, barracks bags, and other personal items are packed inefficiently or at the last minute. This can result in wasted space in troop transports, requiring additional logistics support or limiting the number of troops that can be transported.

FAQ: Broken Stowage

What is broken stowage?

Broken stowage is a term used to describe the inefficient use of space when packing or storing items on a vehicle or inside a container. It often occurs when larger items are stored alongside smaller items, causing an uneven distribution of space and potentially leading to wasted storage capacity.

Why is broken stowage a concern?

Broken stowage is a concern because it can lead to inefficient use of storage space, which in turn can result in increased transportation costs and logistical challenges. In military operations, it is particularly important to make the best use of available space in order to transport necessary supplies and personnel to support mission objectives.

How can broken stowage be minimized in military operations?

To minimize broken stowage in military operations, proper planning and organization are crucial. This can include making use of standard-sized containers and pallets, consolidating smaller items together, and ensuring that all items are packed as tightly and efficiently as possible. Utilizing software programs designed to optimize storage space can also be helpful in minimizing broken stowage.

Are there any specific examples of broken stowage in military operations?

Although specific examples of broken stowage in military operations may be difficult to identify publicly, the concept itself can be found in many elements of military logistics. One example might involve loading a cargo plane with a variety of equipment, from large vehicles to smaller, irregularly shaped items. Ensuring that every available inch of space is used effectively in this scenario requires careful planning and organization.

What are the consequences of broken stowage in military operations?

The consequences of broken stowage in military operations can include increased transportation costs, longer transit times, and a reduced ability to rapidly deploy forces and equipment. In the worst-case scenario, this can even lead to a failure to complete mission objectives or, in extreme cases, compromised safety for military personnel. Minimizing broken stowage is therefore essential in maintaining efficient and effective military operations.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Warehouse optimization
  • Inventory management
  • Cargo handling
  • Space utilization
  • Shipping efficiency

Sources for More Information

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