5 Things You Need to Know Before Shipping Heavy Equipment

Regular shipping can stress a person out.

What if the item doesn’t arrive?

What if it’s delivered too late?

What if it arrives damaged?

The worries are compounded when what is being shipped is heavy equipment. Higher shipping costs, added regulations, and specialized handling all combine to complicate the process. Worse is the potential cost of a lost or damaged item. Losing a smaller product is one thing, but losing or damaging a sophisticated piece of equipment during shipment can halt your business until a replacement is found.

To ensure your business isn’t held hostage by delayed or missing heavy equipment, we’ve put together this list. These are five things you need to know before shipping heavy equipment.

Talk to an expert.

      If you’re having legal trouble, you talk to a lawyer. If your teeth are hurting, you talk to a dentist. If you have a nasty cough, you talk to a doctor. You get the idea. If you need to ship heavy equipment and it’s your company’s first time, talk to an expert. Remember, it doesn’t cost, or hurt, to ask a question!
  1. Know your destination. Distance will play a big role in the shipping method and costs. This means that the process of getting your heavy equipment from point A to point B will vary by destination. For example, if the move is a short distance, then Pack All recommends either hiring a flat-bed truck to haul the machinery for you, or hiring a trusted tow company if your equipment has wheels. Longer distances require more thought as the shipping method needs to match the shipping distance, time, and type of equipment being transported.
  2. Know your equipment’s specs. Before shipping your heavy equipment, you need to know its dimensions, including weight. Look up the make and model on RitchieSpecs. You’ll need to provide the freight forwarding company with detailed equipment information for an accurate quote and to help determine the best shipping method.
  3. Account for risk. “When you talk with your packing company, ask them about their risk management policies for heavy-duty shipments” writes Pack All. “If your machinery is delicate and/or expensive, look into hiring a surveyor to assess value and supervise the entire shipping process.”
  4. Check for import and export restrictions. If you are transporting your equipment to another country, then you’ll need to contact the customs authority in the country of import. “Also ask for any special considerations when shipping heavy equipment -particularly cleaning and quarantine requirements” advises Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. “Many countries will refuse entry to equipment or vehicles that could host foreign pests in soil stuck to their tires, body etc; you may need to work with a certified equipment cleaner.”

Shipping heavy equipment can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember tip number one. You can avoid the most obvious risks by working with professionals. It’s their business to get your items where they need to be when they need to be there after all!