The Most Famous Heavy Items Ever Shipped

One of the most unique aspects of heavy equipment shipping is the sheer amount of preparation, care and planning that goes into a major move.

A great example of this is the heaviest load ever transported, which involved the transportation of three reactors from Slovenia to Germany.

However, other famously heavy items have required purpose-built operations to complete and many months, if not years of implementation.

Here are some of the most famous.

The Statue Of Liberty

One of the largest gifts ever given, the French gift to the United States of America was also one of the most famous voyages ever undertaken.

The construction of Lady Liberty began in France by Édouard de Laboulaye and was initially completed in 1884, before being broken down into 350 pieces packed into 214 crates that set sail aboard the Isére to New York Harbour.

It was finally unpacked and put on its pedestal in April 1886, receiving its dedication on 28th October.

Given the sheer weight of the statue and the lack of more modern shipping technology, it took meticulous planning to ship across the Atlantic Ocean.

JJ The Grey Whale

It may seem confusing to some that an ocean-dwelling mammal would require a lift on an ocean-going liner, but the case of JJ the grey whale was rather unique.

Found washed ashore on Marina del Rey near Los Angeles, JJ was taken to SeaWorld and given emergency medical care and tube feeding before being weaned onto the types of solid food she would eat in the wild.

She was shipped 6,000 miles to the arctic circle north of Alaska, near to where a pod of grey whales were travelling.

Cleopatra’s Needle

An ancient Egyptian obelisk that stands on the Victoria Embankment in London, Cleopatra’s Needle was initially presented to Great Britain in 1819, but due to its sheer size could not be easily transported to London.

Unlike the Statue of Liberty, it could not be broken into pieces, so it took the sponsorship of Sir William James Erasmus Wilson and the engineering expertise of Mathew William Simpson to find a solution.

It was ultimately encased in a giant iron cylinder ship and then towed to Great Britain in a journey that lasted several months.