What Are The Options For Shipping Heavy Machinery?

If you need to transport heavy machinery overseas, you will know that the process is more complicated than arranging to ship regular cargo. However, it is sometimes necessary, particularly if you own a construction business, or an agricultural supplies company. Here are some of the main points to bear in mind.

Know the size and dimensions of the equipment

This is crucial information to provide to the shipping company, so they can tell if the cargo is too large and heavy for standard shipping containers. These loads are referred to as Out of Gauge. In some cases, very large or unwieldy pieces will need to be partially dismantled to enable successful transportation. It is essential to provide accurate dimensions.

Check that you have the correct paperwork in place

You will require specialist advice about what documentation you will need before your cargo is accepted for loading. Expect to be asked for the origin of the shipment, the end destination, and information about the risks involved—i.e. If the cargo is delicate and easily damaged, and needs special handling during the loading and unloading process.

Shipping options

Roll-on/Roll-off (RO-RO)

If the machinery is wheeled or has treads, for example articulated trucks, excavators, and cranes, it can be driven on and off a vessel via ramps. This is known as Roll-on/Roll-off (RO-RO), and is the most common method for shipping vehicles.

Flatbed containers

If the machinery is not self-propelled, then a flatbed platform is the most common way to transport extra-large or awkwardly shaped containers. They are reinforced with steel, and can have either fixed or collapsible ends, depending on the size and shape of the cargo. Sometimes, two flatbeds can be combined to accommodate an extra-large cargo item.

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