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Home » Freight Forwarding Information » Shipping and Freight Handling for Bulky and Heavy Equipment

Shipping and Freight Handling for Bulky and Heavy Equipment

Freight Handling for Shipping Bulky Goods and Heavy Equipment Overseas

Many goods shipped overseas are easily packed into standard 40-foot or 20-foot shipping containers. Most of us have seen images of cargo ships laden with these shipping containers and don’t think much further on the matter. Freight shipping of standard containers can be relatively straightforward, however, for shipping bulky goods or heavy equipment, things can get a little complicated.

Transporting heavy equipment often requires specialised handling. In some cases, it may even require specialised vessels to handle the cargo. This means that there will be no standard shipping schedules, and longer than normal shipping times should be expected. The importance of developing a proper shipping plan should not be underestimated in these circumstances.

Heavy equipment shipping examples

There are many types of heavy goods for which special freight handling may be required. Anything that cannot be broken down into smaller components and packed into shipping containers can qualify.

Typical examples of heavy equipment shipping include;

  • Mining equipment.
  • Yachts, barges, and patrol boats.
  • Large agricultural equipment.
  • Wind turbines and parts.
  • Earth moving equipment, construction equipment, and cranes.
  • Heat Exchangers.
  • Equipment used in many sorts of manufacturing.
  • Trucks and large vehicles.
  • Helicopters and aircraft parts.
  • Components for space agencies.

Of course, there are many other possibilities for heavy goods that may need overseas shipping. If you are uncertain about what is required, please contact us.

Considerations for heavy equipment transportation

At SPLS, when shipping specialised or heavy goods we always begin with one prime thought; start with the end in mind.

What is the goal? Know what it is you want to achieve.

First of all, be realistic with the time factor. Heavy shipping generally takes longer. There can be many more factors involved than with the shipping of more standard goods, and each takes time. Additionally, if an unusual type of vessel is required you will be limited by its availability.

Specialised planning is often needed, and each step of the journey should be covered;

A feasibility study.

Is it even possible to achieve the goal you have in mind?

Survey the route.

This is especially typical for road transportation and is often done as part of the feasibility study.

  • What are the road gradients?
  • Are there bridges or overpasses to contend with?
  • Are there any road bends or other obstructions the load will have trouble passing?
  • Will specially reinforced trucks be required?

Watch out for local standards.

Will these restrict the ability to transport certain goods? You may need to transport only at night,  avoid certain areas, or meet other conditions.

Permits and certifications.

Proper permits must be applied for and the conditions covered. These may include road escorts, extra insurance, or other factors.

Goods inspection and certification may be required.

For example, view some of the requirements for certification of imported agricultural heavy machinery to Australia.

Specialists and other personnel.

A whole range of contractors may be required, depending upon the project, and the goods themselves.

  • Engineers.
  • Water management professionals.
  • Soil management and remediation.
  • Crane operators.
  • Specific goods handling professionals for certain cargoes.
  • Road safety teams.
  • Transportation escorts.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is a recommendation for any shipment, but even more so for heavy goods. Because of the often unique nature of the goods themselves and the additional factors and costs involved with their transportation, insurance is useful in protecting yourself against loss.

The cost of shipping heavy equipment overseas

Unfortunately, all the factors outlined above are usually going to increase the cost of shipping.

There are no standard pricelists for the shipping of heavy equipment as there are so many possible variables involved. Each shipment will be unique and will need to be examined in the context of the project.

How can SPLS help?

We have experience in shipping heavy goods and equipment.

SPLS can act as project managers for the entire process, from initial feasibility studies to the actual loading and unloading at origin and destination. We can organise and manage specialists and other personnel as required, and help get your equipment where it needs to be.

Contact us for a discussion of your project and how we can assist.