One may think that successful machinery transport is just as easy as shipping other items. Though moving them from one place to another indeed follows the same shipping principles applied globally, there are still some exceptions, especially for some heavy machinery. With that being said, any organization needs to be aware of the important practices that encompass machinery shipping.
Machinery Transport 101: How to Transport Machinery and Their Parts
Successfully shipping any type of machinery and its parts requires individuals to determine the proper mode, carrier, and packaging needed to transport such materiel. The following practices always take precedence when transporting such assets:
- Apperceiving the machinery for transport. An initial assessment of the machinery to be transported must be completed before the transport itself takes place. The clients must take note of any features that could affect freight capacities like weight and dimensions. The key here is to understand the type of machinery that needs to be shipped. Researching how other clients and carriers have moved them in the past can ensure a shipment’s success.
- Packing the material accordingly. Transporting heavy machinery cannot be compared with regular freight movement where small items are packed in boxes filled with a protective material such as bubble wrap. It often brings with it more machinery shipping packaging regulations compared to regular transport. Planning and proper handling of heavy machinery are indeed needed.
There is a delicate balance to maintain between a client’s shipping needs and the carrier’s packaging requirements. Some carriers have strict regulations, requiring every machinery fit for transport to be stored in container vans, which adds rental costs to the client’s expenses.
Aside from that, knowing the kind of work needed to load the equipment is necessary as well. For instance, loading docks and cranes might be needed to get heavy equipment on the back of a trailer truck.
- Determining the Suitable Mode. Knowing the difference between FTL and LTL is important for determining the appropriate mode to use. FTL (full-truckload) service means that an entire truck is necessary to fully transport the cargo, while LTL (less-than-truckload) means that the shipment can be moved using a relatively smaller vessel. With that said, clients must consider their preferred mode for transporting their machinery.
- Selecting the “Right” Carrier. Now, this one is a combination of what the sender currently knows about shipping machinery and the most relevant carrier available to them. Depending on the type of machinery a client or a company wants to ship, finding the right freight movement company could prove to be difficult. Regardless, the aim is to find a carrier that’s specialized and known for reliable machinery transport and especially the particular machinery they need to be transported.
For instance, shipping heavy machinery would be handled better by international carriers who specialize in the movement of heavy machinery like bulldozers, backhoe loaders, heavy hydraulics, etc. The efficiency and rate of shipping success increase exponentially with these specialized carriers, not to mention they also reduce the risk of unanticipated costs and damages.
Knowing the Different Shipping Modes
Since we’ve previously talked a bit about the shipping modes, let’s go through all of them and compare what each can provide clients. It’s vital to know about the various shipping modes because they’re all dependent on timing, cost, and size of the shipment. Taking the time to read through each mode would help you decide which one is the most suitable in your case.
- Full Truckload (FTL) – This mode necessitates the use of a whole trailer, with the shipment’s overall weight reaching over 6,804 kilograms (15,000 pounds).
- Less than Truckload (LTL) – This mode is used when the shipment weighs between 68 (150 pounds) and 6,804 kilograms but doesn’t need a full trailer.
- Partial Truckload (PTL) – This mode is used when the shipment’s weight is over 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds). However, you may need to split the expenses of a truck with other clients.
- Intermodal – This mode is used when there’s a need (or preference) for combining various transportation modes such as rails, trucks, or ships. One could say that this works best for reliable machinery transport overseas, in vast territories such as Australia.
- Expedited – This mode is used when time is of the essence for shipping heavy machinery. Keep in mind that additional costs may arise from selecting this mode.
- Flatbed – This mode is used when the shipment must be loaded from the side or needs dimensional flexibility.
Evaluate the Machinery’s Extent of Liability
In every shipment that carriers make and every mode of transport, there is a limited liability coverage set for moving all kinds of freight. Both the client and the freight service must come to an agreement to evaluate this extent. The liability coverage is determined by the carrier and is reliant on the type of commodity to be moved. For example, LTL covers a fixed amount of payment per kilogram of shipped freight.
Keep in mind that understanding a carrier’s liability for loss of cargo and the limits of their liability coverage offers are good practice. It helps you get a better picture of how they run things and if they’re the right carrier for you.
Now that you have an idea how machinery transport and how important practices in general freight shipment work, you can now select the right international transport service for you, to effectively increase your chances of your machinery being shipped successfully. Remember, successful freight movement isn’t just up to the carrier; clients have a very important role to play too.