Shipping machinery and machine parts.

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How to ship machinery and parts.

To successfully ship machinery and machine parts, you must determine the right packaging, mode and carrier. Freightquote by C.H. Robinson can help break down the basics of machinery shipping and connect you with the best fit heavy-haul carrier.

  • Know your machinery. To start the process, assess the item you’re choosing to ship. Take note of product dimensions, weight and any other features that could impact freight capacity. Understand the type of machinery you are shipping and research how carriers have moved items like yours in the past. If what you are shipping is uncommon, use what you know about a similar item to anticipate your needs and restrictions.
  • Package properly. Machinery often brings about more packaging regulations than other shipments. You must balance your shipping needs with the packaging requirements of your carrier.

    For example, some carriers require all machinery shipments to be crated. You’ll need to add crating costs to the final price to use these carriers.

    Know what prep work or loading equipment will be required before packaging your machinery. Heavy equipment often requires lifts and loading dock access in order to get it on the truck.

  • Identify the appropriate mode. While some machinery and machinery parts are small enough in size and quantity to be assigned to LTL, others are much larger and will require a different transportation mode. In these instances, it’s important to consider truckload or flatbed options as well.
  • Find the right carrier. Finding the right carrier requires you to combine what you know about your machinery shipment with the most relevant carrier you can find. This may be difficult depending on the contents of your shipment. You’ll want to find a specialized carrier specific to the kind of machinery you plan to ship.
  • For example, if you need to ship an x-ray machine, find a carrier that specializes in shipping medical machines. This increases efficiency and reduces the chance of damages or unexpected costs.

Finding the most effective way to ship your machinery can save you time and money at the end of the day. With the help of a freight service provider, you will receive expert advice about your shipment and access a vast network of relevant carriers.

Machinery and machine parts commonly shipped through Freightquote.

  • Industrial sewing machines
  • Milling machines
  • Medical machines
  • Vending machines
  • Floor care machines

Common questions when shipping machinery and parts.

What freight shipping mode should I be using?

The freight shipping mode you use depends on the size, timing and cost of your shipment. Take a look at each mode below to determine the best fit for your shipment.

    Full truckload: Use full truckload when your shipment is over 15,000 pounds and warrants the use of an entire trailer.  
    Less than truckload: Use LTL when your shipment is between 150 and 15,000 pounds and does NOT require the use of a full trailer.  
    Partial truckload: Use partial truckload when your shipment is over 5,000 pounds, and you’re willing to split the cost of a truck with other shippers.  
    Intermodal: Use intermodal when looking to combine a variety of transportation modes such as rail, trucks or ships.  
    Flatbed: Use flatbed when your shipment requires dimensional flexibility or must load from the side.
    Expedited: Use expedited shipping for time-sensitive machinery shipments.  

How do I determine the freight class of my machinery?

The following freight factors are used to calculate freight class:

    Density: Includes how much space your shipment takes up along with its weight. Use our freight class density calculator to calculate the density of your shipment.
    Stowability: Gives a higher freight class to items that are more difficult to store. This could be due to weight, shape or hazardous materials.
    Handling: Assign a higher freight class to shipments that require more handling.
    Liability: Assign a higher freight class to shipments that are more likely to be damaged.

Consider all four of these factors when calculating the freight class of your machinery shipment. Talk through your shipment with other members of your organization to know how it stands up against freight factors.

How do I evaluate the liability limits of my machinery? 

Each and every shipment (both LTL and truckload) includes limited liability coverage. The amount of liability coverage is calculated by the carrier and is dependent on the commodity type. For LTL, it covers a designated dollar amount per pound of freight being shipped.

As you’re shipping your new or used machinery or machinery parts, you will want to understand the carrier’s liability for freight loss and the limits within the liability coverage being offered.

How much will it cost to ship my equipment?

The cost of your shipment can depend on any number of factors. Although we may not know the specific needs of your shipment, the following factors should be considered when estimating the cost of your shipment:

  • Cleaning of carrier's equipment after transport
  • Packaging
  • Loading charges
  • Handling
  • Insurance
  • Delivery to destination
  • Special services: liftgate, inside pickup and delivery, limited access, etc.

What about oversized cargo?

Your shipment is most likely classified as oversized if it’s too large for standard shipping dimensions. Anticipate slightly higher costs due to the need for accommodations, special equipment and extra handling. Agriculture, construction and energy equipment are all examples of over-sized freight.

When shipping over-sized freight, there are four factors to consider:

    Legal limits for flatbed loads: The legal load for width and height are both 8.5 feet. The legal load for length is 48 to 53 feet and the weight is 46,000 pounds.
    Travel escorts: In some states, shipments over 12 feet wide require travel escorts to warn flatbed drivers of accidents, road work or other incidentals.
    Factors that impact your schedule: Many states restrict when shipments with travel escorts can be on the road. Nights, weekends and holidays are usually off limits for over-sized shipments with travel escorts. Research the states you’ll travel to, through and from to see how this will impact your schedule.
    Special markings: Some shipments must have certain flags, symbols or lights attached to the tractor or trailer. Do your research to ensure every vehicle in your shipment has the right flags.

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