How To Avoid Extra Costs When Shipping Heavy Equipment?

Heavy equipments placed for shipping.

Shipping heavy equipment can sometimes be challenging since you might have to deal with extra costs when methods change, technology advances, or prices rise. But sticking with what works for you can make the process easier.

So, to avoid additional charges, you need to consider methods for shipping large equipment, such as the flat rack, roll-on/roll-off, and LoLo. A flat rack, which is a shipping container that lacks a roof or sidewalls, lets you put heavy equipment on a stackable surface of a container without worrying about dimensional restrictions. However, additional work that handlers or haulers do, like tarping, disassembly, and shrink-wrapping, will lead to increased costs. You can disassemble heavy machinery and ship it in a container or on separate pallets to make the process cost-effective.

On the other hand, roll-on/roll-off, which is also called RoRo, is a simple method to load and ship machinery that can be wheeled. It’s accessible and streamlined as well since you just have to load wheeled machinery onto ship decks, trailers, or containers.

Like RoRo, LoLo is an easy approach, as it involves using a crane to carry heavy equipment onto a shipping conveyance. On the downside, the need for a trained crew to operate a crane and a crane to lift and transport load can result in more expenses that could have been prevented by simply applying the RoRo method.

Read on to learn more about how you can avoid extra costs when shipping heavy equipment.

1.Understand The Factors Affecting The Overall Costs

You can cut shipping costs by taking a look at your past invoices. Carriers typically charge fees for additional work outside the base rate, like driver detention or re-delivery charges. Your past invoices contain information about your transactions and extra costs you incurred. Therefore, it’ll be wise to ask your carrier for advice on how to minimize or eliminate additional shipping costs.

The size of the equipment can also impact the overall cost. The larger the size of the equipment, the more labor required for preparing and transporting the shipment. Moreover, some heavy equipment requires machinery, like cranes or forklifts, to load them on the shipping vessel, which increases the overall costs as mentioned earlier.

The distance between the shipment’s origin and destination can impact the overall cost too. You can reduce shipping costs by exploring alternative routes to reach a shipment’s destination.

2.Hire A Shipping Company

Experience is a crucial aspect when choosing the right shipping provider. Working with a reliable shipping company will lead to a smooth process. This option may sound expensive, but it’ll actually help you save a lot of money. Reputable shipping companies have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver heavy loads safely and on time. Plus, they have the tools required for all kinds of freight, so you won’t have to spend on rental equipment. They can even help you obtain relevant permits and handle the paperwork on your behalf.

In short, hiring a trustworthy shipping company will prevent inconveniences and extra costs due to unexpected damages, losses, or delays.

3.Provide Full Disclosure

Provide the shipping company with essential information about your shipment, so they know what equipment should be used. In addition, being transparent and specific about your shipping needs will ensure accurate pricing for the services you need.

For instance, you need to inform them of the pick-up and delivery points, shipment history, product type, shipment type, dimensions, and other relevant details.

4.Consider Automation

Naturally, shipping heavy equipment requires manpower. However, you’ll benefit from utilizing an automated loading system. An automated loading system can protect your shipment from damage and reduce labor costs. How it operates depends on the system you select. But the same principle applies: Orders are picked and packed manually or with an automatic solution and then scanned, weighed, and dimensioned before going through verification scan checks.

Aside from this system, take advantage of a software for managing warehouse tasks.

5.Maximize Space

You’ll get to lower costs by maximizing space in a truck or a trailer. If you don’t make use of space well, your hauler might have to make several trips, which will only incur costs.

Thus, to maximize space, take account of aspects, like the shape, size, and weight of the load.

6.Plan Early

It’s crucial to ensure that your shipment is ready for transport. This is because a shipping company can request you to reschedule your shipment or charge extra for driver retention. Hence, you need to prepare your shipment before booking an appointment.

Apart from preparing your shipment, avoid shipping on short notice. Giving the shipping company more time to prepare allows them to fulfil your requirements efficiently and plan and organize their resources, such as labor. As a result, they’ll offer favorable rates and good services. On the other hand, shipping on short notice will only cause them to pull in additional equipment and drivers.


Shipping heavy equipment can be expensive, and hiring a reliable shipping company can be tricky. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free process and cut costs.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.