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Heavy Equipment Shipping for Businesses

What's in this article?
  1. Domestic Heavy Equipment Shipping
  2. Size
  3. Weight
  4. Value
  5. International Heavy Equipment Transport Services
  6. Country Of Origin
  7. Destination
  8. Type Of Cargo
  9. Value
  10. Types Of Goods That Require Heavy Equipment Shipping
  11. How Much Does It Cost To Ship Heavy Equipment?
  12. Delivery Times
  13. The Importance Of Insurance When Transporting Heavy Equipment
  14. How Much Will Cargo Insurance Cost?
  15. General Liability Insurance
  16. Property Insurance
  17. Should You Hire A Freight Forwarder?
  18. What Is A Brokerage Fee?
  19. Tips For Finding A Good Freight Forwarder
  20. Freight Forwarding Companies
  21. How To Save Money When Hiring A Heavy Goods Shipping Company
  22. Conclusion
Heavy Equipment Shipping for Businesses

How much does shipping heavy equipment cost? What are some things I should consider before hiring a company to ship my equipment? Do you need a particular freight carrier?

Shipping heavy equipment such as farm equipment or construction equipment is a complex task that requires careful preparation. Whether you’re moving mining equipment or heavy vehicles, you should consider several aspects before finalizing your plan.

There are two main types of heavy equipment transport service: full service and partial service. Full-service companies offer complete logistics solutions from start to finish. Partial service companies only provide part of the solution, such as loading and unloading.

Continue reading for the rundown on heavy equipment transport for business purposes.

Domestic Heavy Equipment Shipping

When it comes to domestic heavy equipment transport, there are three main factors to consider: size, weight, and value.


The first thing to consider when determining the size of an item to be shipped is its length. The longer the item, the more expensive it will be to transport.

For example, if you have a 40-foot trailer with a 10-ton load capacity, you can expect to pay about $1 per mile. If you have a 20-foot trailer with a 5-ton load capacity, however, you can expect to spend around $0.75 per mile.

The second factor to consider is the width of the item. A broader item takes up more space in the vehicle than a narrower one. Again, this means that you will likely pay less to ship a wide item than a narrow one.

Finally, the third factor to consider is the height of the item. More oversized items take up more room in the vehicle than smaller ones. Therefore, they will cost you more money to ship.



The next step is to determine the weight of the item. You want to ensure that the item is not too light or heavy. Light items require fewer miles to move because they don’t weigh much. On the other hand, heavier equipment will need more miles to move because they weigh a lot.


Finally, you want to know what the item is worth so you can figure out whether it makes sense to ship it at all. Valuable items tend to be larger and heavier than those that aren’t. So, if you have a small object that isn’t particularly valuable, you may decide to leave it at home rather than risk paying extra to ship it.

International Heavy Equipment Transport Services

When you are using international transport services to move heavy goods, there are four primary considerations: country of origin, destination, type of cargo, and value.

Country of origin

First, you must determine where the item originated. Some countries charge higher rates for shipping goods originating within their borders. Others charge lower rates for international shipments of heavy equipment.


Next, you must choose between transporting the equipment directly to its destination or delivering it to another location. Direct delivery costs more but saves time.

Type of cargo

It helps to determine whether the item is classified as freight or non-freight. Freight items are generally considered hazardous materials and therefore require special handling. Non-freight items are usually just fine to haul without any special precautions.


Finally, you need to determine the value of the item. High-value items will typically cost more to ship than low-value items.

Types of Goods That Require Heavy Equipment Shipping

There are many different types of goods that require heavy equipment shipping. Here are some examples:

  • Heavy Machinery
  • Vehicles
  • Electronics
  • Building Materials and construction equipment
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Heavy Loads and Overweight Loads

All of these items plus more require heavy equipment shipping services from a transport provider.


How Much Does it Cost to Ship Heavy Equipment?

Depending on the size of the item being shipped, the distance from one place to another, and how long it takes to deliver the item, the price of heavy goods shipping can vary widely. However, the average rate for heavy equipment shipping is $1 per mile.

However, this number doesn’t include taxes or fees. These charges can add anywhere from 10% to 20% to the total amount. Then you have to pay for oversized load permits, which quickly increases the total price.

Heavy equipment transport differs from standard shipping freight because it requires special handling, oversized loads, and special freight carriers, unlike standard shipping freight. In addition, the special permits you need for heavy equipment shipping can add up to a pretty penny.

Delivery Times

The time it takes to receive an item depends on the method used to ship it. For example, if you use a freight carrier, it may take up to two weeks to arrive at your destination. However, if you decide to go with direct delivery, you should expect to wait about five days.

You pay an added fee for express delivery to transport your heavy machinery at an accelerated rate.

The Importance of Insurance When Transporting Heavy Equipment

You’ll need to purchase extra insurance when shipping oversized loads like machinery, as this is considered high-risk cargo. If something happens to your load during transit, you could face severe financial consequences should your service provider fail to complete a safe delivery.

For example, if your equipment shipping company loses or damages your haul, you may be liable for paying for repairs or replacement parts.

In addition, you might be responsible for paying fines or penalties if your shipment isn’t correctly registered with the government or if you don’t have the required special permits.

You can protect yourself by purchasing enough insurance to cover all costs associated with damage or loss. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy the maximum amount available. Instead, you can choose to pay less and still receive adequate protection.

In most cases, you’ll be able to find affordable insurance options online.

How much will cargo insurance cost?

While there are many factors involved when calculating the cost of cargo insurance for heavy equipment or machinery, the main factor is the value of the shipment itself.

So, for example, if you’re transporting a car worth several thousand dollars, you’ll likely need more insurance than someone who’s shipping a few hundred dollars worth of items.

Another important consideration is whether or not you’re going to use a freight forwarder. If you’re planning to work directly with a shipper to arrange transportation, you’ll need to make sure that they provide sufficient insurance. Otherwise, you risk having your haul damaged or stolen while en route.

A third factor is the type of insurance you want to purchase, as there are two types of cargo insurance: general liability insurance and property insurance.

General liability insurance covers any damages caused by the insured party. Property insurance protects against theft or damage to the contents of the shipment, even for industrial companies.


General liability insurance

General liability insurance providers offer protection against claims made by people other than the owner of the shipment. So, for example, if your shipment is lost or damaged during transit, you’ll probably be held accountable for covering the repair or replacement costs.

If you’re shipping valuable items, you’ll also want to insure them. If your shipment is stolen or damaged, you’ll have to replace the items before you can collect on your claim.

Property insurance

Property insurance providers protect you against theft or loss of the shipment itself. If your shipment is lost or stolen, you’ll get paid for the value of the items inside.

However, you won’t always be able to recover the entire value of your haul. You’ll usually be required to pay a deductible in order to qualify for reimbursement.

Should You Hire a Freight Forwarder?

Some businesses prefer to hire a freight forwarder to handle their shipments. This approach has a number of benefits.

A freight forwarder will take care of everything from finding the best rates to arranging the mode of transport as they are specialists in the field of heavy equipment hauling.

This frees up time so that you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about logistics. It also allows you to save money by avoiding hidden fees.

You may also be responsible for paying additional fees if you decide to hire a freight forwarder. These include brokerage fees, which the broker charges.

What is a brokerage fee?

Brokers charge a fee for handling the shipper and carrier transaction. This fee varies depending on the size of the shipment and the heavy equipment shipping service you choose.

In addition, brokers typically charge an administrative fee. This fee is set by the broker regardless of the size of the shipment and is used to cover overhead expenses such as office space and staff.

It’s not uncommon for brokers to charge a percentage of the total cost of the shipment. In some cases, they may even require a minimum amount of insurance coverage.

Tips for finding a good freight forwarder

When searching for a good heavy equipment transport expert, like a freight forwarder, look for these three things:

  • Experience – Make sure the company has experience working with large-scale shipments.
  • Reputation – Ask your friends and family for recommendations. They should be happy to share their experiences with you.
  • Service – Look for companies that offer 24/7 customer service.

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder, start by asking your friends and family for referrals for any heavy equipment transport experts they may know. Then, once you find someone who seems like a good fit, ask for references.

Finally, make sure the team offers all the services you need and can transport large equipment like farm machinery or mining equipment. Some companies specialize in certain types of shipments while others provide a full range of services.

Ask for proof of insurance when you sign up for coverage. If you don’t see any documentation, you may want to save your time and look elsewhere for someone to arrange your heavy equipment shipments.


Freight forwarding companies

A good freight forwarder will make the whole process of shipping heavy machinery easy and stress-free. You won’t have to worry about where to go, what paperwork needs to be filled out, or what special oversize load permits you need to buy.

Instead, the freight forwarder will hire and manage your booking with a heavy equipment hauling service on your behalf.

They will do all the work for you and ensure that your oversize load arrives safely.

How to Save Money When Hiring a Heavy Goods Shipping Company

Choosing a heavy equipment transport service can be tricky. There are many factors you must consider before making a decision. Here are some tips to help you save money while hiring your heavy equipment shipping service.

  1. Choose a reputable company.
  2. Avoid extra costs.
  3. Use a freight calculator.
  4. Get quotes from multiple freight forwarders.
  5. Consider using a freight consolidator.
  6. Check local regulations before choosing a freight company

A freight calculator helps you determine how much cargo you need to ship and what type of container you need. This tool allows you to compare prices and determine how much each heavy equipment shipment will cost.


Shipping heavy equipment is a bit more complex than regular shipping; usually, the costs are higher, the paperwork is far more complicated, and your insurance will cost you more.

However, choosing a reputable heavy equipment shipping company shouldn’t take long to complete the entire process, especially when you hire a freight forwarder to book the heavy equipment transporter for you.

When hiring a company to transport expensive heavy equipment, you need to choose a reputable company. That's why you should consider A-1 Auto Transport. A premium shipping company with years of experience and a large base of loyal customers who offer dependable domestic and international heavy equipment shipping services.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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