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How Are Exotic Car Engines Shipped?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. Freight Shipping How to Ship Heavy Car Engines
  2. Packaging The Key to a Successful Engine Shipment
  3. Engine shipping considerations
  4. The logistics of engine shipping
  5. Engine Shipping Methods Crate and Pallet
  6. Using crates for engine shipping
  7. Using a pallet for engine shipping
  8. Consult with the Pros Service Centers and A1 Auto Transport
How Are Exotic Car Engines Shipped?

Looking for a way to transport an engine from an exotic car?

Your exotic car's engine is what sets it apart from other vehicles. But sometimes, engines must go for maintenance in a location far from your own, especially when dealing with rare and complex exotic cars. Also, exotic car engines are often sold on their own; due to the impressive engineering and power output, people often choose to sell them online or through dealerships.

The auto industry is no stranger to auto part shipment. But when the part being shipped is a heavy engine weight, way more than 150 pounds, the process can be tricky.

Exotic car engines canbe shipped. But they require special handling. Proper packaging is imperative to the process. Learn how exotic car engines are shipped and what its most important rule is.


Freight Shipping: How to Ship Heavy Car Engines

An exotic car's engine will likely be considered freight. Certain delivery companies may not accept car engines to be shipped by courier. Instead, you must treat your car engine as a freight shipment.

This is due to the engines' weight and size: most exotic car or sports car engines from luxury brands weigh between 400 and 700 lbs. As a rule of thumb, any package heavier than 150 lbs is considered freight in the United States, which may be the same worldwide. Shipping a car engine will be categorized as freight shipping.

Freight shipment can be less than truckload, or LTL, shipments. These shipments are usually delivered by trucks on the road. If you're shipping your car engine anywhere inside the US, this is a popular, safe method that costs less than air freight.

Shipping rates will differ between companies, but you can generally assume it's more affordable than express air services.

Air freight is another option for faster delivery. Some delivery locations in distant countries may also require this method as there may not be many options available.

The shipping cost will likely be high, but if you budget carefully, you can develop affordable shipping solutions.

The alternative to shipping your engine internationally is with sea freight. It's a viable shipping strategy for international shipping. Ocean freight will not be as expensive as air freight, although you may have to consult with a shipping provider to find out the exact price.

Packaging: The Key to a Successful Engine Shipment

No matter what car part you're shipping, the most fundamental principle of the shipment is proper packaging. Adequate packaging is a must for both big components (e.g., a car's main engine or battery) and small ones (like a disc brake or oil filter). Without it, no shipper can guarantee a safe delivery of the items.

When packing an engine or other auto parts, consider the specific requirements. More fragile pieces may need extra padding, while fluid reservoirs may require special measures to prevent leaks.

Using the correct packing materials is worthwhile as it prevents damage. Bubble wrapping, cardboard, and foam inserts are just a few packing materials that can cushion and protect your engine or gears.

Engine shipping considerations

Shipping engines, especially those belonging to exotic cars, can be a complex process. Exotic cars often have specialized or even modified engines that are different from the industry standards. To ship exotic engines safely, there are a few considerations.

  • Shipping method: The correct shipping method is of the utmost importance. Exotic car engines may be larger than regular ones; their size may become a problem. You may have to ship these engines using a specialized auto transport service or a freight carrier that can handle heavy items securely.
  • Engine preparation: You may know your Maseratis from your Aston Martins, but preparing your exotic car engine correctly may not be your expertise. Contact a mechanic to help you prepare the engine. A professional may know more about preparing your engine for shipment, like whether you must drain all fluids or disconnect cables from other parts.
  • Engine packaging: Once again, you must be mindful of possible damages during transport. Exotic car engines may be powerful with plenty of horsepower, but they are not unbreakable. To ensure its security during transit, pack the engine properly with proper cushioning and shrink wraps.

The logistics of engine shipping

Another part of engine shipping logistics is the paperwork. Exotic car engines may require special permits to be transported, with documents and certificates to be submitted to the authorities. If you're shipping an engine internationally, the paperwork is all the more important. You must provide the correct documents for things like customs clearance, tax, and import duties.

Insurance is also part of the logistics of engine shipping. Your exotic car engine may be as precious as the whole car, so you want to protect your asset or investment. You may consider insurance as just an additional cost, but it is, necessary in the shipping process. With insurance, you can avoid risks like a damaged engine, loss, or theft.

Therefore, working with a reliable shipping company is often the best way to handle the logistics of the shipping of exotic car engines. You may want to select a reasonable shipping rate that can handle something as complex as engine shipping. Reputable delivery companies or logistics companies may already cover everything you need, from proper packaging materials to insurance coverage.

Engine Shipping Methods: Crate and Pallet

There are two ways you can approach packaging your exotic car engine: by using a crate or a pallet. Find out the differences and how you can take advantage of these methods.

Using crates for engine shipping

Crate shipping can effectively deliver your exotic car engine with extra protection. Most crates will cover all sides of the engine—top, bottom, and sides—so your engine will remain safe throughout its journey.

  1. Choose the right size and type of crates. The crate should be sturdy and durable to withstand any movements during transport. A snug fit is recommended so the engine won't move around. If there are empty spaces left over, use foam inserts or padding for cushioning. Using them will minimize the risk of damage from vibrations or bumps.
  2. Secure the engine inside the crate. For extra security, you should use straps or restraints to hold the engine in place firmly firmly. With the extra cushioning from the foam or padding, there's less chance of the engine shifting and hitting the walls of the crate.
  3. Seal the crate. To ensure the crate is secure without any intervention, use nails or screws to seal it. After that, you must also label the crate clearly. Indicate which side is up. Also, indicate that there's a fragile engine inside the crate. Include any necessary handling instructions.

Using a pallet for engine shipping

At a glance, shipping an engine using a pallet may not be secure enough. A pallet only has one base, without any walls or enclosure at the top to protect the engine. But palletizing an engine on. Stable base allows for easier handling. And as long as the engine is properly secured, you can also lessen the risk of damage.

  1. Choose the right size and material. Select a pallet that supports the weight of the engine. Its width should also accommodate the entire engine, broad enough to contain the entire machine but not so much that it takes up unnecessary steps. Since the pallet must be sturdy sufficient to hold the engine, consider its materials. Do you need a metal pallet, or would a wooden pallet suffice? Test the pallet's sturdiness before you put an expensive engine on it.
  2. Carefully position the engine on the pallet. The engine's position on the pallet must be centered and evenly balanced to ensure safety. An exotic car engine may be too heavy to move by hand, so use proper devices to position it. For example, use a forklift or pallet jack to lift the engine on the pallet. Avoid damaging any sensitive parts.
  3. Fasten and protect the engine. Similar to using the crate, fastening the engine on the pallet is a must to secure its place. Use straps or chains to hold the engine firmly. And because the pallet has no walls to protect the engine, don't forget to use protective cushioning materials like shrink wrap and bubble wrap around the engine. They will absorb shocks and reduce any risks during transit.
  4. Label the pallet. Labeling is equally important. You can attach indicators or warnings on the pallet or on the wrapped engine itself. Clearly mark the shipment with instructions to handle it with care and warnings of fragile items. You can also add information about how much the engine weighs and what its dimensions are so that anyone involved won't mishandle the engine.

Consult with the Pros: Service Centers and A1 Auto Transport

Exotic cars will certainly require special handling. You can probably DIY-ship regular car engines, but exotic cars will have valuable engines that are precious to the car owners. And since most exotic cars come from luxury brands, there may be specific guidelines to handle the engine.

Brands like McLaren, Audi, Ferrari, and Lamborghini may need more specific handling than a DIY method. Therefore, if you must ship your exotic car's engine, it's best to contact an official service center. Service centers for exotic cars can advise you on how to ship your car's engine. Even better, some may be willing to handle the shipment for you.

Suppose you have no idea where you can find a service center for your particular brand of exotic car, find a general service center with expertise and experience in handling similar vehicles. You can also contact the dealership to ask for references.

A1 Auto Transport has a delivery team ready to fulfill your engine shipment needs. You don't have to go through the engine shipping process alone. Getting help is infinitely better than risking damage by handling the shipping unprofessionally. So get a free quote right now and warm your engines.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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