Industrial Equipment Transportation — What You Need to Know if You’re Shipping Expensive Industrial Equipment

Industrial Equipment Transportation — What You Need to Know if You’re Shipping Expensive Industrial Equipment

Industrial equipment transportation (especially transportation for large, expensive industrial equipment, like mills, lathes, HMCs, or press brakes) isn’t exactly something you want to trust to your average carrier (or your average 3PL provider for that matter).

If ever there was a niche in the shipping industry, this is it. Shipping an HMC, a bridge mill, or a gantry mill, any of which can weigh from several to many tons and be filled with sensitive components, including delicate CNC modules, must be done very carefully, and only by a company with an explicit understanding of the delicacy of the equipment and the nature of what they’re transporting.

Industrial Equipment Transportation — Make Sure You Hire a Professional

This isn’t something that you want to go the cheap route on — you can’t afford to have a machine worth tens of thousands of dollars (or hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars…) damaged during transportation.

And you certainly don’t want to deal with the fallout if one of your machines gets damaged. Even if it doesn’t fall on someone and injure (or, god forbid, kill) one of your client’s employees, a damaged piece of equipment is probably going to be shipped back to you (while you have to ship out a brand new machine).

You lose, the carrier loses, your client is mad at the delay…

It’s bad all around

The Danger Isn’t Just in the Delivery

Sensitive industrial equipment often needs a custom crate (or even a custom shipping container). It generally requires packing materials unique to the piece of equipment, specialized cushioning, and even white glove installation.

All of this needs to be done by professionals, by people who are not only trained in handling this type of specialized industrial equipment but who have years of experience in industrial equipment transportation and installation generally.

Your average carrier or 3PL provider just isn’t equipped to handle this kind of delivery. Sure, technically speaking, they can move industrial equipment, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.

It doesn’t mean they understand the dangers.

It doesn’t mean they’re aware of the risks.

And it doesn’t mean they’re going to manage your shipment properly.

Vet Your Chosen Company Carefully and Ensure Your Shipment Is Properly Insured

This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give when it comes to transporting large pieces of industrial equipment — choose your company carefully!

And, on top of that, make certain you’ve got the proper level of insurance on your shipment.

You don’t have a lot of room for error here, and the last thing you want is to end up in a nasty argument over who gets to pay for a gigantic, expensive, broken piece of equipment.

Or worse, end up in court over something that could have been easily avoided.

In addition, when something gets broken, the timeline to fix that broken item may be weeks or months if it was made offshore.

The downtime for that item is typically very costly.  Net result—don’t pick your logistical choices on price alone.   There are a host of other factors that are even more important than the dollars and cents.

Awful situations like these are generally the result of a lack of due diligence. The shipper didn’t take the time to vet potential carriers or 3PL providers properly, they didn’t choose someone who knew what they were doing, or they just wanted to save a few bucks…

This is not the situation to try to save on shipping costs.

Your Best Bet for Reliable Industrial Equipment Transportation Is to Choose Someone With Experience

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