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How to Ship Equipment You Purchase Overseas To The U.S.

Perhaps you have purchased pre-owned construction equipment from a seller located in a foreign country. Or you’ve placed the winning bid on some equipment at an auction overseas. There are various factors to consider while shipping equipment overseas from a foreign country to the U.S and numerous options to save costs and maximize efficiency, provided one possesses the requisite expertise and experience.

Often, the machinery that businesses export is enormous, heavy, and expensive. The delivery of this item may require the use of specialized tools and techniques. Here’s everything you need to know about shipping equipment purchased overseas into the U.S.

Ensure You Understand U.S. Customs Regulations for Equipment Import

When shipping used equipment overseas from a foreign country, familiarity with U.S. local customs rules is crucial. Before delivering any freight, a mandatory customs clearance process must be completed for all overseas shipments. Typically, two customs forms will need to be completed. One for the country the equipment is in and the other for the U.S.

Consider the Size of the Equipment Being Transported

Calculate the weight, dimensions, and other shipping details of the freight transport. Shipping by water is the most practical option for heavy machinery, but not all ports can accommodate large vessels. Make sure the equipment you plan to ship can fit on the ships that can dock at a port near you. This is a vital stage in the process since it allows you to calculate shipping rates, fees, and procedures accurately.

Consider the Time It Takes For Equipment Transport

Hauling equipment overseas requires considerable preparation, including setting a firm delivery date. The likelihood of an international shipment encountering a delay that could affect your delivery date is much higher than local transportation. Plan ahead as much as possible because customs clearance may take longer than anticipated, and expedited overnight delivery may not be an option.

Consider Transportation Options For Overseas Equipment Shipping

Equipment can be shipped via air, sea, or land. What’s ideal for you depends on your budget, desired outcomes, and available time. Air freight is the quickest way of shipping used equipment overseas but is also the most expensive. On the other hand, while sea freight is less expensive, it is slower. Sea transport is not recommended for fragile items but is excellent for transporting bulky products like construction machinery. However, ocean freight transport is the most common for international transport that takes place overseas.

There are four options when it comes to international sea freight. The shape and size of the equipment you’re transporting will determine the best approach. The four modes are container shipping, roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) transport, flat rack shipping, and lift-on/lift-off shipping.

Container shipping works great for many machines, and it’s especially helpful if your equipment can be safely disassembled. It can take longer to load and unload cargo when using this transportation method since a crane is necessary to hoist the containers onto the ship’s deck.

Roll-on/Roll-off shipping, also known as Ro-Ro transport, is the best option if the equipment you want to haul is self-propelled (meaning it moves on wheels or treads and may be driven onto the ship or other transportation mode and then off again once it reaches its destination).

Flat rack shipping is an alternative when heavy equipment cannot be driven on and off a ship using the ro-ro shipping method. The machine is loaded onto a rack and then packed onto the vessel for shipping. Flat rack shipping containers have no ceiling or sidewalls, allowing for the mounting of heavy equipment onto a stacking surface. The drawback of this method is that the package is exposed to the elements during transit, which could damage it. Think about tarping your shipment or packing it in a way that protects it from the elements to reduce the possibility of damage.

In lift-on/lift-off shipping, a crane is used to lift and move heavy machinery onto and off the shipping vehicle. Since a skilled crane operator is needed, shipping machinery fees that would otherwise be avoided with heavy machinery on wheels must be paid.

Ensure You Get Insurance When Shipping Equipment Overseas

Hauling equipment overseas is riskier than shipping equipment within the U.S. The time required to ship, the number of steps involved in the shipping process, and how much your used equipment may be exposed to the elements all increase the likelihood of damage occurring during ro-ro shipment. As a result, if you’re hauling equipment overseas, you should probably invest in cargo insurance just in case something goes wrong.

Final Heavy Haulers Note

Shipping to the U.S. from a foreign country takes precision, paperwork, and more. Working with a licensed, insured, and bonded equipment shipping company takes the hassle out of it. Speak with one of our transport agents and find out how to ship your equipment to the U.S. today.

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