The dos and don’ts of shipping oversized cargo

David Weakly

By David Weakly Business Development at King Solutions

Shipping oversized cargo, much like the process of shipping perishables, requires a few extra precautions and steps to get right. It’s usually a fairly straightforward process to ship cargo that stacks easily, but when shippers are dealing with large, heavy or awkwardly shaped objects, they have to know the proper procedures in order to ensure that their cargo is shipped quickly, safely and for the best rate.

Before you begin the process, take heed of some advice from industry professionals. There are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to shipping oversized cargo.

Do: know your freight classification
Just like anything that is being shipped, oversized cargo can be placed into one of the freight classifications laid out by the NMFTA guidelines. Shippers can measure the cargo to classify its dimensional weight, but that is not always the most cost-efficient route to take.

Everything from density to handling, stowability and liability must be taken into account when classifying freight. It’s not overly complicated, but shippers must take these guidelines into consideration when dealing with freight that is abnormally shaped or oversized.

Don’t: try to discourage stacking
Companies that are shipping oversized or awkwardly shaped cargo often don’t want carriers to stack other cargo on top of theirs. In order to get around this, shippers sometimes load pallets in a way that makes them hard to stack or have other cargo stacked on top of it.

This is a poor practice for a few reasons:

1. It usually makes the pallet unstable and unsafe for transportation, which also increases the chances of it falling over and becoming damaged.
2. It decreases the chances of transporting products on a consolidated, full truckload shipment that can save on shipping costs.

Also, keep in mind that cargo that weighs over 2,200 pounds requires the use of a special pallet.

Do: package products carefully
Packaging errors are one of the leading causes of damaged products in transit. These accidental damages are usually caused by errors made by shippers while the freight is in preparation for pickup by a carrier.

When it comes to oversized cargo that doesn’t fit quite nicely into a box, extra packaging measures must be taken so that it is protected during shipment.

Don’t: forget to document
Any international shipment that has a value greater than 2,500 dollars must be filed through the U.S. Census Bureau via a Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED). If you want a carrier to take on your cargo, you must provide them with the SED number that you receive back from the Census Bureau.

Do: find the best carrier
It’s not always easy to find a carrier who will give you a great rate on oversized cargo. No matter what you are looking to ship, or how big it is, King Solutions is willing to partner with you to make it happen. Contact us today and let us know where we can move your oversized freight.