Shipping Mining Equipment Overseas

Best Practices For Shipping Mining Equipment Overseas

Not only does FR8Star help people find qualified transport companies for their heavy mining equipment, the platform also includes a growing roster of vetted freight forwarding companies to ship that machinery around the globe. If you need to send equipment to Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, or Europe, FR8Star can help you determine the most cost-efficient option that fits your schedule and other requirements.

FR8Star’s network of licensed transport companies and freight forwarders can help manage the logistics and paperwork of mining equipment export. Shippers of Atlas Copco, Caterpillar, Getman, Hitachi, Liebherr, Sandvik, Volvo, and all other brands of mining equipment have come to rely on FR8Star to deliver oversize/overweight (OS/OW) freight safely. Common loads include wheel loaders, excavators, rope shovels, crawler dozers, off-highway dump trucks / articulated dumpers, shuttle cars, conveyors, generator sets, drills, crushers, feeders, stackers, screens and other aggregate equipment, and more.

Read on to learn how FR8Star benefits both shippers and freight forwarders, particularly with overseas shipping.

Getting There

The size and weight of mining machines will largely determine your international shipping options. It’s crucial to ascertain accurate dimensions and weight of each item destined for a mining operation elsewhere in the world, whether you are transporting complete mining machines or their disassembled components.

As a shipper, your timetable and budget are also critical factors. A cargo plane may be able to deliver a moderately large piece of equipment in a matter of days, for instance, but the cost will be relatively high. An aircraft can also land closer to the mine or quarry than a seaport in most cases, depending on available infrastructure.

Most heavy mining equipment travels by cargo or container ship, however, as this mode of transport is less expensive. The trip may take weeks or even a month or more, but this is generally offset by cost savings.

A FR8Star freight forwarder can help shippers arrange not only the international leg of the trip, but also the land transport for the item to and from the seaport. A freight forwarder can also advise on seasonal variations in the cargo ship industry, as there may be a more cost-effective time to ship an asset overseas. 

Overseas Shipping Options

The most common type of cargo ship freight option for mining equipment is roll-on/roll-off (RORO), in which the equipment or truck is driven or towed directly onto the ship as Completely Built-Up Units (CBUs). It is then lashed down in place, often with bracing. Machines and vehicles under the height limit—typically 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall—can be loaded belowdecks for protection against the elements.

Container storage is another popular option for smaller machines, components, and attachments. Not only do containers protect their contents in transit, they also have the benefits of cheaper shipping costs and lower duty rates. Standard shipping containers come in 20ft, 40ft, or 45ft (6.1m, 12.2m, or 13.7m) lengths. Some larger machines can be disassembled and put into either containers or flat racks as Semi Knocked Down Units (SKDs) of five or fewer components, or as Completely Knocked Down Units (CKDs) that are more thoroughly disassembled. Note that as a shipper, you’ll need to either provide or hire someone to reassemble any dismantled machinery at the destination.

Flat rack containers are basically shipping containers with no sides or roof. They provide a liftable platform for large, out-of-gage (OOG) items that are overheight or overwidth at 8ft (2.4m) wide or larger. The 20- or 40-ft (6.1- or 12.2-m) flat racks ride on the deck of the ship, which means the machines they carry are exposed to the wind and salt spray unless they’re covered or shrink-wrapped. Flat racks with collapsible end walls are called flush-type flat platforms. Racked assets must be lifted on and off the ship with a crane or lift, so this type of shipment is called lift-on/lift-off (LOLO).

Preparing To Move Your Mining Equipment

Whether your mining machinery needs to be hauled to the airport or a seaport, FR8Star’s network of transport companies can arrange to get the job done via removable gooseneck (RGN) or other type of trailer. The transport company will also secure any necessary OS/OW permits, including escort vehicles such as a pilot car with a height pole (hi-pole) if one is needed to deflect low-hanging obstacles.

Depending on its destination country, you may need to hire a certified equipment cleaner to prepare the machine, such as to comply with AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) regulations. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the equipment is insured at every point along its journey. An uninsured loss or breakage of an expensive machine can cut into the profits of a typical mining operation.

FR8Star Is There For You

The freight forwarder and FR8Star representatives will ensure that your asset clears customs and is properly loaded onto transportation for the final leg of its trip, and they will remain in contact with you throughout your equipment’s journey to resolve any issues and make the process go smoothly. Depending on the remoteness of the mine or quarry, this may necessitate alternative means of transport such as charter aircraft, a river barge, or even a helicopter or hovercraft. There may be additional fees and permits required as well for transport to and through locations with no scheduled service or limited capacity. Once the machine arrives at the destination port, it may have to undergo an inspection and/or cleaning.

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