5 Things to Know About Shipping Farm Equipment Overseas

Shipping a John Deere 4755 Tractor
March 4, 2021 Renan 0 Comments

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Even if it’s the first time you may be organizing the shipment of equipment overseas, you can take solace in the fact that it’s not likely the first time the type of farm machinery has been shipped internationally. Many shipping companies that offer international transport services have years of experience handling what you might consider awkward, bulky farm machinery requests.

Almost All Farm Equipment is Shipped Overseas

Heavy equipment transport companies have shipped the following, and more, from the US:

  • Tractors
  • Balers
  • Combines
  • Mowers
  • Planters
  • Sprayers
  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Water tanks


Even smaller farm machinery such as grain drills, pulleys, wheels, tractor attachments, canisters, wheels, and implements from popular manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Kobelco, and Volvo have been shipped overseas.

Pallet, Crate, and Other Options Available for Shipping Farm Equipment Overseas

When it comes to preparing large or overweight farm equipment for overseas transport, you might not realize that pallet transport is an option. Many working farm machinery is shipped via roll-on/roll-off (RORO) services as it’s typically the most affordable, but that’s not to say that it’s the only option. Generally, the shipping distance and the machinery dimensions both play a role in deciding which is the right transport choice. The most commonly used transport options for shipping farm equipment overseas are:

Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO-RO) Shipping

If your farm machinery is in working order and heavy self-propelled equipment with wheels or treads, it’s possible to use RORO shipping. In these cases, the farm equipment can be driven directly onto the vessel used for international transport. At the destination, unloading is just as easy as the equipment can be driven off.

Flat-Rack Shipping

If your wheeled or tracked farm equipment cannot be driven, loading onto a rack before it’s stacked on the transport vessel is usually the go-to option. One of the many reasons flat-racks are used is because they only have two sides; oversized farm equipment that exceeds the height or width of a traditional container can fit easily.

Shipping a John Deere 4755 Tractor

Container Shipping

Enclosed containers are typically 20ft, 40ft, or a high cube (HC) configuration. If your farm equipment can fit into a standardized shipping container, then you may wish to utilize this option. Filled containers are loaded and unloaded via crane and can include disassembled equipment.

Pallet Shipping

Pallet shipping can be ideal for transporting bulk farming utensils, tractor attachments, and other equipment that can be stacked safely. In some cases, both large and small farming equipment can ship on the same pallet, saving you money on extra vessel space.

Farm Equipment Dimensions and Size are Crucial Considerations

Not all ports in the world are capable of handing oversized international equipment deliveries. While your local shipping guidelines may make sense, they don’t always transfer easily to other destinations. Some ports, for example, are not deepwater ports, so they can only handle smaller vessels, which can cut down on your available transport options. This means that you may not be able to ship oversized farm machinery to your desired port, or you might have to consider disassembling your farm equipment before transport.

Customs Checks are Necessary for Farm Machinery

Every country has a unique standard for customs and the regulations that apply to the shipping of heavy farm equipment. What is acceptable for the Port of Houston may not be applicable in Shanghai, and vice versa. Required paperwork may vary between countries, so consulting a local customs branch is often a crucial part of the shipping process. Bill of sale and the original title is usually required, as well as insurance papers before the farm equipment can be operated in the new country.

Customs checks also have associated clearing fees, so this will need to be factored into your shipping budget beforehand to prevent unnecessary delays and unexpected costs.

Technology Helps International Farm Equipment Delivery

The world over, technology is making the logistics of international shipping much simpler to coordinate. With advancements in GPS tracking, you can follow your shipment’s progress in real-time, which can help to put your mind at ease when you’re entrusting expensive machinery to an international carrier. It’s also much easier to communicate with global shippers, make payments, obtain permits, and complete the myriad of tasks associated with the international shipping of farming equipment. Plus, utilizing technology will make it easier to weed out the shipping companies you want to work with; based on online presence, reviews, services, and more highlighted online.

Tractor Transport provides top quality international farm equipment shipping. If you need to haul a new or used tractor to or from the United States, we’re here to get it done for you. We provide top quality services, making sure your farm equipment is transport safely.