How to Ship Farm Equipment Overseas

Construction equipment loaded for transport
April 6, 2021 Renan 0 Comments

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If you’re looking to ship farm equipment overseas from the U.S., there are three key steps. First, obtain international shipping quotes, next comes the preparation for transport, and lastly, the shipping itself. There’s a market for almost every type of agricultural equipment overseas, notably used farm equipment, especially for small farming ventures and start-up farmers that don’t have a lot to invest in new equipment.

Regularly, international shipments of agricultural equipment include:

Exporting¬† farm equipment from the U.S. is profitable for both buyers and sellers. For sellers, shipping equipment overseas can be cost-effective as there is typically high demand for used equipment. For buyers, it’s an affordable way to purchase spare machinery that can be used in the event of equipment failure without affecting productivity. Additionally, seasonal farmers overseas can lower their equipment expenses by investing in used equipment from the U.S.

Step 1: Getting Your International Shipping Quote

When shipping farm equipment overseas, procuring an international shipping quote is the ideal first step. A quote for an overseas shipping service will help you to determine what’s in your budget, as well as find the right company for you to work with. To successfully prepare for an international shipping quote, you’ll want the following information to hand:

  • Shipping weight
  • Equipment length
  • Equipment width
  • Equipment height
  • Make/model

This information will allow the shipping company to determine the best available shipping method and reasonable cost for transporting equipment. For example, a self-propelled spreader could be transported via a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel.

Additionally, if you’re looking to transport farm equipment that is not self-powered, critical information such as whether it can be towed or if it’s static equipment that needs to be lifted will help to generate an accurate international shipping quote. The transport provider will also need to know the destination country and see identification, titles for the equipment traveling, and other pertinent details as part of the shipping process, though ID, titles, and proof of other paperwork may come later in the process.

Construction equipment loaded for transport

Step 2: Preparing Farm Equipment for Overseas Transport

The preparation of farm machinery for overseas travel is a crucial part of the shipping process. Reliable inland trucking services may be required to haul your farm equipment to the origin port successfully before it goes on its overseas journey. This process requires adequate preparation not just from the chosen company but from yourself, the owner of the equipment.

Self-powered equipment should, ideally, be in working order before shipment. There should be no fluid leaks, and all machinery should be as free of dirt and grease as possible so that loading crews can safely locate tie-down points. Equipment that is in poor condition, leaking, or not running can, in some cases, be rejected by the port terminal and not allowed to travel. Some ports and countries have specific rules on cleanliness and requirements that need to be met to enable equipment to travel through or into the country. Stipulations will need to be confirmed before the physical shipping process starts to avoid unnecessary delays at the port of delivery.

If the farm equipment is being transported from your premises by the shipping company, you will need to make sure the chosen loading area has enough space for crews to bring in equipment to load onto a trailer. Depending on the equipment size, this may mean a forklift or crane is required on-site, in addition to its chosen trailer.

Step 3: Shipping Farm Machinery Overseas

    • The last stage is the shipping itself. By this point, you should know how much it will cost, and your equipment has been prepared for transport. There are several methods available for hauling farm machinery overseas, including:

      • Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO)
      • Container
      • Fixed-end flat rack
      • Collapsible flat rack
      • Breakbulk

      Typically, self-propelled and towable machinery will utilize RORO shipping services, while static implements can be shipped inside a container, on a flat rack, or through breakbulk cargo shipping. Heavy machinery, including farm equipment, often travels using the RORO approach and secured to the deck of the ship through straps and braces. Sometimes, the equipment can be shipped in a standard 20′, 40′, or HC container for extra protection. Machinery that is extra-wide is usually transported on a flat rack; however, this can be more expensive than other shipping alternatives.

      Large farm equipment can also be dismantled so that their components fit into standard-sized containers. Even though this requires additional work from shipping crews, it can be much more cost-efficient to ship in this way.

      If you’re shipping individual farm components, standard containers may work, but you also have the option to use pallet shipping. New or used tractor parts, such as engines, can be shipped on pallets, for example.