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International Forwarding Association Blog » Specialized transportation » Types of Oversized Cargo and Shipping Options

Types of Oversized Cargo and Shipping Options

The oversized cargo includes items that are non-standard and extra-large and cannot be transported in standard containers. It covers different types of cargo that vary in technical characteristics, weight, and dimensions, including construction and special equipment, agricultural machinery, and watercraft and aircraft.


Agricultural Machinery

Depending on the destination and type of machinery, agricultural equipment can be shipped by RO/RO vessels, charter and air freight services, break bulk vessels, flat racks, and deck trailers. Machinery with tracks or wheels can be transported by RO/RO ships provided that it is operational and clean. RO/RO vehicles ship both towable and self-propelled equipment that is fully assembled. Intermodal transport is often used, including ocean freight and port-door and door-port service, along with customs clearance. Note that machinery needs to be disassembled and placed in containers when shipped to destinations where RO/RO services are not available. This is also done to save on shipping costs.


Construction Equipment

Construction equipment can be shipped on long and short hauls. Inland transport can be arranged using removable gooseneck trailers, step-deck trailers, flatbeds, specialized trucks, and expendable trailers. The types of equipment that you can ship include:

  • Show plows
  • Bucket cranes
  • Road rollers
  • Earthmovers
  • Bulldozers
  • Graters
  • Dump trucks
  • Backhoes
  • Excavators
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Scrappers
  • Motor graders
  • Forklifts
  • Log loaders
  • Concrete mixers


Watercraft and Aircraft

There are some instances when you need to ship an aircraft or watercraft like when it cannot handle a long distance or overseas trip, needs repairs at a different location, or is not fully assembled yet. Even a small airplane is likely to exceed load limitations due to its wingspan. This is why it has to be partially disassembled. It can be difficult to ship a fully assembled plane through tunnels, overpasses, and other road and highway elements. That is why parts are typically loaded on a truck trailer while the fuselage is transported using an open-air flatbed. While carriers can aid with the loading of crated components and fuselage, you will need to disassemble the aircraft before shipping.

When it comes to leisure boats, yachts, and racing yachts, they can be shipped on a cradle or trailer via a RO/RO vessel. Depending on the size of the watercraft, it can also be shipped inside 40ft or 20ft containers. The types of watercraft that carriers accept include:

  • Motor and power boats
  • Wave runners
  • Jet and speedboats
  • Cuddy cabin, cruiser, fishing, high-performance, and inflatable boats
  • Deck, pontoon, and sailboats
  • Yachts
  • Jet skis
  • Sea-doo

When shipping watercraft, your service provider will handle all the paperwork, customs, permits, and boat protection, proving escorts, tow service, and insurance upon request. Services typically include monitoring and reporting, securing cargo, pick-up loading, and shipping to the final destination.

As shipping costs can be high, it is important to consider the dimensions of the watercraft. Removing the flybridge or radar arch of a motor yacht or the keel or bowsprit of a yacht can lower shipping costs.