Mercator was instructed to arrange the sea freight shipping of three mobile cranes from Southampton in the UK to Taiwan. The cargo was classed as oversized (also sometimes referred to as out of gauge cargo). Due to the dimensions, non-standard shipping containers were used. If oversized cargo shipping is not planned thoroughly then it can end up being very expensive. The three cranes were loaded onto two flat rack shipping containers and one open top container.
Two of the cranes fitted into the parameters of the flat rack shipping containers after some adjusting – including removing the wing mirrors. This small adjustment took a few minutes but saved thousands in shipping costs. If the crane were overhanging the sides of the shipping container (even if it was just a wing mirror) then the shipper would be liable to pay for all the spaces around the container on the ship which would be unusable. The other crane was driven into the open top container, it was such a tight squeeze that the driver had to climb out of the window as the door wouldn’t open.
We managed to get the cargo into three shipping spaces on the vessel, but if not done thoroughly then it could have been up to 6 or 7 spaces to pay for for each crane! Therefore, it’s really important if you are going to ship something that is oversized to ensure that you choose a reputable freight forwarder who will do everything that they can in order to keep the cargo within the gauge of the container. A good freight forwarder is worth their weight in gold.
To ensure that everything would go smoothly, our MD (Paul) took a trip to Southampton Port on the morning of the crane loading and strapping to ensure he was satisfied with the shipping plans. The lashing on the cargo is important to ensure that there is no movement (and therefore avoiding damage) during the shipping process. Each mobile crane weighed in at about 25 tonnes, therefore the lashing put in place would have been for up to 3 times the cargo weight.
Later that day, the cranes were transported to the dock side, loaded onto the shipping vessel and set sail for Taiwan.
If you have an unusual load that you need to ship internationally, then get in contact with Mercator’s shipping team. We have over 20 years’ of experience in international freight forwarding, and thanks to our founding membership of MarcoPoloLine (a worldwide network of independent, vetted freight agents in over 90 countries) we have contacts across the globe to ensure the safe onward transit of your shipping consignment.