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The Complicated Nature of Freight Shipping and Why it Helps to Have a Partner

When a lot of people think of “shipping,” they simply think of ordering a product from an online retailer, and then selecting whether they want it express over-nighted, standard three-day shipping or within five to seven days from the purchase. And while that may be the norm for shipping as it pertains to ordering a lot of consumer goods from big box store websites as well as online retailers, it’s hardly the case when it comes to getting large, commercial equipment from its point of purchase to its purchaser. That’s a whole other animal.

Yes, when you’re dealing with the likes of pallets, skids, crates, wraps, international shipping codes and customs – not to mention other intangibles and logistics involved in transporting commercial equipment – things have a tendency to get a bit dicey and expensive for the customer. Yes, it should go without saying that freight shipping has the potential to be a nightmare. It’s a process that can be so complicated that it can take a lot of the buzz out of purchasing a new piece of commercial equipment for your company or manufacturing site. But working with a quality, reliable and efficient freight shipping partner can take a lot of – if not all of – the hassle out of this all-important transportation process. In this post, we’ll take a look at why freight shipping has a tendency to cause headaches, and better help you understand the value of a quality shipping partner.

The Cost

One of the biggest headaches associated with freight shipping is none other than the costs to do it – especially when these costs change, which is certainly something that has a tendency to happen. Why are costs such a headache? There are so many different options when it comes to moving commercial equipment from Point A to Point B, from packaging options to ways the equipment can be shipped:

  • Packaging Types: Pallets, skids, skeleton crates and full crates are four of the most popular packaging types when it comes to transporting commercial equipment. Depending on the product in question, each has their own place. Pallets offer the least amount of product protection, but they are also the cheapest packaging option. Skids are essentially custom pallets, and skeleton crates are skids with additional wood framing. The most secure type of packaging for a commercial piece of equipment is a full crate, which essentially is a wooden box with a skid-type bottom that’s built around the product.
  • Types of Shipping: Aside from how the product is packaged, there’s also the means of transportation it must take to get to the end user. There are a variety of different transportation options, all of which vary in cost and speed. Here’s an overlook:
    • LTL: LTL, or less than truckload, shipment is best for smaller freight. This method is normally fairly fast, but where it really scores big points is in how affordable it is. However, items transported this way must be skidded and covered with some sort of protective packaging.
    • Blanket Wrap: These types of shipments don’t usually require a skid or crate.
    • Ocean: Items shipped by sea must be specially packed into ocean containers, which can raise costs. Even after they’re stored in these special ocean containers, they must be packaged similar to equipment being shipped LTL.
    • Air Shipment: The nice thing about freight air shipments is that they are normally twice as fast as ocean or truck shipments. The bad news about shipment by air is that these shipments are also about double the price and there are also sizing restrictions, meaning each item in question must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.
    • Other Shipping: Logistics van shipment and flatbed shipment are two other shipping types that involve transporting items in trailers.

You paid enough for your product, why pay a ton more to ship it to your location? That’s the value of a freight shipping partner, as a quality one can help you choose the right shipping method and packaging for your situation and your piece of equipment.

International Shipping Challenges

Having an item shipped domestically is one thing – having it shipped internationally is a whole different thing. For instance, any commercial freight going in or out of the United States – or any country for that matter – will have to clear customs. Do you have customs clearance? A quality shipping partner works with a customs broker to help streamline this process.

Then, there are what’s called “Incoterms,” or international commercial terms. If you’re not an international shipping expert, you’re likely going to struggle to understand these and just what type of impact they have on transporting purchased equipment to your facility.

Finally, just from Incoterms and customs clearance, you can probably guess that international shipping is complicated. But another way that international shipping can complicate things is when it comes to the invoice – specifically, mistakes on the invoice. That’s another value of a good freight shipping partner, as they’ll take a final look at international shipping invoices to make sure that everything checks out.

Other Challenges a Freight Partner Can Help Solve

Aside from the packaging type and shipment type – which play a role in overall cost – and juggling the international shipping logistics, there are a variety of other challenges that a good freight shipping partner can help overcome. For instance:

  • Freight Class: Do you know what freight class the product falls under? Before you can ship, this must be determined.
  • Qualified Carriers: Whether by air, land or sea, it’s also important to find qualified and professional carriers. A good shipping partner only does business with the best carriers, so you can trust that your product will be delivered on time and in good condition.
  • Insurance: What are your liability limits on your shipments? Will it be enough in the event that the unthinkable were to happen?
  • Transit times: Is your product arriving in the appropriate amount of time?


As you can see, a good freight partner can help resolve a lot of logistical issues that deal with price, transportation and international hassles. And here at Bid on Equipment, we’re pleased to work with a great freight shipping partner who will provide you with free shipping quotes based on the weight and dimensions of your purchase. They’re also pleased to help you manage any other obstacles that have the potential to pop up throughout the process of getting the equipment from Point A to Point B.

For more information, contact Bid on Equipment today.

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