9 February 2022

8 tips for shipping large and heavy goods (breakbulk shipments)

Do you operate in an industry like heavy machinery, mechanical engineering, project cargo, power generation, mining or steel where large items are regularly shipped? Then you will probably understand the challenges with packing and shipping large and heavy goods.

When you ship breakbulk cargo and it gets damaged, that's not only frustrating. Such shipping damage can also have serious consequences like delays, project disruptions and additional costs.

shipping heavy goods


Our 8 packing and shipping tips for your large or heavy breakbulk shipments:

There are steps you can take to protect your large goods while there are in transit. We will give you 8 tips to make sure your shipments arrive at their destination in perfect condition. 

You can implement this by yourself or you can partner with a packaging company to manage your packing and shipping process.

shipping large goods

In any case, it’s important that your goods are well packed before they are shipped. The proper packaging is essential to ensure a damage-free transport.

1. Clean the item thoroughly

When there’s a layer of dirt, dust or other loose material, it can cover up existing damage, and it makes it more difficult to fully secure the item when it is packaged.

2. Get an appraisal

If you are unsure about the value of your goods, we recommend you to get a professional appraisal of the condition of your items before you ship them. This can be very useful if you want to ensure the item or if there is a dispute about damage or the value of the item after the item arrives at its destination.

3. Conduct an inspection and evaluate the condition of the item

Check the item before you pack it. If the item is damaged, decide whether that damage should be repaired before packaging. 

Also look for issues that could make the item more vulnerable to damage during shipping. For example, there could be parts that need support or additional protection. Maybe there may be some screws or bolts that need to be tightened.

4. Take accurate measurements

It is important to know the accurate length, width, height and weight of the items you are going to ship. You will need these measurements when you select or order a shipping box or crate.

5. Select a box or crate in which you want to pack your item

At this point, many people contact a company specialized in packaging for assistance. Especially for items that unusually-shaped and are too large to be stuffed into a standardized sea container. Or for items that are fragile and need protective packaging. An experienced, specialized packaging company such as DEUFOL can develop the customized packaging, protection and support strategy that will secure the item in a tailor-made transport packaging box.

Are you unsure about the proper packaging for your goods? Do you have questions about it? 

6. Pack the item properly and securely

Packaging seems very simple. You just put the item in a box and surround it with packaging material, right? Unfortunately, it is not that easy when it comes to large, heavy and often also valuable and fragile goods. You might need a packaging that maximizes protection and enables sure handling during transport and handling. Maybe you want to use specialized cushioning to absorb the forces generated during handling and transport, or design a special crate that reduces movement and minimizes the risk of damage. You could need a vapor barrier foil that will protect electrical items during sea transport or shipping to locations with high humidity. Or simply only need to apply heat shrink wrapping to protect against dust and dirt.

At this stage, working with an export packaging company can be helpful. An industrial packaging expert can provide you with advice, assistance, professional packaging materials and equipment. 

7. Ask about the insurance options

Proper packaging reduces risks and minimizes the possibility of damage, but it can not eliminate all risk in the shipping process. Having an insurance can be helpful to minimize the cost of potential damages. An export packaging company can advise you on this.

8. Hand over your breakbulk package to the shipping company


This is the final step: hand over your breakbulk package to the shipping company. Explain to the shipping company if your package requires special handling and extra care due to its value, fragility and other factors. If you work with a packaging partner, they will take care of this step for you so you minimize the risk of damage. They will also apply the necessary markings on the package.

packing large goods

How to choose an external packaging partner?

A collaboration with an experienced packaging company can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to shipping a large or heavy item. Lots of companies claim to be experts in this area, but how can you be sure that a packaging company is right for your needs?

Heavy goods packing by Deufol


Many companies say that they have a lot of expertise, but it needs to be the right kind of expertise. No two packaging projects are the same. So interview potential packaging partners to see if they have handled projects similar to yours.

Also ask about their infrastructure, experience and certifications. Because many packaging companies that claim to be big experts are actually pretty small operations.

Deufol is a worldwide present industrial goods packaging expert. We have over 2500 colleagues spread over sites in 12 countries worldwide. We have the people, the products, the infrastructure and the expertise to safely guide your package through every step of its journey. We have a team of experienced and dedicated packaging experts who develop and implement tailor-made solutions for each project. 

At Deufol, we work for companies in a wide range of industries, including machinery production, energy, automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, and many more. We  pack and managed shipping projects to countries around the world.

Protect your investment by working with Deufol.

At Deufol, we act as your “project manager” on any packaging project. We design and implement a tailor-made packaging strategy and take care of any issues that may occur. We can also manage the transport and storage, and monitor your shipment while it is on its way. 

You can focus on your core business and you can be sure that your goods are in good hands.

Deufol pack large and heavy goods

It all starts with a conversation. Contact a Deufol packaging expert today!

Tel:         +32 (0)3 488 21 92

Email:    belgium@deufol.com

We look forward to the opportunity to entirely understand your project as well as all of the risks and challenges that come with it!

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