Excavator moving dirt for oversized shipment.

If you’re an old pro at shipping oversized freight overseas, or if you’re a newbie.

Even if you’ve shipped the same thing to the same place before, international shipping rules can change and you need to make sure you don’t make a big (had to say it) mistake.

If you’re looking at a monster object in your warehouse, three things come to your anxious mind:

  1. It’s so big
  2. It’s odd-shaped
  3. It’s going overseas

“International shipping rules can change and you need to make sure that you don’t make a costly mistake.

7 Questions We Get Most From Clients Shipping Oversized Freight Overseas

You have a lot of choices when shipping across the continental U.S. However, there are fewer companies that can help when it comes to sending out-of-gauge (OOG) or heavy machinery (like bulldozers and excavators) or artwork, furniture, trucks, buses, and more to foreign ports.

It’s more complicated and requires expert, creative problem-solving. These are the questions we get most. The answers are below.


  1. It’s not going to fit in a container. Now what?
  2. How do I get the cargo to or from the port from the middle of the U.S.?
  3. Someone said I needed a flat rack. Do I need to load or secure the cargo to the flat rack or can you take care of that?
  4. How do I measure my cargo correctly?
  5. Should I take out extra insurance? How much?
  6. How long will it take to get there?
  7. How do I get the shipment to an inland customer once it’s shipped to the overseas port?


It’s not going to fit in a container. Now what?

We receive many calls from people who suddenly realize they’ve built or need to ship something overseas that will not fit in a High Cube, Dry, or Open Top container.

Here are descriptions and container specifications for reference. One choice is to dismantle the product and ship it in separate containers, which will require re-assembling on the other end.

If dismantling your oversized shipment is not a viable option, there are other ways to ship a large item in one piece: Flat Rack, Roll On Roll Off (RO/RO), Lift On Lift Off (LO/LO), and breakbulk. Weight vs. measurement affect charges.

Ports and terminal fees differ. Call our office for help in determining the best course.


How do I get the cargo to and from the port if I am in the middle of the U.S.?

Make sure you call trucking companies you trust for rates and availability. Or rely on a logistics company like BGI that can arrange for transport to and from many domestic locations using one of our dependable trucking partners.

If your shipment is REALLY BIG (like wind turbine blades) the logistics companies that handle this type of shipment need to be resourceful and creative to find the best way to get the piece to or from the port.

When people call us, we remind them to measure their item properly to make sure the trucking company will quote the overland drayage correctly. Be careful here. People have made costly mistakes. See the information in #4 below.


Do I need to load or secure the cargo to the flat rack or can you take care of that?

Since we have reliable partners and service providers at most ports we can take care of having the flat racks loaded for you.

It’s important to have someone you trust to handle the oversized shipment, as not everyone knows the intricacies of managing larger, sometimes oddly shaped cargo.


How do I measure my cargo correctly?

We get this one all the time. Most people outside the industry measure differently than those people inside the industry!

As you see below, you can make a mistake (usually on the low side) because you didn’t unscrew the exhaust pipe on a bulldozer or fold in mirrors on a bus.

A dimensioned view of an excavator.


Should I take out extra insurance? It’s expensive?

It’s not as expensive as losing your item with no compensation. If you haven’t insured the cargo beyond the minimum, you will hate yourself if something happens.

As we say, “You’ll sleep better at night if you have insurance.” Please see our recent blog about cargo insurance. If you still have questions, call us.

It’s very important to insure yourself against risk. It’s also important to know that logistics companies like BGI work with insurance companies, and we are often able to achieve a much better rate for you than what you might be able to secure on your own.


How long will it take to move my cargo?

Weather, port congestion, labor, mechanical issues, etc. affect your ocean shipments. While much is out of your control, we know some things that are within your control: Paperwork is one!

Make sure you work with companies that know the current customs laws for the countries you’re shipping to. With almost two decades in the business, we have a proven track record of assisting our clients with their documents when shipping heavy machinery, buses, farm equipment, etc. all over the world.


How do I get the shipment to an inland customer once it’s arrived at the overseas port?

Make sure your logistics company is well connected. We have partners all over the world that can efficiently and carefully transport your out-of-gauge or heavy project cargo to your customer.

Our favorite shipment in the oversized category is the  “Forever Marilyn” statue that is 26 feet tall and weighs 40,000 pounds. We have helped her arrive safely to locations in both inland China and Australia from her sculpture birthplace home in New Jersey.


Shipping oversized cargo overseas requires knowledge and a firm handle on both the domestic and the international requirements for moving oversized freight on the ocean and to and from the port successfully.

Not every company that does it can do it well, nor are they able to provide personalized service and creative solutions.

Besides forwarding freight, the company itself should be one you respect and that you like working with. Call us, but check out what our clients say about us first!

Oversized cargo should not create oversized headaches!

Choose the right logistics company.

Experience the BGI difference

Please: Call our offices at 1-800-987-4244 for more information.


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