Moving super-size freight across international borders is a complex proposition with many possible complications: special permits, government regulation, importing and exporting documentation and the limitations of carriers that are unable or ill-suited to handle one-of-a-kind big projects.

“If it’s big, bulky, heavy and expensive and going half-way around the world, you’re going to need a great partner,” says Dan Cser, Agency Owner of ICAT Logistics Detroit in Romulus, Michigan.

Cser recommends five guidelines to ensuring a successful shipment.

Begin Early with a Team and a Plan:  “As a shipper, we place great value in working with our clients from the outset of their project to help them plan the shipping portion,” Cser says.  With early teamwork, the team may offer suggestions on timing, load preparation, budgeting and possible routes.  An early start gives the freight forwarder the opportunity to work through documentation and insurance issues that may arise and to ensure that the planning process is thorough.

Get the Right Specs: Be precise in recording the dimensions of your overseas shipment.  You’ll need to have all the answers about size, shape, weight and balance to determine how your equipment will be loaded and stored aboard a ship and how it will get to and from the port.

Preparing the Shipment: Ask yourself what could go wrong.  Will rain or water damage the equipment? Are some parts of the shipment fragile? Can they freeze, rust, or overheat?  Are there loose parts that may be lost, fluids that need to be drained, or batteries that need to ship separately?  Is the equipment secure from theft or damage during shipment? Can the largest units be broken down and reassembled when they reach their destination?

Make sure you’re covered by Insurance:  If your shipment is big and valuable, your insurance coverage may be sufficient to protect you.  In many cases minimum coverage is simply not enough.  Ask your shipping partner or the carrier to describe options or contact your insurance carrier for advice.  Make sure any damage that may occur during shipment is clearly reported on the Bill of Lading and have it signed by the company that made the delivery.

Rely on Experts:   The job of your logistics partner is to manage the unexpected.  Problems are not always predictable nor will they always be anticipated in your plan.  That’s where the experience of a global shipping and logistics partner comes in. “We stay on top of every detail,” says Cser.  “And we don’t rest until your shipment arrives safely and the project is complete.”

ICAT Logistics Detroit is your custom shipping resource. Solutions to our customers’ most challenging issues are derived from decades of success in global logistics.