A large crane being prepared for cost-effective shipping on a freight carrier.
ArticlesBusinessconstruction and engineering servicesEquipment and Machinery

Cost Effective Ways To Ship Construction Equipment

Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Admin

Looking to ship your construction equipment but confused with multiple offers and different methods of shipping?


Below we’ll get into the different types of shipping methods for construction equipment and which one to choose and when.

Let’s get started.

Methods of Shipping Construction Equipment

Roll on/Roll-off

Roll on/roll off literally is driving the construction equipment into place instead of lifting it via a crane. If you have something with wheels that can move itself, roll on/roll off is going to be a suitable choice. If the construction equipment is far too heavy or is an awkward shape that won’t fit inside of the ship, then you’ll have to choose a different method of shipping.


Ro/Ro is a great way to save on shipping costs as loading for lift on/lift off ships can be complex. With Ro/Ro, all you need to do is simply drive the construction equipment to where it’s going to stay during it’s destination and park it.

Lift on/Lift-Off

LoLo or lift on/lift off is when the objects are lifted either by cranes or derricks directly onto the ship. This can be useful for fairly large, or awkwardly shaped construction equipment that would be able to roll on or off a ship.

Ships that utilize LoLo shipping methods often have their own crane on board to do the heavy lifting. LoLo shipments can also be a little more expensive as logistically, onboarding many different objects can take a long time compared to how easy it is for Ro/Ro shipments.

Flat Rack Transportation

A flat rack is a specialized container that has walls only on the short ends of the container. They are great for shipping heavy equipment domestically while keeping your heavy machinery safe. The way they are built allow for the construction equipment to protrude from the sides, so even oddly shaped equipment can still be hauled by a typical big rig.

They are normally 20 to 40 ft in size and are going to be typically what you’re going to go with if you decide to ship your construction equipment. This is obviously not going to be possible to use if you want to ship overseas. Your equipment will also be left out in the open, but you can still opt to put a tarp around your equipment as well for extra safety.

If your construction equipment is able to fit into a typical container, then you can completely forego flat rack transportation and ship your heavy equipment without any extra cost incurred. You may also be able to get your equipment into one container if you’re sending it all to the same place.


Cargo Shipment

Just like with any typical shipment aboard a cargo ship, you will be able to use a standard container ranging from 20 to 53 feet. Cargo shipments are an economical way to ship large amounts of items at once. You can even purchase specialized containers that will protect the items inside or allow for some breathing room on any side you like.

The downside of this type of shipping is that it takes a long time for it to arrive at the destination. If you aren’t pressed for time, then cargo shipping is a great way to save money on shipping construction equipment.


Air is another method of shipping your construction equipment, but it’s going to be costly. Unless you absolutely need to ship your heavy equipment and get it the next day, then opt to go with other shipping methods.

The good part about all of these shipping methods is that you can gather quotes from multiple construction equipment shipping companies and go with the one that offers you the lowest price. You can also use multiple quotes to your advantage and try to negotiate a better price.

Always check out the reviews of the company that is making you an offer and ensure that your construction equipment is insured and is being taken care of by a company that understands how to work with heavy equipment, otherwise it may lead to damage and a huge headache.


In conclusion, when it comes to shipping construction equipment, there are several methods to consider. Roll on/Roll off (Ro/Ro) is a suitable choice for equipment with wheels that can move itself. It offers cost savings and simplicity in loading and unloading.

Lift on/Lift off (LoLo) is ideal for large or awkwardly shaped equipment that cannot be driven onto the ship. It may be more expensive and time-consuming due to the need for cranes or derricks.


Flat rack transportation is useful for domestic shipping, allowing protrusion of equipment from the sides. Cargo shipment offers an economical solution for large quantities of items but has longer delivery times.

Air shipping is costly and should be reserved for urgent needs. When selecting a shipping company, it is important to gather quotes, check reviews, and ensure proper insurance and handling of the equipment.

Related Posts:

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More