If you operate a business in construction or agriculture, you probably use a lot of heavy machinery. Heavy machinery is pretty amazing: it’s an impressive achievement of design and technology that helps us accomplish otherwise impossible feats. But there are certain situations when heavy equipment can cause you some trouble.
One of those situations is when you’re moving your business, especially for long distances. It is not that easy to coordinate heavy equipment shipping and warehousing when you have a hundred other things to do as well. So what can you do to make it easier?
When might you need to coordinate heavy equipment shipping and warehousing?
While you might use heavy machinery very frequently in your business, it is not nearly as often that you need to worry about shipping them somewhere or combining that shipping with warehousing. Typically, you’ll keep your machines in a warehouse you either own or rent long-term. Then, they’ll be driven to where they’re needed.
It is only when you’re moving your business that you need to come up with a different solution. In this case, it is simply not practical to get your employees to drive all of your machinery to a new location, especially not if that location is far away. Instead, you’ll need to figure out the best, fastest, and most cost-effective way to transport all your equipment at once.
The best ways to coordinate heavy equipment shipping and warehousing
Most people move home at least several times during their lifetime. A business, however, is different. Moving a business is very expensive and quite risky. For that reason, companies don’t move nearly as often as individuals do. Some reasons are worth the expense.
If you want to expand to a new area, for example, or you discover industry trends favourable to your business in another country, you might decide the gains of relocation outweigh the cost of it. But given how rarely that happens, you can be forgiven for not knowing the best practices for commercial relocation.
So let’s take a look at some of the most important pieces of advice regarding the shipping and warehousing of heavy machinery
Plan ahead – timing is everything
Whenever you have a complex task ahead of you, good organization and planning are key to success. People make careers out of helping others get organized – that’s how important planning is. If you’re running a business, you already know this. But it’s worth repeating and fine-tuning. So here’s how to plan for the shipping and warehousing of heavy equipment:
time major changes like relocation so they coincide with the off-season: while you’re shipping your heavy equipment, it’ll be out of commission, and you won’t be able to use it; this downtime can financially impact your business if you don’t time it properly, but if
- You move at a time when you wouldn’t be doing much work anyway, you’ll minimize your losses
- Start planning well in advance: it’ll take time to research, plan and coordinate everything, so make sure you start thinking about the process early
- Do thorough research as part of the preparation: the more you know about the process of shipping and warehousing, the easier it’ll be to get organized
- Don’t do it alone: hiring professionals is a must, but you can also rely on your employees and business partners to help out with the planning
- Put everything on paper and keep track of your documents: you’ll have a lot to keep track of; it’s best to put it in writing so you don’t forget something important.
Hire professional heavy equipment movers
If you only own a few pieces of machinery and are only moving to another warehouse facility nearby, you can probably get your own employees to drive the equipment to the new location on a chosen day. But in any other situation, you’ll need professional help.
Working with reliable and experienced heavy equipment movers is the best way to ensure safety and protection for all your machinery regardless of how far it needs to be shipped or how long it needs to be stored. Not to mention, you’ll need help with freight and customs if you’re moving far away.
However, it’s essential to choose the right moving company for the job. So when you find movers that offer heavy equipment shipping services, check out their licenses and read their reviews. Otherwise, you could end up falling for a moving scam, and that really is the last thing you need.
Consider temporary storage solutions
Relocation often happens in stages. First, you locate and rent a new space. Then you pack up your old office and prepare your equipment for shipping. While your movers transport everything to the new location, you prepare your office and warehouse in accordance with your operational needs.
Finally, when your movers deliver your shipment, you can move in fully. If you coordinate everything properly, things will go smoothly, and you won’t waste any time. But sometimes, it is impossible to get the timing just right, or mistakes happen along the way.
Perhaps one of your projects has run over, and some of your equipment is still in use around the time when you want to move. Or maybe your movers surprise you with a faster-than-expected delivery, and your new warehouse is not ready yet.
In these cases, temporary storage can be an excellent solution. It allows you to press pause on the move while keeping your equipment safe and out of the way. Since you’re already working with movers, it shouldn’t be hard to get quality storage space as most moving companies also offer storage services.
Work out a budget
Shipping and storing heavy equipment is not cheap. This is something you will simply have to accept. Even if you get several estimates while looking for the right movers and opt for the most affordable option, your finances will still take a hit.
So plan for this in advance. Set aside a certain amount of money as your moving budget. Pad your moving budget by saving elsewhere. But always keep in mind that moving heavy machinery is pricey and that you must have enough on hand to cover the expenses.
Driving vs towing vs shipping
How expensive and time-consuming the transportation of your heavy machinery is will depend on the method you choose. This is something you’ll have to take into account when planning the move. There are three main ways to relocate heavy equipment: driving, towing, and shipping.
Driving is inexpensive and makes it easy to coordinate heavy equipment shipping and warehousing because you can schedule your employees to get it done whenever you need it. But it’s only advisable when moving locally.
Towing is an affordable way for professionals to handle your equipment. However, land transport has its issues and is quite slow. Finally, shipping either by air or by sea is your only viable option when moving overseas. It is the most expensive alternative, but it is usually well worth it; it is fast, safe, and still less expensive than buying new equipment
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