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10 Important Tips to Follow When Transporting with Out-Of-Gauge Loads

September 10, 2021
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Arranging the transportation of Out-Of-Gauge (OOG) Loads is a very complicated and challenging process. Whatever the nature of your heavy haul goods, it is of utmost importance to appoint a freight forwarder who has the required knowledge and expertise in this specialised field.

If you require information on Out-Of-Gauge shipping, the following 10 tips should provide some assistance and general information on the effective handling of specialised project cargo.

Tip 1 Obtain Correct Dimensions

All items intended for shipment must be measured and weighed correctly and these details carefully recorded with any relevant photos and/or diagrams of your goods. This will ensure safe handling of cargo and accurate quotes from contractors.

Furthermore, the size and the weight of the cargo will determine the suitability of lifting equipment, vessel type and trailer selection. These details must therefore be 100% accurate as any small discrepancy could lead to major issues including cargo damage, safety compromises, legal action, delays and cost increases.

Tip 2 Understand Hauling Specifics and Equipment Requirements

As previously mentioned, all handling of OOG cargo will be determined by the size, weight, shape and nature of the oversized cargo being transported.

In general, oversized cargo is loaded and unloaded with cranes. These can be shore-based or provided by the ship itself, depending on the capacity of the lifting gear. However, cranes may not always be the most suitable lifting equipment for OOG cargo.

Certain materials and oversized items may require more complex handling equipment and procedures that not all carriers are equipped to provide. Providing your international logistics operator with a detailed packing list, they can determine which type of handling operations would be the most suitable for your goods.

Tip 3 Make Sure You Have the Required Permits

Now we’re moving into documentation territory – an aspect of OOG that is as important as making sure you have the right measurements.

For transporting over-dimensional cargo on the road, permits may be required from the Department of Transport, Police or other authorities. To learn more about these requirements look for oversize and/or over mass (OSOM) vehicles and load regulations within your state (as there will be some regional variations).

For larger shipments, it may be necessary to contact local councils including electricity providers to ensure safe route planning.

Tip 4 Ensure you fulfil all the Quarantine Requirements

For international heavy haul cargo, transportation may be subject to Customs and Quarantine regulations in the same way as general cargo. Quarantine will generally inspect larger Breakbulk items whilst they are still onboard the vessel (prior to discharge). You can learn more about cargo biosecurity procedures here.

Tip 5 Handle Duty and Tax Considerations

The duty and taxation rates applicable for goods will vary depending on the commodity. The cost of importing is outlined on the Australian Border Force website. You can also source information on additional taxes and importation expenses here.

Tip 6 Manage Documentation in Its Entirety

Out of gauge cargo has the same documentary requirements as general cargo, for example, Bills of Landing, commercial invoices, Treatment Certificates and Declarations to name a few. It is therefore essential to consult your freight forwarder in advance for confirmation on whether you have all the required documentation to facilitate a smooth import processing procedure.

Tip 7 Consider Types of Clearance

The good news is that the customs clearance process for OOG cargo is the same as that for all other goods.

Tip 8 Calculate Costs Associated with Potential Delays

For over-dimensional (OD) goods, any costs associated with delays can be significant. When the vessel arrives at the port of discharge they expect the land transport to be ready to receive the cargo. If there is any delay in this regard the vessel operators can charge US$35,000.00 per day, in which payment is due prior to the goods being released.

The stevedores and/or the road haulage contractors will also charge additional fees for delays. To avoid any of these additional costs it is essential to appoint an experienced international freight provider. They will manage the entire logistical process from origin to destination including road transport, Customs and Quarantine, Stevedoring, Shipping.

Tip 9 Know Limitations and Restrictions

As soon as you have the weight and dimensions of your goods, it is advisable to check any cargo restrictions that may apply. Generally speaking, any cargo that is in excess of 25 tonnes in weight, 12 metres in length, 2.5 metres in width or 2.8 metres in height will be subject to special handling requirements.

Tip 10 Communicate Effectively with Your Freight Carrier

The success of any freight forwarding operation is heavily dependent on good communication and transparency.
There are a number of important questions you need to discuss with your International Logistics provider when planning the shipment of OOG goods:

  • The recommended vessel best suited to handling your OOG goods.
  • The estimated costs involved.
  • The sailing frequency and transit time from origin to destination.
    Documentary requirements
  • Road transport restrictions
    Shipping terms
  • Specific cargo handling requirements

Getting such information in advance will help you plan the important details required to reduce the risk of delays and having to deal with additional charges.

If you have additional questions or uncertainties about handling heavy haul cargo, you should get in touch with a reputable and experienced International Logistics Provider. Powerhouse International is one such Australian company that can guide you through all of the intricacies of handling OOD goods. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to have your questions answered.


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