How to Choose A Freight Forwarder For Oversized Cargo Shipping?

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Reviewed by:

Maryana Serafinas

Maryana Serafinas


When shipping oversized cargo, choosing the right freight forwarder is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful shipment. Large or out-of-gauge cargo requires special attention to detail and expertise in handling, documentation, and transportation.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of selecting the correct freight forwarder for oversized cargo shipping, the typical shipping process, and tips on choosing the right freight forwarding company.

We’ll also cover essential questions before selecting a freight forwarder, how to request a shipping quote, and why Atlantic Project Cargo may be the best choice for your oversized cargo shipment.

So, if you’re planning to ship heavy equipment, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, heavy machinery, industrial machinery, or any other type of oversized cargo overseas, keep reading to learn more.

What is Freight Forwarding?

Freight forwarding is a crucial aspect of the international shipping industry. It is a service that involves transporting goods from one destination to another through a third-party logistics provider known as a freight forwarder.

A freight forwarder is responsible for arranging and coordinating the entire shipment process, including documentation, customs clearance, transportation, and insurance. It offers a range of services to its clients, such as arranging the most suitable transportation method, handling all required paperwork and customs procedures, and providing cargo insurance.

They act as intermediaries between the shippers and carriers, ensuring the cargo is delivered on time and in good condition. Freight forwarding is essential for businesses that rely on the efficient and reliable transportation of goods across borders.

A Typical Shipping Process when Dealing with a Freight Forwarder

When dealing with a freight forwarder, the shipping process typically involves several stages, which may vary depending on the nature of the cargo, transportation method, and destination. Here’s a general overview of the typical shipping process:

  1. Booking the shipment:
    The shipper contacts the freight forwarder to book the shipment, providing details about the cargo, destination, and transportation requirements.
  2. Preparing the cargo:
    The cargo is prepared for shipment, including packaging, crating, labeling, and securing. The freight forwarder may offer additional services, such as rigging and crating, to ensure the cargo is transported safely and securely.
  3. Documentation:
    The freight forwarder prepares all the necessary documentation, such as bills of lading, commercial invoices, packing lists, and export declarations. They also ensure the cargo complies with all relevant regulations and requirements, such as EPA and DOT compliance, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and TIR Carnet shipments.
  4. Transportation:
    The freight forwarder arranges the transportation of the cargo, selecting the most suitable mode of transportation, such as sea, air, or land transport. They also handle all necessary international shipments, permits, licenses, and customs procedures.
  5. Tracking and monitoring:
    The freight forwarder tracks and monitors the shipment throughout the transportation process, providing regular updates to the shipper on the shipment’s progress and expected delivery date.
  6. Delivery:
    The cargo is delivered to the destination and cleared through customs and border control. The freight forwarder may provide additional services like cargo insurance or door-to-door delivery.

Tips for Choosing the Right Freight Forwarding Company

When choosing a freight forwarding company for oversized cargo shipping, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Pricing: Request quotes from multiple freight forwarding companies to compare pricing and ensure you get the best value for your money.
  2. Experience: Look for a freight forwarding company with extensive experience in oversized cargo shipping to ensure they have the expertise and knowledge to handle your specific shipping needs.
  3. Freight forwarding services: Choose a company that offers a wide range of freight forwarding services to ensure they can handle all aspects of your shipment, from pickup to delivery.
  4. Shipping needs: When choosing a freight forwarding company, consider your specific shipping needs. For example, if you are shipping heavy equipment, you may need a company with experience in heavy hauling.
  5. Network: Ensure that the freight forwarding company has a strong network of carriers, agents, and logistics providers to transport your oversized cargo efficiently.
  6. Cargo insurance: Choose a freight forwarding company that offers comprehensive cargo insurance to protect your cargo in case of loss or damage during transportation.
  7. Customer service: Look for a freight forwarding company with excellent customer service that provides regular updates on the status of your shipment and is responsive to any questions or concerns you may have.

Considering these tips, you can choose the right freight forwarding company to meet your specific shipping needs and ensure safe and efficient transportation of your oversized cargo.

Requesting a Shipping Quote from a Freight Forwarder

To receive an accurate shipping quote for your oversized cargo, you should provide the freight forwarder with as much information as possible, including:

  1. Cargo Details
    Provide a detailed description of your cargo, including its weight, dimensions, and special handling requirements. Be sure to specify if your shipment is hazardous or requires temperature control.
  2. Pickup and Delivery Locations
    Specify the pickup location and the final destination of your cargo. Include any necessary details about the site, such as loading dock availability or security requirements.
  3. Mode Of Transportation
    Indicate whether you prefer to ship your cargo by air, sea, or land. Include any specific requirements or preferences you may have, such as a preference for a particular carrier or shipping route.
  4. Special requirements
    If you have any special requirements for your shipment, such as packing, crating, or rigging, mention them to the freight forwarder.
  5. Request a Detailed Quote
    Ask the freight forwarder to provide a detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your shipment, including transportation fees, customs duties, and other applicable fees or taxes.
  6. Compare Quotes
    Once you have received quotes from multiple freight forwarders, compare them carefully to determine which offers the best value for your needs.

Why is it Important to Choose the Correct Freight Forwarder for Oversized Cargo Shipping?

Choosing the correct freight forwarder for oversized cargo shipping is crucial for several reasons. Here are some of the key reasons why it’s essential to choose the right freight forwarder:

  1. Saving costs:
    An experienced freight forwarder can help save costs by selecting the most suitable transportation method, negotiating favorable rates with carriers, and minimizing delays and other issues that can increase costs. This can help optimize the shipping process and reduce overall costs.
  2. Better Network:
    A reputable freight forwarder will have a vast network of carriers, agents, and logistics providers that can be leveraged to ensure the efficient transportation of oversized cargo. This can help streamline the shipping process and reduce the likelihood of delays and other issues.
  3. Efficiency:
    A reliable freight forwarder can help ensure the shipping process is efficient and streamlined. The company handles the necessary paperwork and documentation, coordinates with carriers and other logistics providers, and provides regular shipment status updates. It can help save time and resources and ensure the cargo is delivered on time and in good condition.
  4. Cargo Safety:
    Oversized cargo requires specialized knowledge and expertise to ensure it is safely and securely transported. An experienced freight forwarder will know how to handle the specific requirements of oversized cargo shipping, such as selecting suitable transportation methods, permits and licenses, rigging and crating, and customs clearance. This can help ensure that the cargo is transported safely and securely.
  5. Finding the Best Shipping Solution:
    An experienced freight forwarder can provide valuable insights and recommendations on the best shipping solutions for oversized cargo. They can evaluate the cargo’s specific requirements, such as weight, size, and fragility, and recommend the most suitable transportation method and route. This can help save time and resources and ensure the cargo is delivered on time and in good condition.

Essential Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a Freight Forwarder

  1. What is your experience in handling oversized cargo shipments?
  2. What freight forwarding services do you offer?
  3. What is your network of carriers, agents, and logistics providers?
  4. How do you ensure the safety and security of oversized cargo during transportation?
  5. What is your process for handling customs clearance and compliance with EPA, DOT, and CBP regulations?
  6. Can you provide references from past customers with similar shipping needs?
  7. What is your track record of on-time delivery for oversized cargo shipments?
  8. How do you communicate with customers throughout the shipping process?


In conclusion, choosing the right freight forwarder is critical to ensuring the safe and timely delivery of your oversized cargo. When selecting a freight forwarder, it is essential to consider factors such as experience, reputation, pricing, and the range of services offered. Asking the right questions and requesting detailed shipping quotes can help you decide which freight forwarder is right for you.

Atlantic Project Cargo offers comprehensive freight forwarding services for oversized cargo shipping, including rigging and crating, cargo insurance, and EPA and DOT compliance.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you safely and efficiently transport your oversized cargo.

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