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Important things to consider when shipping heavyweight items internationally

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You plan to ship heavyweight items out of Vietnam but don’t know where to start? This guide by DHL Express details the intricacies of shipping large items internationally, making it an informative resource for business owners’ strategic planning. 

Special attention for shipping heavyweight items 

Shipping heavy items— typically weighing at least 70 kg —requires more meticulous planning and specialised handling than the regular lightweight shipments. From packaging requirements to the actual physical movement of goods from the warehouse, extra care is necessary.  

Tips for shipping heavyweight items internationally 

Given the rising prominence of Vietnam's international express delivery industry, businesses must understand best practices for shipping heavyweight items internationally. Tactics like segmenting shipments into smaller packages and utilising pallets that meet aviation regulations can be advantageous. Being well-informed about Vietnam's aviation legal framework, including guidelines for shipment handling and environmental safety, is essential. 

Navigating the complexities of heavyweight international shipping allows businesses and logistics companies to manage their delivery needs with the right expertise and attention to detail. In this evolving landscape, staying informed and aligned with a reliable logistics partner can make all the difference. 

1. Break up packages into separate big boxes for shipment 

Breaking up heavy cargo into smaller boxes offers multiple advantages, particularly in the context of heavyweight shipping. It simplifies the handling process within the warehouse. Smaller boxes are easier to manoeuvre compared to bigger ones, reducing the risk of workplace injuries and expediting the process of preparing items for shipment. 

Subdividing cargo is the most economical approach. Instead of incurring the extra costs often associated with shipping heavy items as a single unit, you can leverage standard shipping methods and costs for lighter packages. This often makes it the cheapest way to ship heavy items.

Finally, breaking up packages allows for more efficient use of container space. It can be easier to optimise the arrangement of smaller boxes within a shipping container, thereby conforming to international shipping instructions about container size and weight limitations. This efficient use of space saves costs and adheres to the regulations and guidelines set forth by shipping companies. 

2. Use pallets appropriately 

Selecting between wooden, plastic, and cardboard pallets

The choice between wooden, plastic, and cardboard pallets is pivotal. Wooden pallets are sturdy but heavy; plastic pallets are lighter and durable but costly; cardboard pallets are affordable but unsuitable for all heavyweight items. While selecting, keep in mind DHL Express Vietnam's maximum allowable pallet dimensions: a width of 200 cm, a length of 120 cm, and a height of up to 160 cm. 

Pallet stacking methods

When stacking your items on a pallet, you have two options: column stacking and interlocking stacking. The column method aligns each layer of goods directly above the one below, providing stability but less efficient use of space. Interlocking involves alternating the goods' direction and optimising container size while maintaining reasonable stability. Proper stacking is essential for reducing the risk of damage during international transportation, and it is best to avoid incorrect stacking methods such as pyramid shapes and overhang. 

3. Ensure heavy duty packaging 

Heavy duty packaging isn't a luxury; it's a necessity when it comes to shipping heavy or fragile items. Using heavy duty carton boxes with double walls for shipping offers added structural integrity, guarding against external impacts. These boxes can withstand higher pressure, making them ideal for stacking in container shipping. Edge protectors reinforce box corners, safeguarding fragile items from the rigours of transport, while paperboards and bracing act as internal buffers to prevent movement and potential damage within the box.  

Once all protective measures are in place, using heavy duty packing tape and shrink wrap ensures your package is securely sealed. This industrial-strength tape offers superior adhesion and holding power, while shrink wrap encases the package to prevent moisture damage. These heavy duty packaging components mitigate the risks associated with shipping large and heavyweight items. 

4. Include shipping insurance 

Shipping heavy items internationally comes with increased risks of damage or loss, making insurance more than an optional add-on—it's a must-have. The higher the item's weight, the greater the cost to replace or repair it, especially for international couriers that travel long distances. DHL Express Vietnam offers specialised shipping insurance tailored to the unique needs of transporting heavy or valuable items. This comprehensive coverage safeguards your assets from the moment they leave the warehouse until they reach the final destination.  

DHL Express Vietnam's shipment insurance is designed to protect your valuable items during their journey. Insurance is charged by shipment value or VND315,000 or 1.5% of the insured value, whichever is higher. This coverage acts as a financial safety net, giving both senders and receivers peace of mind. Incorporating DHL Express Vietnam's shipping insurance for your heavyweight items is essential for mitigating financial and reputational risks. 

5. Selecting the right shipping methods 

According to Statista, 41% of global shoppers prefer to receive their shipments within 24 hours. Choosing the correct shipping method for your heavyweight items is crucial for meeting customer expectations and minimising costs

Different shipping modes for packages that require bigger container sizes, such as express air and freight forwarding, are available to enhance your customer's buying experience. Each has its own set of pros and cons, including estimated delivery times. Freight forwarding is generally more cost-effective if you consider just the transportation charge, but can take much longer, usually up to a week in air freight and up to 50 days in sea freight depending on the destination and customs clearance. It is worth noting that more intermediaries are involved in freight forwarding, and besides transportation charge there might be itemized costs related to pickup and delivery, export documentation, outbound and inbound airport handling, customs clearance, and so on.  

On the other hand, express shipping is significantly faster, often taking only 1 business day from Vietnam to Asian countries and 2-3 business days to the U.S and E.U. Besides faster transit times, this method offers reduced risks of potential service impact thanks to fewer change-of-hands, as well as a competitive and stable all-inclusive pricing with no hidden charges. The other benefits of door-to-door international express shipping with DHL Express Vietnam also include real-time visibility of your shipments with online tracking, guaranteed time of delivery, and reliable customer support and dedicated global network, ensuring that shipping large items internationally is seamless. 

6. Working with an experienced logistics partner 

Understanding the complexities of international shipping for heavyweight items can be daunting. Questions on how much it costs to ship big boxes often take centre stage, but the challenges extend beyond mere cost considerations. Regulatory compliance, specialised packaging requirements, and tight delivery timelines all add complexity to the shipping process. In this intricate landscape, the value of partnering with an experienced logistics provider like DHL Express Vietnam becomes abundantly clear. DHL Express Vietnam expedites transit times by utilising our vast industry expertise and extensive global delivery network. We offer the most cost-effective solutions for shipping large packages without compromising quality or reliability. 

Our user-friendly shipping tools make it easy for you to manage your shipments. Our attractive courier rates offer a financially viable option for those wondering about the cost of shipping large or heavy items. In addition, our real-time visibility feature keeps you updated on your shipments, ensuring a safe and secure international shipping experience. DHL Express Vietnam is your one-stop solution for all your heavyweight shipping needs, from packaging preparation to specialised shipping instructions for large items.  

Open a business account today.

Read our overseas shipping guide for small and medium enterprises and packaging guidelines to know more about how you can easily ship internationally with DHL Express Vietnam. 

1. Statista