How to Ship an Engine: An Ultimate Guide | GoShip

How to Ship an Engine: An Ultimate Guide

Posted on:
Mar 12, 2024

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How To Ship An Engine

Updated 3/12/2024 – Many people are hesitant to ship engines and transmissions. They’re bulky, heavy, and irregularly shaped. They also contain potentially hazardous liquids and oils. Despite these concerns, shipping an engine is actually pretty easy! They’re durable machines that can handle the shipping process with ease.  Understanding the nuances of engine shipping can significantly streamline the process.

With that in mind, there are a few things you have to keep in mind when shipping engines, such as why you should use LTL shipping, how to prep your engine for shipping, and how to pack an engine for safe shipment. Let’s get into some of the most important considerations for securely shipping your engine with a freight carrier.

What’s the best way to ship an engine?

Shipping engine - GoShip

The best option for shipping an engine is via less-than-truckload (LTL) freight. LTL shipping is a popular choice for transporting items that are too large for parcel carriers but don’t require an entire truck’s space. Individual LTL shipments range from 50 to 5,000 kg, more than enough for motorcycle, automobile, and even aircraft engines.

Less Than Truckload Shipping For Car Engines

One of the key considerations for many is the cost to ship an engine, which can vary based on factors such as distance, weight, and the chosen freight class. Through the LTL shipping method, you’ll only be paying for the space occupied by the engine in the freight truck. This can significantly cut back costs compared to a full truckload service. The LTL quote for engine shipping via LTL freight could cost as low as $100+, depending on distance, weight, and volume, among other factors.

LTL shipping an engine also offers flexibility, as LTL carriers often provide a range of services, from liftgate service and inside delivery to various notification options, catering to shippers with specific requirements. Additionally, tracking capabilities are a standard feature with most LTL carriers, allowing automotive engine shippers to monitor their shipments from pickup to delivery. Another notable advantage is the safety aspect. LTL shipments are typically palletized or crated, offering additional protection during transit. Furthermore, the reduced handling frequency of LTL shipments compared to smaller parcel shipments means there’s a lower risk of damage.

What’s the freight class for engine shipping?

To understand how much it does cost to ship an engine, it’s important to consider the freight class of your engine. Freight class will depend on the density and type of engine you will ship. Packaging characteristics will also affect freight class. Make sure to note the specific type of engine on your Bill of Lading to allow for proper care when transporting your engine. You will also need to write down the correct National Motor Freight Classification Number.

The NMFC numbers and freight class of standard engine shipments are as follows:

  • Motorcycle Engine (crated and over 18 pounds/cubic foot): NMFC 120790.02, Class 70
  • 4-cycle Engine (palletized, strapped, shrink-wrapped, and 9 pounds/cubic foot): NMFC 1207790.01, Class 85.

With GoShip, we will generate the proper NMFC code in our quote process, so you never have to worry about your classification!

How Do I Ship An Engine?

Whether you’re planning to ship an automobile or aircraft engine, the engine shipping process is manageable as long as you keep in mind these considerations:

How do I prepare the engine for shipment?

No matter the shipment method you choose, it’s critical that you drain the engine of all liquids before shipping:

  1. Tilting the engine at different angles to ensure that all nooks and crannies are free of any liquids. Then, replug all fluid orifices to prevent the engine from being damaged.
  2. Make sure that you wipe the exterior dry as much as possible. The engine shouldn’t be greasy when you are trying to ship it or it can damage the packaging material.

Liquids can damage packaging materials and can be hazardous in transit. Liquids to be removed when you ship a car engine include:

  • Water
  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Gas

Removing all fluids will avoid any delays and damages that can incur additional charges.

How do I pack the engine for shipment?

It’s possible to pack your engine safely for shipping by securing it in a crate or pallet, both of which are common when shipping an engine.

Shipping an engine by crate

Crating is a method of engine shipping that involves enclosing the engine in a wooden or metal box, providing maximum protection. This method is a more expensive yet incredibly secure way to pack an engine.

The robust structure of the crate ensures that the engine is shielded from external impacts, making it less susceptible to damage during transit. It’s ideal for shipping custom-built, vintage, and high-value auto parts. When using an engine shipping crate, it’s essential to ensure that the engine is firmly anchored within the crate to prevent any movement.

Pallet Shipping An Engine

Palletizing involves placing the engine on a flat wooden or plastic platform and securing it with straps or shrink wrap. Pallet shipping is more popular as it’s an affordable way to ship an engine. However, it does require more effort to pack, as the engine needs to be firmly anchored to the pallet to prevent any shifting during transport. Pallets offer a sturdy base for shipping a car or truck engine and are easily maneuverable with forklifts, making them a preferred choice for many shippers.

Pallet shipping and crating an engine significantly lowers the risk of damage and the overall cost of shipping engines.

What is the cheapest way to ship an engine?

Engine shipping costs are based on: weight, size, distance traveled, freight class, and several other factors. Generally, shipping an engine can cost between $120 to $380.

Choosing the right freight engine service is crucial for ensuring your engine arrives safely and at a reasonable cost. To find the cheapest rates, it’s critical to compare multiple carriers that meet your shipping needs. has an instant LTL quote tool that will compare the rates of thousands of LTL carriers in your area that you can use when shipping an engine.

Our tool is simple. Enter the load type, pick up and delivery zip codes, and the pick-up date., and you’ll get the best engine shipping rates. There’s no need to scout for the best deals in your area and negotiate with a freight broker.

Through, you’ll find the best deals for your needs!


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