Guide to Safely Shipping Engines: Best Practices

How to Ship an Engine

Posted on:
Sep 30, 2021

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, engines are one of the easiest items to ship. They’re durable machines that can handle the shipping process with ease.

With that in mind, there are a few things you have to keep in mind when shipping engines, such as prepping and packing for safe shipment. Let’s examine some of the most important considerations for securely shipping your engine with a freight carrier.

What’s the best way to ship an engine?

The best option for shipping an engine is via less-than-truckload (LTL) freight. Individual LTL shipments range from 50 to 5,000 kg, more than enough for motorcycle, automobile, and aircraft engines. 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. Shipping your engine via LTL freight could cost as low as $100+, depending on distance, weight, and volume, among other factors.

What’s the freight class for engine shipping?

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 must also write down the correct National Motor Freight Classification Number.

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

  • Motorcycle Engine (created 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 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 ensures that all nooks and crannies are free of 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.

Liquids can damage packaging materials and can be hazardous in transit. Liquids to be removed include:

  • Water
  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Gas

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

How do I pack the engine for shipment?

Packing your engine safely is possible by securing it in a crate or pallet.

  1. Crate: Crating is a more expensive yet incredibly secure way to pack an engine. It’s ideal for shipping custom-built, vintage, and high-value auto parts.
  2. Palletizing is more popular as it’s an affordable way to ship an engine. However, it does require more effort to pack.

Shipping and crating significantly lower the cost of shipping engines.

What is the cheapest way to ship an engine?

The costs are based on: weight, size, distance traveled, freight class, and several other factors. Generally, it can cost between $120 to $380. To find the cheapest rates, comparing multiple carriers that meet your shipping needs is critical. has an instant quote tool that will compare the rates of thousands of LTL carriers in your area.

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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