Engine (Motor) Shipping

How to ship an engine

No matter the type of engine you are shipping, automobile or aircraft engine, certain procedures must be followed to protect your freight.

How to prepare engine for shipping

  • First, drain all fluids. Turn the engine “this way and that way” tilting it on different angles, to be sure the engine is truly empty of fluids, then replug all fluid orifices.
  • Then, wipe all outer surfaces down until dry and if possible, not greasy.

How to package an engine for shipping

How to ship an engine (packaging stage)Put an absorbent pad, maybe even two of them, across the skid on which you will place the engine. If the engine’s density seems to bend the wooden slats of the skid you may want to nail down a decking on the skid, such as a heavy-duty sheet of ¾” plywood. On top of that, use both cushioning material and absorbent pads.

Place the engine on the center on the skid. Try to distribute the engine’s weight evenly and leave 4 inches all around the edges of the skid. Use heavy duty steel strapping or very strong industrial strength plastic binding. Use at least two straps in each direction, so a minimum of 4 straps, to secure the engine on the skid and protect it from the shearing forces that occur in transit. Use a cardboard to cover the sides and tops of your engine. Hold them in place with shrink wrap.

The result will be a cocooned engine that won’t leak and won’t let water in from the top or sides.

What freight class to use for engine shipping

The class is based off not just the density but on the description of the freight (the “commodity”) and its packaging characteristics.

If you just pull an engine onto a common carrier’s truck’s floor with no skid, that is a lot harder to handle, and you will be charged a higher class and thus a higher rate.

Write “engine” on the BOL and specify what kind of engine it is. Write the correct National Motor Freight Classification Number and the packaging you are shipping it under.

Here are a few common NMFC numbers and their matching classes from some our recent shipments:

  • Motorcycle Engine NMFC 120790.02 crated and over 18 lbs./ cubic foot density Class 70.
  • 4-cycle Engine, palletized, strapped and shrunk wrapped, NMFC# 1207790.01, 9 lbs./cubic foot density, thus a higher class than the one above, Class 85.
  • Steel Diesel Timing Gears NMFC 18260.11, 31 lbs./cubic ft, class 60.

The above shipments receive relatively low classes because shipping an engine, an engine block or motor on a pallet will reduce the freight class lower.

How much does it cost to ship an engine

You can ship a 1000 pound engine from California to Iowa for $350, dock to dock. You can ship a 250 pound engine from Maryland to Washington State for $200.

Because engines are very dense, and thus compact in the truck, they have few damage freight claims. Also, engine pallet shipping is easy to move, so shipping rates tend to be low.

Cheapest way to ship an engine

The cheapest way to ship a motorcycle engine, or a car engine is definitely by following the guidelines above and putting your engine shipment, crated or palletized, out to bid to the over 100 carriers on FreightRun.com. We will send you an instant quote.

Entrust your engine delivery to professionals

When engine shipping, a large dose of common sense and extreme care can keep claims to zero and your engine shipping cost to a low dollar.

First time to ship an engine or auto parts? Send us a picture of your item and our freight specialist will advise you further and provide you a free quote.