What You Need To Know Before Shipping an Engine

What You Need To Know Before Shipping an Engine
March 22, 2020 Aldo Flores
close-up of a car engine

How to Prepare an Engine for Transport

Shipping an engine can be an involved process. In some ways, shipping an entire car is easier because it isn’t hard to secure a car for transport. An engine doesn’t take up nearly as much space, however, there are strict guidelines for importing and exporting engines, whether you use an engine shipping crate or a pallet.

Choosing a Container

When shipping an engine, you’ll have to decide between an LCL, or less-than-container-load, or an LTL, which stands for less-than-truckload. Which you choose depends on where you want to ship the engine, as well as your budget and general timeline.

In both cases, your engine will be shipped in a container or load with other shipments that aren’t large enough to fill their own container. LCL cargo is usually on an ocean freight carrier, while LTL shipments are transported on trucks.

What to Do Beforehand

preparing an engine for shipping

Before shipping an engine, you have to prepare it properly. The first step of preparation involves draining all of its fluids. Empty the engine of coolant, oil, water, and everything else. No liquids should leak out of it during the shipping process. Whether you have the carrier pick up the engine or if you drop it off with your freight forwarder, someone will inspect it thoroughly. Leaky engines are rejected.

Packing Options

You have two main options for transporting an engine: engine shipping crates and pallets. In the interest of full disclosure, it must be said that crates are the safer, more secure option. We’ll explain why so that you can decide for yourself.


An engine crate is sized to fit an engine, which is crucial for safe shipment. It’s also the only way to guarantee that your carrier will pick up the engine without a problem. Most importantly, however, a crate protects the engine during its journey. It’s less likely to become damaged when it’s fully enclosed.


a selection of wood pallets

Theoretically, you can ship an engine on a pallet. In practice, it may not be the best idea. For one thing, you need to find a sturdy pallet that’s larger than the engine itself. There should be at least four inches of space between the edges of the engine and the perimeter of the pallet.

You have to secure the engine, as well. We recommend holding it in place with chain, rope, plastic straps, or ratchet straps. It’s also necessary to create a buffer around the engine using something like cardboard and shrink wrap to further protect it on its trip.

Instead of leaving it up to chance when you’re shipping an engine, turn to the professionals. Schedule a chat with Trans Global Auto Logistics to discuss your shipping needs. We can help you out with acquiring an engine shipping container and choosing the best mode of transport.

Related posts:

Call Now Request Quote