Special Cargo

We provide tailored and efficient solutions for shipping your Out of Gauge, In Gauge and Break Bulk cargo.

We take special care of your special cargo

At Maersk, we recognise that handling special cargo is different from traditional container shipping.

With more than 40 years of experience in transporting oversized and heavy shipments and an unparalleled global network, we have the capacity to deliver your special cargo to any part of the world. Our international team of special cargo experts have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges involved, and are there to help throughout the entire process.

Experience the ease and convenience of dealing with a one-stop shop

Spend your time and efforts on your business and not on coordinating with multiple qualified sub-tier vendors and suppliers to accomplish your project cargo goals.

Global Network
A global network of ships, trucks, trains, barges and air service
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Space and special equipment
Quick and easy access to equipment, space and skills, just when you need them
International expertise
Our international team of project cargo experts are here to help you every step of the way
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Get quotes, routes and schedules at your fingertips
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Multiple weekly departures
Take advantage of flexibility to seize business opportunities
Efficient Returns Management
Constantly bettering services
We continuously invest in the Flat Rack and Open Top containers, as well as human and digital capabilities essential for Project Cargo Management
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Guaranteed Loading
Ensure your special cargo is loaded even during peak season
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Quote Speed
Plan your project better, with rates quoted within 4 hours

We ship all types of special cargo

Oversized and overweight cargo is characterised by exceeding the proportions and capabilities of a single standard container. Whether you are shipping a 350-ton tugboat, a 46-metre crane arm or a 17-metre propeller, we have the expertise and equipment available to deliver. 

We provide tailored and efficient solutions for shipping your In Gauge, Out of Gauge and Break Bulk cargo.

In Gauge cargo

  • The dimensions of the cargo are smaller than or equal to those of the flat rack or open top container (i.e. it requires special equipment but does not displace additional slots on the vessel).
  • Examples of In Gauge shipments: machinery or large trees that can be lowered into an open top container.
  • If you are shipping In Gauge cargo, you can book your shipment in just a few minutes on Maersk.com.
In gauge special cargo shipping

Out of Gauge cargo

  • The dimensions of the cargo exceed the flat rack or open top container by length, width or height, but can still be unitised in containers.
  • Examples of Out of Gauge shipments: propellers, flanges or trucks.
Out of Gauge Cargo

Break Bulk cargo

  • Vastly exceeds the size and/or weight of a standard container and is therefore handled as non-unitised cargo and normally placed on a bed of flat racks with a large number of lashing points.
  • Examples of common Break Bulk shipments: yachts, masts, industrial machines or train carriages.
Special Cargo

To know if your cargo is in or out of gauge, please use table below:

Equipment type Length (CM) Width (CM) Height (CM) Maximum Payload (KG)
Equipment type
Length (CM)
Width (CM)
Height (CM)
Maximum Payload (KG)
Equipment type
Length (CM)
Width (CM)
Height (CM)
Maximum Payload (KG)
Equipment type
40’OT HC
Length (CM)
Width (CM)
Height (CM)
Maximum Payload (KG)
Equipment type
Length (CM)
Width (CM)
Height (CM)
Maximum Payload (KG)
Equipment type
40’FR HC
Length (CM)
Width (CM)
Height (CM)
Maximum Payload (KG)

Note 1: Top opening dimensions for over-height cargo

*Subject to terminal acceptance

  • If cargo dimensions are less than dimensions mentioned above for lengths, width and heights, then cargo is in-gauge.
  • If cargo dimensions exceed dimensions mentioned above in either length, width, or height, then cargo is out of gauge.
  • For 40’FR containers, if cargo width is <=220 cm and cargo length is upto 1190 cm ( i/o 1163cm), we consider this as in-gauge.

Understanding Out of Gauge Cargo

Out of Gauge (OOG) Cargo requires special and delicate handing. In order to handle your OOG cargo safely, it is essential to give a full and accurate declaration of your cargo. It is crucial to not only declare the dimensions and particulars of your cargo accurately, but also to ensure that it is packed correctly to avoid delays and additional costs.

Important points to consider when placing OOG booking

  1. Define if cargo is IG or OOG: If cargo dimensions exceed dimensions mentioned in the table above, it must be declared as Out of Gauge cargo.
  2. End wall position: Can be either up or down and must be declared accordingly.
  3. Weight: Correct gross weight of the cargo must be provided.
  4. Lashing equipment protrusions: Lashing equipment protruding outside the container should be taken into consideration when declaring dimensions.
  5. Cargo shifting: Changes to dimension due to poor lashing during transit. Your goods need to be secured correctly, considering vessel movements during ocean transport.
  6. Extra materials: Crates, lashing materials and dunnage used while lashing the container can change the total cargo dimensions.

Importance of the OOG declaration process

The objective of out of gauge declarations is, first and foremost, to ensure the safety of the crew handling the cargo. It is also practised to minimise operational challenges due to dimension mismatches, which can result in delays.

Let’s take a closer look:

Safety first

  • Knowing the actual dimensions of your cargo and checking to see if it’s lashed correctly can prevent accidents from occurring.
  • Any terminal can refuse to load cargo as a safety precaution if the cargo dimensions do not match the declaration.

Operational efficiency

  • Dimension discrepancies during gate-in or transit result in operational challenges with terminals in terms of capability and restriction. This might lead to disruption in cargo planning and even cargo shut-out.
  • The space allocation for cargo is planned in slots with the received dimensions. If the dimensions change, these might trigger the slots to change.

Cost implications incurred on misdeclared cargo

Cargo container specifications

Kindly note dimensions vary with container series – for dimensions of specific unit please contact us.

Select Special cargo container type

Maximum Payload: The maximum permitted mass of payload, including the dunnage and cargo securement arrangements that are not associated with the container in its normal operating condition.

Tare weight: Mass of empty container including all fittings and appliances associated with a particular type of container in its normal operating condition.

Maximum Gross weight: The maximum mass for operating a container, including the tare weight and the maximum payload.

Units expressed in kilograms.

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