Best Tips for Success When Considering Factory Relocation

What to know for factory or warehouse relocation

Relocating a manufacturing facility can be necessary for various reasons. For example, perhaps you want to expand your business, or the area you’re moving to has a higher demand for your products or more workers who specialize in your industry.

Whether you’re relocating a factory overseas, to another state, or down the road, plant relocation can be a tricky business. From hazardous materials to electronic equipment, the machinery you’ll need to ship can be hard to package or require extra paperwork. In addition, there is the challenge of the sheer volume of equipment required for the new location.

That’s where plant relocation services come in. Packing and moving expensive machinery requires expertise, which can be tricky to replicate. The best way to guarantee the safe arrival of your goods and a smooth process is to hire an experienced crating company to take the weight off your shoulders. 

Specialized equipment is needed to prepare and transport oversized machines.

On August 30th, 2022, the South Shore Crate and Pack crew helped pack and relocate six metal finishing machines in Rhode Island. One of the machines was high and heavy. With tall, heavy machinery, you need to arrange the proper trailer for the shipping portion of the relocation. Suppose they had hired a company with no specialized equipment experience. In that case, the customer could have ordered the wrong equipment for the job, missed a deadline, and ultimately incurred additional expenses. With South Shore Crate and Pack’s knowledge of width and weight restrictions, we also planned for the correct forklift to move the machine within the facility. With the proper equipment, both on-site and over the road, we provided a faster removal timeline and cut costs.

How to pack for warehouse or factory relocation

We’ve all been there. When moving your home or bringing supplies to a friend’s house, you wrap every wine glass in bubble wrap and place them as delicately as possible into a cardboard box. You pick up the cardboard box, forget to hold the bottom, then there is glass all over the floor. Unfortunately, the classic cardboard box is insufficient when packing large, delicate machinery and electronic equipment for relocation.

The solution? Wooden crates. Custom wooden crates are sturdy enough to keep your goods safe and stop internal temperatures from fluctuating significantly. Unfortunately, most people don’t have expertise in crating and packing wooden crates, which is where crating companies can lend a hand.

Crating companies can crate your products in a wooden container tailored to your needs. Here are a few things to consider when packing factory machinery in a wooden crate.

Hazmat packaging

Unlike you may imagine, the term ‘hazmat’ (hazardous materials) doesn’t just apply to dangerous weapons and chemicals. Plenty of commonplace items such as nail polish remover and hand sanitizer are hazardous materials.

When shipping a wide variety of machinery and electronic equipment, some of your items may be considered hazmat. The transportation of lithium batteries, for example, is highly regulated.

Suppose you’re unsure whether anything you intend to relocate is classified as hazmat. In that case, there’s a handy list that contains all hazmat goods. If anything you’re shipping counts as hazmat, inform your crating company. That way, they can package the goods appropriately and fill out any extra paperwork needed to avoid delays or fines. 

Insulation solutions

Moving plant machinery means moving goods that are particularly sensitive to a change in moisture. The good news is that there are options to prevent your materials from being damaged by water.

Vapor barriers and foil bags create a vacuum around your items, preventing water or moisture from getting in. Another insulation option, foam, provides cushioning for easily-damaged items and acts as a shock absorber for items being jostled around in transit. 

Factory machine insulated in vapor barrier and secured to pallet ready for relocation
The machine has been properly insulated and secured to a pallet for its journey.

Transporting your factory equipment

Transportation is selected to match the dimensions of equipment being moved.

So your machinery and equipment are packaged in sturdy, wooden crates, ready to be sent to their destination. What next? Various shipping companies can get your items from A to B. Still, it’s worth checking with your crating company first regarding shipping.

Many crating companies have relationships with shipping companies, which means they can organize the shipment on your behalf. So now there is one less time-consuming job on your to-do list. Some crating companies also work closely with moving companies. You can ask your crating company to crate, palletize, and coordinate your removal.

International shipping

Suppose you’re relocating your manufacturing facility abroad. In that case, the process is a little more complicated than relocating within or from state to state. Some goods legal to transport around the US may be classed as illegal imports in other countries.

Before packing for the big move, check the rules and regulations in your destination country to ensure the goods and materials you intend to take can be shipped without a problem. Find a crating company familiar with the paperwork needed to ship overseas and has contacts with shipping companies that can fulfill the transportation side of your order.

Steps for a seamless factory relocation

Make an inventory

Relocating a manufacturing facility is no easy feat and requires significant planning. The best place to start is with an inventory. When you’re moving lots of pieces of equipment from one location to another, it’s easy for items (especially small parts and accessories) to get lost.

An inventory is the best way to keep track of everything you need. Make a list of every individual item you’ll be taking with you before packing it so that you can check the items against your inventory when you arrive.

Prepare the layout for the new location 

Dig out the blueprints for your current facility as a reference point, then use a blueprint of the new facility to prepare a drawing for your new layout. Drawing it out will allow you to take full advantage of the relocation by organizing the shop floor more efficiently in your new premises. Plus, you can check that there is space for all your machinery before shipping every item to the new facility.

Audit your machines

Working with machinery and electronic equipment for a while makes it easy to get used to the glitches and quirks of individual pieces. From a safety perspective, however, that old printing machine in the corner that needs shaking before it can work probably isn’t the safest piece of equipment.

Assess the condition of your machines before moving. That way, you can replace any equipment that’s past its best instead of wasting money sending it to your new location. 

Organize your supply chain

When relocating a facility, don’t get lost in the micro details of which machinery parts should be packed together. Remember that your business is part of a grander process. Consider how the move will affect both the clients you supply and the companies that supply you. If necessary, look for new suppliers or buyers at your destination before you move.

Notify stakeholders

The chances are it’s not just your business that will be affected by your plant’s relocation. Reach out to all suppliers, buyers, investors, and other stakeholders to update them on your new location. Also, change your address on any paperwork regularly sent to the plant.

Pack and protect your equipment

Luckily, if you work with an experienced crating company, they can handle this part for you. Your crating company will pack your equipment into wooden crates with any insulation needed for the journey and complete any necessary paperwork for the items you’re shipping.

It’s also worth discussing the most efficient way to pack items with your chosen crating company. If you’re using electronic equipment, for example, pack plugs and accessories alongside the piece of machinery that uses them. Likewise, small items like bolts are easy to lose in the moving process, so place them with their corresponding component or in a labeled box.

Consider Insurance

Since the machinery you’re sending will likely be expensive to replace, it might be worth considering insurance. That way, you won’t be out of pocket if there are any hiccups during the shipping process. 

Secure All Items

Packaging your machinery with the appropriate padding in a crate may seem expensive. But, imagine how much it would cost to replace all your equipment in the case of damage because you shipped it in flimsy cardboard boxes. You’ll have a much smoother, more stress-free experience if you spend a little extra making sure your items are adequately crated.

Check the inventory

If you made an inventory before moving your products across, check it upon arrival at the new facility. Make sure that everything you listed before the move is still present after the move. Once that’s complete, you can start setting up your machinery for production.

Test equipment

As soon as you set up your equipment at the new site, test every piece of machinery. The last thing you need is to resume production only to find that a key component of your production line isn’t working as it should be. 

Get started

Here’s the fun part. Once your equipment has been safely delivered and you’ve set up your new facility, it’s time to restart production and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

FAQs About Factory or Warehouse Relocation

Plant relocation services from an expert crating company

When relocating a manufacturing facility, you’ve got enough on your plate without worrying about getting your machinery from A to B. Let a crating company with years of experience take the stress off your hands by packing and organizing the shipment of your machinery and electrical equipment. 

Special requirements such as shipping overseas or moving hazmat? No problem. At South Shore Crate & Pack, we can tailor our crating experience to suit your individual needs. Committed to using only the best materials, we take our responsibility to transport your valuable goods seriously. 

Contact us today for information on how we can support your plant, factory, or warehouse relocation.

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