The transportation, handling and installation of heavy items which are indivisible, and of weights generally accepted to be in the range of 1 ton to over 1000 tons and of widths/heights of more than 100 meters that are too large to fit into normal containers or onto conventional transporters. These oversized items are transported from one place to another (sometimes across country borders) then lifted or installed into place. Characteristic for heavy lift goods is the absence of standardization which requires an individual transport planning.
Generators, turbines, reactors, boilers, towers, casting, heaters, presses, locomotives, boats, satellites, military personnel and equipment. In the offshore industry, parts of oil rigs and production platforms are also lifted; some of these are also removed at the end of an installation's working life. Recent notable lifts have included several of >2000 short tons in the de-commissioning of the North West Hutton oil field in the (British sector of) the North Sea.
To transport heavy lift items special trucks or trailers (flatbeds) are used, which are especially suitable due to their large loading area and capacity. For air transport special large-volume cargo aircraft like the Antonov An-225 are employed which can move up to 250 tons of freight. On inland waters barges are often used. Transports at sea carry out special heavy lift vessels which often possess own cranes for loading and discharging cargo. Transportation of heavy lift items ranks among the most challenging and complex services in logistics and is handled by specialized companies.
- Heavy Lifting "Heavy Lifting vs. Risky Lifting"
- Pieper, Marcus: Durchführung eines Schwergut-Transportes mit Binnenschiff und Straßenfahrzeug aus technischer und organisatorischer Sicht. Bremen 1997.
- Internationale Transport-Zeitschrift; 2008, 13/14. Spezial: Break Bulk, Schwergut-Special