Robots are one of the most important tools an industrial business can have. Many manufacturers are aware of this, so many know the importance of keeping these machines in perfect condition for as long as possible. However, transportation introduces some new concerns into the equation.
Companies may need to move bots for one of many reasons. They can move to a new facility, put some robots in stock during the slow seasons or have to move the newly purchased machines themselves. Whatever the specifics, shipping these machines can be intimidating.
While the prices of robots have steadily fallen, they can still cost them Over $10,000 per piece In 2025. Some of these highly specialized and complex machines may also be fragile. Here are five transportation solutions companies should consider to move this equipment safely.
1. Proper packaging
The first solution to consider is encapsulation. This applies to both the container that will store the robot and the insulating materials inside. The type of material and which container is best varies between specific use cases, but there are some general guidelines to follow.
The strength of the packaging is one of the most important factors to overcome, considering the weight of the robots. A robot with a lifting capacity will weigh only 7 kilograms 300 kg on average, making lighter materials such as cardboard insufficient. Wooden crates are ideal – even then, companies must ensure that their bearing capacity far outweighs the weight of their robots.
Protecting the robot from hitting the box itself is also vital. A combination of rigid insulating Styrofoam and more flexible solutions such as bubble wrap can produce the best result. Anti-static insulation is also critical, as it prevents electrical hazards during charging.
2. Trailer insurance
Next, companies need to determine the best type of trailer to transport the robots packed into them. Depending on whether companies use a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or ship the robot themselves, their options will vary. However, either way, they should be looking for some of the same underlying factors.
Enclosed trailers are a must, because open trailers cause a lot of external hazards to fragile cargo. Companies should also look at the suspension system of their trailers to ensure that they will provide a smoother ride, reducing vibrations inside the boxes. Strong slopes to facilitate loading and unloading are also important.
Companies working with a 3PL provider must communicate these needs so that the 3PL company can show them the optimal solution. If companies handle transportation themselves, they can use a guide To understand the best options.
3. Route planning
Route planning is an easy to overlook but crucial transportation solution for fragile robots. Many companies take route planning seriously, but view it primarily as a way to shorten travel times and avoid disruption. As beneficial as this may be, companies should consider safer methods when shipping sensitive equipment.
more than 40% of American roads In poor or average condition. This means that without careful route planning, robotic shipments may encounter bumps, slick conditions, or other hazards that can damage them in transit. Companies can avoid this by considering repair factors when planning the route and following the smoothest and most maintained routes.
In some areas, companies must also consider factors such as sharp turns and steep hills, which may increase transportation risks. Likewise, it is critical to review the weather and find the ideal charging time, as rain, snow, and other conditions may make damage more likely.
4. Tracking Solutions
Another transportation solution to consider is vehicle and cargo tracking. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can provide real-time information about the whereabouts of a robot’s shipment, its status, and other information. This insight can help hold transportation partners accountable and enable rapid responses to unforeseen circumstances.
IT solutions Engine problems can be detected earlier Inform drivers and other stakeholders. The companies can then fix the problem before it becomes a more significant problem that could jeopardize the safety of the bots. Similarly, companies can use IoT trackers to monitor vibrations inside a trailer, stopping or rerouting a shipment if it goes too high.
Tracking solutions also provide much needed transparency between 3PL providers and companies. This accountability encourages drivers to be vigilant and efficient, which helps reduce the risk of human error. Thus, companies should only work with 3PL companies that provide these tracking services if they are not handling their own transport.
5. Loading and unloading
Companies should also consider loading and unloading solutions. While the relocation itself may take up most of the focus, these seemingly simple operations could damage the bots if the staff aren’t careful, so they deserve attention. Companies need a specific and thoughtful approach to loading and unloading robot shipments to prevent damage.
Due to the weight of the robots, facilities will likely need equipment such as forklifts to move containers in and out of trailers. Experts expect that improper operation of these machines will cause $86 million in compensation over the next ten years, so only trained, experienced, and certified personnel should use it. Employees should also ensure that forklifts and similar machines are in perfect condition before using them.
Companies may also need to plan forklift routes just as they plan shipping directions. This may entail clearing space in the facility and defining clear paths for forklift operators to follow so that they do not run into anything.
Other factors to consider
These five transportation solutions should be part of any company’s plan to move fragile robots. However, there are some other external factors to consider as well.
Some industries may face regulations on how electronic equipment such as robots are shipped, which may dictate packaging and disassembly materials. Companies should review any applicable industry laws and regulations to ensure that their plans meet these requirements. Even if no rules apply, looking at them can provide a useful basis for how these systems are packaged and transported.
Companies must also consider the cost of moving robots. Charging anything that heavy and delicate will likely result in a hefty expense, but how high it goes will vary. Companies should compare prices between 3PL providers and rental services to find the best balance between security and costs.
While it may seem obvious, companies should also remember to post appropriate labels on their bot packaging. Fragile warnings and other hazard labels will help encourage careful handling.
Transport fragile robots safely
Bots are an important investment, so they are worth considering when dealing with them in any context. Shipping these machines may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous if companies plan appropriately.
Following these steps and considering these factors will help ship bots safely. Companies can then protect their investment and get the most out of this equipment.
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