Shipping Pipes Properly


Whether you are shipping them directly to a job site or selling them to send to a contractor, shipping large piping can be challenging. Pipes need to be handled properly during shipping or damage can easily occur.

Large pipes generally need to be shipped by railcar or truck overland. By sea, piping is usually shipped in standard or oversized shipping containers, based upon their length.

No matter what form of transport you choose, there are certain dangers that you need to be aware of when shipping pipes, as well as proper steps to take to avoid damaged products arriving at your buyer or on your job site.

Damage That Can Occur

Pipes have a unique geometry. They are hollow, but still need to be strong as some are tasked with holding pressure. There are several types of damage that can occur that will compromise a pipe’s ability to hold pressure and do its job.

  • Mechanical Failures – This includes damage like notching or bruising of the pipe. Notches occur when pipe edges take pieces out of other pipes they are resting against. Bruising is caused either by stacking too much weight on a pipe, causing a flat spot, or by a pipe colliding with other pipes. Either of these can compromise a pipe and make it unusable.
  • Corrosion – Corrosion during shipping can come from quite a few sources. First is moisture. If you are shipping pipes by open car, any rain or other wet weather can leave enough water for rust to form.

Chemical corrosion can also occur. Humidity, mixed with train or truck exhaust can create a potent acid that can cause pitting or small craters to form as this acid can sit inside your pipes and condense there. This can also occur if standing water in the pipes mixes with coal dust or salts during transport.

  • Bending – Pipes that are not lashed properly in place, or possibly lashed too tightly, can bend during shipping. While slight bends might not make the pipe unusable, any severe bending cannot be repaired and will render the pipe useless.

Ways to Avoid Damage

There are several ways to avoid damage during shipping.

  • Load and unload piping for shipping with care. Make sure while being moved, there is proper clearance to avoid collisions between pipes.
  • Use a corrosion inhibiting agent on piping. There are several chemicals that can be used to coat your piping during shipment that will prevent rust, corrosion and other damage like pitting.
  • Make sure the container walls and side supports are capable of handling the weight of the piping.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s recommendation for the force that should be used to lash the piping together. Do not exceed this limit when securing the pipes for transport.
  • Ensure enough lashing is used to prevent pipes from moving during shipment.
  • Put caps on the ends to prevent water from collecting inside of your pipes during transport.

Cratex Group offers industrial packing and corrosion inhibiting products for all of your shipping needs. Contact us today!