During our nearly 20 years in business M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks has shipped all sorts of custom-built food trucks and concession trailer from our manufacturing center located about 15 minutes west of Jacksonville, Florida.
Some final destinations for these mobile food units include Washington, California, Georgia, New York and Colorado to name a few. Over the years, we’ve learned some key tips to safely transporting a food truck long distances that we’d like to share in this post.

Tony’s Clam Chowder – Built By M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

Tips for Shipping a Food Truck Safely

Get Insurance: For total piece of mind, you can get your food truck insured in the unfortunate event the unit is damaged while shipping. Make sure that you’re insurance not only covers the cost of the food truck itself, but also the cooking equipment onboard the unit. It will cost a little bit more for this total insurance coverage, but it will be worth it if the unexpected happens.
Find a Reputable Shipping Company: There are a lot of companies that will ship a car across country. But you need to find someone with experience shipping food trucks specifically. There are different considerations to be taken into account with a food unit. A car or truck doesn’t have a mobile kitchen installed onboard with all sorts of different equipment. When traveling long distances you want to make sure that there’s not too much consistent movement onboard the kitchen. This sort of rattling can cause issues with you equipment before you even get it delivered. Always ask the shipping company for examples of food trucks or concession trailers they’ve completed in the past. It’s also smart to ask for references to validate work.
Clean and Prep for Shipping: Before your unit hits the road, it’s important to do a deep clean of the interior of the vehicle. Remove all the spatulas, spoons, and other cooking equipment from the rig. You don’t want anything bouncing around during a long haul that doesn’t need to be there. You should also make sure your cabinets are locked to ensure they don’t open during the commute. This is a good rule of thumb anytime you’re going from point A to point B.

Can You Ship Food Trucks Internationally?

If you want to order a food truck that’s manufactured in the United States to be sent overseas this is scenario we have a lot of experience with. Unlike shipping within North America where the concession unit will be hauled on a flat-bed truck. When you transport across the pond it will be stored in a shipping container that’s shipped on a large tanker.
Due to our strategic manufacturing location near the Jacksonville Port Authority, exporting a unit is straight forward. This proximity gives us direct access to over 140 ports around the world. Some of the countries we’ve shipped completed build outs include the United Kingdom and numerous countries in the Middle East, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

How Much Will It Cost to Ship?

Pizza Truck Build by M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks.

Shipping a food truck is more affordable than you might think. In addition to safety, you’ll reduce the amount of wear-and-tear on your vehicle by driving it to your market. While you certainly can drive a truck across country yourself, doing it yourself won’t safe as much as you think when taking into account the cost of gas, food, and in some cases lodging expenses. During a cross country drive you never know when you might run into bad weather and other road hazards along the way.
The cost of shipping will vary on a variety of straight-forward factors including distance and the size / weight of the unit being shipped. The time of year and location of unit pickup are also contributing factors. As a general rule of thumb you can expect to pay between $1 – $2 per mile to ship a food unit. You can learn more about the process of shipping a food truck by visiting HeavyHaulers.com.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re still deciding who to trust with your food truck build out, give us a call no matter where you’re located… Be it somewhere in the United States, Canada, or even overseas.
Not every market has a reputable builder with nearly two decades of building experience. Don’t let your food truck investment be determined based on the proximity of where you plan to operate.