One of the primary responsibilities of being a factory or operations manager is to ensure production targets are met, if not exceeded.

Essential to this is the continuous review of production efficiency which may lead to the relocation, refurbishment, or removal and replacement of machinery for more technologically advanced equipment. Another outcome might be a complete re-organisation of the production facility in order to maximise output.

Machinery out of action means lost production, so it is beneficial to the customer that improvement works take place when machinery is not in operation, therefore ensuring production output is minimally affected.

Merritts regularly operate out of standard working hours and can also accommodate night and shift working as well as weekends for moves that are time and/or production sensitive. We offer free site visits within the UK and are available 365 days of the year.

We work for many leading manufacturers, in a multitude of industries including; automotive, aerospace, print, plastics & rubber, food & drink, waste & recycling, textiles and metalwork, providing bespoke solutions tailor-made to the customer’s specific requirements.

Services can include the movement of a single machine to the installation of entire production lines. Internal machinery relocations are regularly carried out to assist customers requiring a production change as well as the transportation and installation of brand new machinery for original machinery manufacturers.

Merritts are SafeContractor accredited and we are continually striving to provide the safest possible working conditions: Our health & safety team conduct preliminary and ongoing site audits to reduce risk and maintain safe working practices. Risk assessments, method statements and lift plans are produced for every project and all plant, lifting equipment and machinery moving tackle is tested at regular intervals, meeting both LOLER and PUWER standards.

Please get in touch if you have a heavy machinery moving project where out of hours working is a major requirement, as we will be able to provide you with an efficient and cost effective solution.

Heavy machinery moving and storage specialists Joseph Merritt Group Plc have successfully completed a relocation project involving four Engel injection moulding machines on behalf of Polypipe Civils, a leading manufacturer of plastic piping systems.

The project duration was 6 weeks; the first 3 weeks involving machinery decommissioning, export packing and loading to transport in Dubai, followed by the delivery, installation and recommissioning works in the UK.

The planning phase consisted of Merritts’ project managers performing a site visit in Jebel Ali, Dubai, to fully understand the requirements involved and to create a detailed scope of works for the project. When the scope of works was finalised; method statements, risk assessments and lifting diagrams were issued to the customer. Following this, Merritts arranged for their mechanical, electrical and rigging personnel to fly out to Dubai. UAE temporary permits to work were obtained for all members of staff involved in the project.

Machinery Export Packing Services

On site in Dubai Merritts ensured machinery was disconnected from mains services and oils were drained. Moving parts on the machinery were locked off with OEM transit brackets. Overhead cranes were used to lift the ancillary equipment from the machines and place onto bearers within pre-manufactured timber cases. Merritts mechanical and electrical engineers then separated the clamp and injection units on each machine. These units were then skated to an outside position and craned from a specially designed level steel platform and lowered onto pre manufactured steel and timber packing bases.

For the export packing element the machines were fully vacuum packed in foil bags and cases were formed around them. These cases were loaded to trailers and lashing inspection certificates received. The cargo was shipped ex Jebel Ali, Dubai, to Felixstowe, UK.

Merritts arranged customs clearance of the goods and collected all out of gauge cases from Felixstowe and delivered to Horncastle. All items were offloaded and unpacked to allow positioning, as instructed by the client. Once in position, Merritts mechanical and electrical engineers performed reassembly and reconnection. Following this, the Engel engineer completed the recommissioning of the machinery.

Commenting on the project, Richard Merritt, Managing Director of Merritts said “Projects like this exemplify the expertise we have in transporting heavy machinery regardless of the location or complexity. Due to the varied requirements of the project, I am very proud of the high quality service delivered to the client by our project managers, health & safety team and on site operatives.”

Polypipe Civils are a UK market leader in the design, development and manufacture of thermoplastic piping systems for civils and infrastructure projects across the UK and select areas globally.

PUWER stands for the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations’ 1998. The regulations deal with the work equipment and machinery used every day in workplaces and aims to keep people safe wherever equipment and machinery is used at work.

This regulation requires that organisations ensure that the equipment used is suitable for its purpose, maintained to be safe and not risk health and safety and inspected by a competent worker who should record the results.

If you are planning a heavy machinery moving project, PUWER will have a heavy impact on your planning and approach.

In the first instance, it your duty to ensure that work equipment is constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided. In practice this means that the vehicles, lifting equipment, mounting supports and other specialist tackle are deemed suitable for use to move heavy machinery. In practice, this could mean not using your own fork-lift or other lift equipment as it may not be suitable.

Secondly, in selecting work equipment, every employer has to consider the working conditions and the risks to the health and safety of persons which exist in the premises or undertaking in which that work equipment is to be used and any additional risk posed using that work equipment. In a heavy machinery moving project this will be assessed as part of the risk assessment and the resulting method statements that are prepared detailing the scope of the project.

Thirdly, every employer must ensure that work equipment is used only for operations for which, and under conditions for which, it is suitable. In practice, typical examples may include not using any old wooden block to support a machine leg etc! In defining this regulation “suitable” means suitable in any respect which it is reasonably foreseeable will affect the health or safety of any person.


The purpose of the PUWER regulations is to ensure that those using and working with equipment and machinery, such as employees, employers, contractors, traders and anybody who could possibly have access to equipment or machinery in a workplace, does so in a safe working environment.

When investing in the purchase of new heavy machinery, the availability of grants, interest rates and other economic factors may be significant in the timing of the decision, particularly if the investment is large and the payment of import duties and VAT becomes a considerable figure.

Often, the purchase of the machine can be funded using grants and loans which can be spread over manageable instalments. However, the payment of VAT and import duty is immediately payable in a lump sum. Using a bonded warehousing facility means that the machine can be purchased whilst funding is available and interest rates are favourable, but the payment of VAT and duty can be deferred until the machine is installed.

What is bonded warehousing?

By definition a bonded warehouse is a secure space, where goods liable to import duty or Value Added Tax (VAT) are stored, for a period of time until the goods are ready to be sold or moved to a new location.

This method of storage has obvious benefits for sellers who import and sell goods liable to these charges. By using our HMRC approved facility, we can help our clients defer payment of import duty and VAT on their machinery and equipment.

Key benefits of using Merritts bonded warehouse facility

  • The opportunity to purchase stock machinery without paying import duty & VAT until sold
  • Provides you with greater flexibility for supplying ‘quick turnaround’ machine deliveries to clients
  • Allows you to take advantage of favourable exchange rates when purchasing stock machinery
  • If you are unable to sell your machinery domestically, you can sell it for re-export without having to worry about the duties which would already have been paid
  • Where required, Merritts will handle the customs documentation to save you the hassle.

As an approved HMRC bonded warehouse, Merritts must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Meet HMRC’s conditions for your authorisation
  • Check goods when they arrive and record any shortages or surpluses
  • Set up stock records for goods and keep them secure
  • Keep stock records for at least 4 years
  • Give HMRC officers access to the warehouse, goods and records
  • Run the premises safely and make sure the warehouse meets health and safety standards

Our HMRC approved warehouse has over 80,000 square feet of internal storage space which is fitted with high and low bay lighting, overhead craneage for the handling of goods up to 10Te in weight and offer eaves heights of up to 10m. Our site is surrounded by 2.4m palisade fencing and CCTV is in operation.

If you would like to make a bonded storage enquiry please contact a member of our team on 0800 046 9840.

Please note, as a heavy machinery moving specialist, our customs bonded warehouse is only approved for ‘dry’ status for the storage of equipment and machinery. We do not have a ‘wet’ licence and are therefore not licenced to store goods such as alcohol, fuel or cigarettes.


As part of Merritt’s bespoke services we provide safe and secure storage servicves for large loads and industrial equipment. This is often essential when equipment is being mothballed, sold on or can’t be transported to its final destination for a period of time. It is a key component of our comprehensive logistics services, although we also offer use of the storage facilities as a standalone service.

One of our key strengths is that we’re centrally located in the Midlands, conveniently close to the M1, giving us and our customers quick access to major routes North, South, East and West. Our secure facilities offer 150,000sqft of internal storage space, with another 80,000sqft external storage space for items that are not weather sensitive.

All of our warehouses are heated, equipped with overhead cranes that can lift up to 20 Tonnes, allow storage for items up to 10m in height and are protected with state of the art security systems. All of which is managed by our skilled warehouse team.

Storage Services

We have customers come to us looking for a variety of storage solutions, so we often tailor our services to suit each individual need. For instance, energy engineering firm Doosan Babcock needed to store some sensitive items that required regular maintenance and a permanent power supply to maintain correct temperature, humidity and performance. By closely following instructions our skilled team were able to fulfil all the manufacturer’s requirements for safely storing the equipment.

How short and long term storage these are some of the reasons why businesses choose to store their equipment with us:

  • Machinery manufacturers from all industry sectors often need a buffer storage solution prior to UK installation.
  • A piece of equipment may no longer be required but cannot be written off due to balance sheet value.
  • Manufacturers that downsize production on multiple sites by consolidating machinery may need to store some machinery prior to it being sold.
  • When manufacturers change their tooling or model they are still required to keep the old tools and parts for a specified time.
  • Used machinery dealers sometimes need a simple holding area or showroom to keep equipment prior to sale.
  • Auctioneers can require warehouse space in which to hold closed auctions or store machinery.
  • Many transport businesses can save fuel and time between drops to customers by using our central location to temporarily drop certain loads.


Storage services and HMRC bonded

Customs bonded warehousing

Our facilities are also popular with importers and exporters. Merritt’s premises are HMRC approved as a customs bonded warehouse facility, which means we can help our customers defer payment of import duty and VAT on their machinery and equipment.

These are the key benefits of our customs bonded warehousing facility:

  • Businesses can defer payment of import duty and VAT.
  • The opportunity to purchase stock machinery without paying import duty and VAT until they’re sold.
  • Provides customers with greater flexibility for supplying ‘quick turnaround’ machine deliveries to clients.
  • It also means you can take advantage of favourable exchange rates when purchasing stock machinery.
  • If you are unable to sell your machinery in the UK you can sell it for re-export without having to worry about the duties which would already have been paid.


Secure Storage Services

Rates start from £0.10 per square foot per week (£1.09 per square metre per week), which is inclusive of buildings insurance, rates, light, heat and power in the area dependent on use. Find out more about our storage services.

Get in touch for a quote on storage.

(NB Our customs bonded warehouse is approved for ‘dry’ status only. We do not have a ‘wet’ licence and therefore cannot process enquiries relating to the storage of alcohol, fuel or cigarettes.)

Every year Merritts’ Big Machine Movers handle over 100,000 Tonnes of precision engineered machinery, moving it from A to B in the safest and most efficient way possible. Because that’s a mind-boggling figure to get your head around we’ve created this infographic of comparatively huge items to illustrate just how much all those big machine moves can add up.

Big Machine Movers infographic

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