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International Car Transport: An Overview

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

International Car Transport: An Overview

Thomas Morva
March 1, 2006

There are a host of international car transport services that offer worldwide vehicle transportation solutions to individuals. These companies specialize in reliable, efficient service with frequent departures from major U.S. ports.

Some basic options for the overseas transport of your car are shipping in an ocean container. This container can be delivered to your home and you can load the car yourself. In addition you can ship your personal items with your auto. For many world destinations container service is the only option available.

Keep in mind that loading the car in the container is not easy and it is advised to employ professionals. The ocean container sits on chassis about four feet above the ground, has no platforms, lift gates or ramps. The car needs to be secured, blocked, and braced inside the container. If you choose not to pack the ocean container yourself, your car can be delivered to the international car transport company’s warehouse, where it will be loaded into the ocean container.

Moreover, you can often only collect loss insurance if the container is professionally packed. On the brighter side, these loading charges will only be a small portion of your total shipping cost. Take note that you will have to employ a trucking company to move the vehicle from your home to the international car transport company’s warehouse. Once the container is loaded and delivered to the U.S. port, it will be transferred onto a ship going to your port of destination.

The other most popular option in international auto shipping is RO/RO, which stands for Roll-On/Roll-Off service and basically means that your car will be "rolled on" the ship at the port of origin and "rolled off" at the port of destination.

This service is limited to only a select group of US ports and overseas destinations so contact your international car transport company for this information.

If you are transporting your vehicle internationally, whether by land or sea, there are certain documents and information you will have to secure. It is recommended to check on Customs regulations in the country to which you are traveling to avoid problems once your car arrives. Many international car transport companies will provide a list of Customs regulations foreign consulates and embassies are also a good resource for this information.

Make note you will need the original title and a letter from the lien holder (if applicable), authorizing the exportation of the car. If you purchased a car in US you will need the original title and a Bill of Sale. Most all countries require you to present bills of lading. It is best to obtain this information from your international car transport company so you will be properly prepared for entry into another country.

There are many international car transport companies out there today competing for your dollars it should not be a difficult task to locate a company with a small fleet of top quality ships that has the highest safety records, excellent customer service and is ready to do business with you.

Car Transport Company provides detailed information on Car Transport, Car Transport Company, Car Transport Services, Classic Car Transport and more. Car Transport Company is affiliated with Auto Transport Companies.



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