2015 Silver Ghost Rolls Royce Tour to Ireland

The SGA (Silver Ghost Association) club of America which consists of proud owners of this Rolls Royce classic, have just completed their annual “on the road” tour which took place in Ireland.

16 beautiful vintage silver ghosts traveled in unison on the highways and byways of Ireland for 3 weeks. Schumacher Cargo began the process in June when we gathered all cars into our warehouses on the east coast and shipped them to Dublin during August.

Silver Ghosts

The goal was to have the cars ready for the tour members when they arrived on Sept 5th. Now after 22 days of driving, the tour arrived back into Dublin on Sunday September 27th. Damien Shields, our sales manager traveled to Dublin to meet the tour as they passed the cars back into our care for storage until we ship them back to the U.S. We are proud to say that we successfully completed this part of the project and the weary owners are now ready to fly home and savor the memories of magical trip around the Emerald Isle.

Silver Ghost Association

Brief History:

This particular model was manufactured by Rolls Royce between 1906 and 1926. However, “Silver Ghost” wasn’t the original title given to this line; as the first ones were actually called the “40/50 hp”.

It wasn’t until after a new model, AX 201, was given the name “Silver Ghost” by the media that all earlier models took on the prestigious title. Wikipedia

Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts in Warehouse


Shipping a 1904 Grout Steam Car

1904 Steam Car

No Too Many Left!

Over the years, we’ve shipped some pretty amazing automobiles and we are currently in the process of shipping a 1904 Grout Steam Car to Holland.

You make be wondering what makes this a particularly special shipment. Well, for starters Grout Brothers Automobile Company only made cars from 1900-1912.

They had a small footprint in the overall auto industry over the course of the last 100 years but they actually specialized in steam powered automobiles.

Nowadays, it’s not only hard to find these Grout steam cars it’s almost impossible to find one in this type of condition.

Spotting one of these is like spotting the elusive Chupacabra. No one actually knows the exact number of these that are left.

Grout Steam Car Brief History

The 1904 touring model is a two person compared with some of the earlier models like the 1903. As mentioned above Grout Brothers was in business from 1900-1912 and were headquartered in Orange, Massachusetts.

This car features a two cylinder steam powered engine and puts out a whopping 12hp and comes in over two thousand pounds. That’s roughly the equivalent to the output of a 420cc Craftsman mower but 4 times as heavy!

Obviously we’ve come a long way but it still is a piece of engineering gold! For anyone looking to learn more about the Grout Brothers and their automobiles check out this article from Hemmings.

Australia’s Fumigation Requirement – What it Means for Shippers


Image by Maersk Line

The Australian government recently announced that they are bringing back their fumigation requirements for containers and cargo coming into the country.

So what does this mean for companies and individuals either moving to Australia or shipping vehicles/cargo? To start let us first look at what the Australian fumigation requirement entails and then we’ll look at how this affects those trying to bring goods and cargo into the country.

In starting, fumigation is when chemicals are used to compound and eradicate any suspect insect or infestation within a container and its cargo.

The process involves “tenting” a container and releasing these chemicals into the tent. This then effectively kills off any prohibited worries that were the subject of the fumigation in the first place.

In Australia and New Zealand, the port authorities work very hard to prevent any foreign inbound insects/bugs/bacteria and living organism from entering while piggy-backing on cars/boats/bikes and general cargo that is being shipped in via container or Roll on Roll off.

Something like the “marmorated stink bug” that is a US bug not found in Australia and New Zealand: if this parasite passed through customs, it may affect the ecological balance in either country.

So to prevent this, all containers and RORO cargo, from Sept 1st through end of April 2016, will have to be fumigated within 72hrs prior to loading on the vessel.

So what affect does this have on our operations in the US and how does it affect the individual?

Shipping companies and freight forwarders need tighter control on the pickup and return of containers from the terminals, because we usually only have 5 free days with the container before it needs to be in-gated back into the terminal for loading on the next vessel.

We therefore need to coordinate the pickup, loading, then run the container to the fumigation yard for 24 hrs, then pick up again, to have the cargo back in time, along with the necessary fumigation certificate to accompany the shipping documents.

Once cleared, the certificate is sent with all documents to the receiving agent in Australia or New Zealand, so that they can prove to the quarantine officers that all regulatory procedures were followed during this time of preventative measures.

So essentially for the individual the real difference is in the cost and time frame, as the fumigation process costs money and delays the shipment until it’s been approved.

Please see more information on this current issue by clicking the links below.

Update from Hamburg Sud and Australian Goverment

The Gumball Rally 3000! Not Just Any International Race

gumball rally cars

The Gumball Rally is a high octane international race from one side of the world to another. It started in 1999, and this year the race starts in Stockholm with a finish line in…. LAS VEGAS!!!

The participants are all usually high powered business moguls / popular personalities from the world of TV and music and eccentric car fanatics who take this race on with the same enthusiasm as the cast of “it’s a mad mad mad mad world!”

In partnership with Delivered on Time, the official Gumball Rally 3000 vehicle management company, Schumacher Cargo Logistics are proud to be the US Gumball rally international shipping coordinator for some of the most exotic and highly decorated cars we have ever seen…

We recently had a collection of Ferraris, Porsches, Vipers and a gold plated Rolls Royce with Gumball Rally paintwork, which we flew out to the starting line in Stockholm, Sweden.

overhead view gumball carsWith a start date of this Saturday May 23rd in Stockholm, over 100 cars will travel through Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany before arriving in Holland on Tuesday May 26th.

From here Deliver on Time will fly all 100 vehicles with a combined value of $200 million USD, in chartered freighters to Reno, Nevada.

From Reno the race continues to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Death Valley and then the last leg to the finish line in Las Vegas on Friday the 29th of May.

Who will win? We don’t know but what we do know is that the party to end all parties will happen over 2 days in Vegas. schumacher secure porsche

Warren Barnes, our VP and head of Schumacher Secure, which is our special department for collectible and exotic automobile shipping, will be there at the finish line in our “Schumacher Secure” Porsche 911.

We will update you with all the trials and tribulations of the race as it makes its crazy way from Sweden to Vegas……

Watch out for updates all next week – with lots of pictures of both the race and the international shipping aspect of the Gumball Rally 3000!!

secure car from front
gumball viper
gumball cars in la


How We Shipped the 60,000 lb Blade Truck to the Brisbane Truck Show

We often feature special vehicles and projects that we have going on at Schumacher Cargo Logistics, but we’ve decided to turn it into a new series called, “What We Shipped This Week.” So without further ado, let’s begin.

Logistics of Shipping the Navistar International “Blade Truck” for the Brisbane Truck Show May 2015.


The Story

  • —We have shipped a lot of these magnificent trucks over the years, and they all had a sense of urgency around the shipping aspect, as most were to order and already sold at final destination.
  • —However, this stunning machine, the international “Blade” truck was a last minute decision by the distributor , to ship from Chicago to Australia for the Brisbane Truck show.
  • —With only days to spare, here is how we did it……..


  • —This is a spectacular 450-600 horse power – 10 to 18 speed luxury driving experience with industrial work ethics
  • —Weighing in at 60,000 lbs, it has full stand up sleeper cab which looks more like an apartment than a sleeping space.
  • —With bed/kitchen and office, this truck is for the serious driver who needs home comfort while away on the road

The Shipping Process

truck next to flatrack

The truck arrives at our loading yardfrom the distribution centre in Illinois. We plan to carefully load it onto a 40’ flat rack due to the time frame required to get it to Brisbane. RORO is an option usually but not this time as RORO is a 60 day sail. We need to get this on the water asap with a 25 day sail to Brisbane.

The truck needs to be fumigated and shrink wrapped before being exported. The fumigation process takes 24 hours to eradicate any possibility of insect or bug transfer from the US to Australia.

The unit is carefully lifted onto the flat rack.

lifting truck onto flat rack
lifting the blade truck

Blocked and braced into position on top of the tarp which will eventually be shrink wrapped around the complete unit.

shrink wrapping truck
block and brace

Industrial strapping is used to hold the chassis in place during transit.

strapping down truck
straps between the wheels

Final strapping before shrink wrapping the truck to prevent any body corrosion or effect from salt water during the ocean freight.

staps to frame
front strap

All wheel trims and exposed chrome are covered prior to wrapping.

covered semi truck wheels

Truck is totally wrapped and protected for delivery to the port before loading on board the vessel.

schrink wrapped truck

Ready to Go

fully shrink wrapped semi

How it got there…

  • —The flat rack was loaded on board a vessel at the port of Long Beach.
  • —The rack was loaded at the highest point after all regular container were loaded. This is because you cannot load any more equipment on top of a flat rack
  • —The vessel sailed from LA to Sydney first – then transshipped to both Melbourne and Brisbane
  • —We got the truck delivered 1 week prior to the show
  • —Here is how is looks after its long journey ……

Ready to go to the Ball!!

blade semi truck
navistar blade truck

Another successful shipment…another happy client!

international blade semi truck shipment

10 Tips When Choosing a Cargo Shipping Company

Sound advice to help you find the right freight forwarding company

ocean cargo freight

Relocating can be a truly harrowing experience from the very beginning. The first thing you can do is find a reliable moving and cargo shipping company that can take care of a lot of your worries (inevitably, there are some things that no moving company can alleviate).

You will be better off taking the time to carefully choose the right shipping company – after all, it is a very long process and they’ll be shipping some of your most valuable possessions.

Of course, if your employer is relocating you for business purposes, most aspects pertaining to your move will be taken care of by the company, though some companies let their employees handle the relocation on their own, while just providing some budgetary ceiling and guidelines.

Like with most things today, there are tons of choice available to you, which can in fact make the decision all the more difficult. However, there are some key factors that should be considered in evaluating the moving company, which this article covers.

To skip ahead to later sections including our tips for choosing an overseas shipping company and the important questions you should ask, click on the respective sections below.

Our Top Tips

Important Questions Should Ask

If you were to view it simplistically, the very broad aspects that dictate the ultimate choice will be:

  • Destination: Where are you relocating to and from where? Does the moving company provide services in those areas?
  • Goods being shipped: What kind of goods will you be shipping? Are you looking to ship your car or will it include only household items such as furniture and consumer electronics?
  • Urgency: How quickly do you want the goods to be shipped?
  • Budget: One of the most important considerations when it comes to relocation.
  • Level of Service: Does the moving company provide a complete end-to-end service?

Shipping costs

It is very important to remember that lowest shipping rates may not always be the best shipping rates. Read the fine print, because choosing a moving company that is offering exceptionally low rates may be providing lower service levels or accepting much lower responsibility in case something were to go wrong.

For example, a relocation company with no provision for workers’ compensation insurance may charge you lower prices, but consider the liability you may incur if their uninsured worker is hurt while handling your luggage on your premises. It would, therefore, be better to pay slightly higher price rather than taking the risk.

The cost of shipping a consignment is determined by a representative of the moving company who surveys the entire list of goods. Pricing is generally based on the volume, weight, the distance of the destination and the type of move (by air, sea or road).

It must, however, be noted that it is an international air cargo convention to charge for weight or volume, whichever is greater. When moving effects by air, airline companies have devised formula to convert volume into weight to ensure that they earn a fair amount of freight charges for very light items, such as bags of light weight feathers which occupy lots of space.

Therefore, knowing factors such as the weight and volume are quite important in determining whether you should ship your cargo by air, sea or road in relation to cost.

Warehouse Facility

Ask if the company has good temporary storage or warehouse facilities in case you don’t have immediate arrangements to offload and ship them to your new premises, particularly in the event that you reach your destination later than your goods.

In some cases, when relocating to a new country, you may have to warehouse your cargo until you have found a suitable accommodation. Most companies have a stated time period in which no storage fees will accrue so make sure to ask your shipping company in advance.

Knowing the Jargon used by Shipping Companies

If you are thinking of moving, it would help to know some of the jargon used by the shipping companies.

While you are not expected to be an expert in the shipping of household goods, or vehicles, it will help to be familiar with (or at least aware of) some of the terms such as Accessorial Charges, Bill of Lading, Binding Estimate, Booker, Bulky Article, Carrier, Carrier Liability, Cash on Delivery (COD), Cartons, Consignee, Consignor, Containerization, Delivery Date, Demurrage, Inventory (INV), Storage-In-Transit, Tariff, containers, shipping container lengths, FTL/HTL and so on.

In all likelihood, a good international moving company will ensure that you are not bombarded with too much information and at the least clearly communicate what everything means. Afterall, your main priority would be to get settled in the new location and leave the relocation worries to the shipping company you’ve chosen.

10 Tips for Selecting an Overseas Moving Company

We’ve all heard of horror stories of friends not receiving their belongings on time and ships delivering too early or too late. With everything considered, you need to make an educated decision so we’ve made also made this list. Here are some tips for you when choosing a cargo shipping company to move your goods overseas.

Tip # 1: Registration and Licensing

An important factor is to make sure your overseas shipping company is fully compliant within the moving industry. The best way to find this out is to simply ask about their registration and licensing. A shipping company that is professional and reputable will be able to provide their NVOCC number with the Department of Maritime commission.

If it is a domestic shipping company functioning within the United States, the company must be registered with the states in which it delivers. Also, when choosing your moving company, make sure that there is a physical business address even if it seems rather obvious.

Check whether the mover is duly licensed or authorized by the Federal Department of Transportation, Public Utilities Commission, the Better Business Bureau or Bureau of Consumer Affairs’ equivalent departments.

Professional shipping companies are usually enrolled as members of state registered movers associations such as the American Moving & Storage Association.

They are usually associated with FIDI or RIM, which are some of the reputable associations that quality movers want to be affiliated with and tend to have a very good level of customer service.

Tip # 2:  Cargo Loading Services

There are a lot of different cargo loading services that each company offers. When choosing the best company to move your items, ask about the loading services offered. Slideshare.com offers many documents about cargo moving and lists three main types of loading services.

The first is known as warehouse loading. With this option the shipping company will pack and load your items into a container after you have packed them yourself and deliver them to the mover’s warehouse.

The second type of loading service is a live load. A container is dropped at your home or business address and you have a specific period of time, usually a few hours for a live load to pack all your belongings yourself before the container is sealed and returned to the port for loading on the vessel for sailing. This service is time bound and you aren’t usually given much time to pack.

The last loading option is a “drop and pull service” which can be more expensive but less stressful. The container is dropped off at your home and you are given a few days to load and pack your items. The shipping company of choice will come and pick up your container at a later date which you agree upon when booking.

Tip # 3: Variety of Container Size and Capacity

Depending on what you really want to ship and what you can leave behind will determine what size container will be needed for your mover. Most moving companies offer the usual container sizes of a 20ft or a 40ft shipping container.

Household goods and vehicles are usually shipped this way. If you have items that are perishable you may need a temperature controlled container. These are known as ‘reefers‘ in the industry.

For items such as rare or expensive paintings, rare furniture or antique pictures that may be affected by heat, you can invest in a reefer container which is refrigerated and will keep everything in perfect condition. But most personal effects moves, can be facilitated by using standard containers.

Tip # 4:  Cargo Tracking Tools

With technological advances, cargo tracking tools are available to customers readily. Whether you’re given an online code to see where your ship is in transit or you receive emails updating you on your item’s travels, you’ll want to ask about this tracking option.

Some cargo shipping companies may charge an additional fee for this service while others include it in the overall price. Ask lots of questions about the company’s form of tracking.

Tip # 5: The Overall Price

As touched upon earlier, some cargo shipping companies may offer one price for ocean freight and then list additional charges thereafter and this may seem that additional fees are being added on.

Always compare the overall price of the items shipped and ask about fees such as fuel, insurance, tracking etc. Hidden fees should be made available to you and you can ask for a breakdown of the overall price before you choose to use a company’s services.

Tip # 6:  Industrial Standards

There are industrial standards to be met when shipping items overseas. You want to make sure that your company adheres to laws and regulations stated by the government in which you are having your goods received.

It’s important that the freight forwarder you choose to pack, wrap and ship, has a network of professional agents around the globe who can handle the container when it arrives at its final destination.

They will be the ones who will unpack and deliver your goods to you new home. That’s a very important part of the process.

NOTE: We recommend that you ask for the shipping company’s overseas agents information, that way you can do your own research or contact them directly.

Tip # 7:  Safety Records

Your cargo will go with one of the major steamship lines, and for the most part, they are all long standing companies within the industry and have reliable vessels and operating procedures.

Ask your international moving company who they will use for shipping your goods. Have any of their ships encountered safety issues? You can go to a company’s website and see their safety certifications and others quite easily.

Tip # 8: Insurance

Although most shipping companies offer insurance on your goods from the beginning to the end of the voyage, it’s vital to ask this question. If something was to go wrong with the ship, you need to know that your items are covered.

Usually the main shipping companies cover the minimum insurance of $0.60 per pound. If you would like more insurance on your goods you can purchase supplemental insurance.

You can look around for the best insurance rates for your items and compare the companies. Your shipping cargo company may also suggest an insurance company it partners with or be able to offer you rates themselves.

Tip # 9: Holding Facilities Provided

We touched on this earlier but what if your goods arrive earlier than planned or later? Where will they end up and what is the charge? Asking this question can save you a lot of money and hassle.

It’s important to know that if your container arrives at the location earlier if you will have to pay for it to be held or if it’s worked into the overall price of the service. If there is a chance you may be late picking up your items also ask what the fee is and where you will pick them up at. If your items need to be refrigerated, ask if the holding facilities are capable to facilitate this. If your goods are heat susceptible ask about air conditioning and such.

Tip # 10:  Discounts

Last but not least, look for discounts when comparing cargo shipping companies. There are always promotions going on and sometimes it only takes asking for a deal to get one. Cargo shipping is a business and there’s always room for some negotiation.

If there is a specific company you would like to go with, ask for a matching deal. Comparing is a great consumer power and you are bound to end up paying less if you simply ask. You may also want to try different dates if you are flexible. Different weeks of travel may be lower in cost.

Key Questions to Ask Your Shipping Company

These questions overlap and go hand in hand with the tips above but they’re important nonetheless. If you are planning to work with an international shipping service, your lack of information on the logistics of both scenarios will probably leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed.

When you get to the point where you are ready to commit to using a particular international moving company, you should put together a list of questions to ask—that way you can feel even more confident about the job at hand.

Before you start making calls, use these questions as a potential starting point for your interview process.

Here are the questions you should ask your freight company:

Can the quoted rate change?

Many times a freight company will send a quote that is valid for 30 days. Your move date may be further down the line than that. The company may be unable to provide an exact rate until after the job is complete. It is important that you understand how much “wiggle room” there is in the quote so that you will not be surprised.

Are there any additional fees?

Some freight forwarding companies quotes are broken down into separate cost sections and may have “hidden” fees. Find out the total of any extra moving fees you will pay ahead of time so you can better budget for the whole move.

What form of payment do you accept?

This is especially important if you are working with someone overseas. What currency can you pay in and are there bank or credit card charges payable?

What else can I ship via the freight service I choose?

Some companies will allow you to ship certain items, but not others. Sometimes the requirements are put in place because of laws in the country of destination. It is important you understand what you can and cannot ship, so learn about the customs of the destination country.

Who will be handling your freight?

Will the moving service provider you contract handle the shipment from drop off until destination? It may be that the company works with other companies to handle some of the process. If this is the case, you may want to know this ahead of time.

How long will the shipping process take?

It may not be possible for the company to give you an exact handling and shipping time frame, but it is nice to have a good idea of how long it will take.

This will all depend on the origin port, the destination country and city and the frequency of the shipments to that destination. Discuss this in great detail with your international shipping expert who will advise you so you can prepare for the packing at origin and the unpack at the other end.

Is insurance included?

Will you need to purchase additional insurance to make certain you are protected in the case of damage or loss, or is this already included? If you are shipping anything of value, this is especially important. You should itemize all expensive items and precious belongings so they are listed on the insurance policy separately.

These are just a few of the questions you may want answers to before you sign a contract for your overseas moving service.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact the shipping experts at Schumacher Cargo.

Written by Damien Shields

Schumacher Cargo Ships an Exploratory Submarine

triton-underwater-submarineSo we’ve recently decided to embrace our exploration side and take to the open seas…well…not quite but almost. Here’s an up update on our recent endeavor!

Schumacher Cargo was among several companies contacted by a US based world class underwater exploration company to provide rates to ship two Triton 1000/2 submarines and containers with parts and accessories from Spain back to the USA.

Our very own import specialist Filip Michelet prepared a detailed programme for the logistical move and provided comprehensive quotations for airfreight, ocean freight FCL and ocean freight RORO services. Fortunately for us, Schumacher Cargo was selected as the top company both for pricing and customer service provided.

This was just the beginning, now the real work started. The private chartered vessel from the marine explorers had an engine failure in European waters and was berthed at the Barcelona Port.

We were requested to airfreight one of their highly sensitive Triton 1000/2 submarines as soon as possible back to the USA so it could take part in the next expedition already scheduled. We also organized the 2nd submersible to be loaded onto a MAFI and shipped via RORO service from Barcelona. Roll-on Roll-off is quite common when shipping boats and watercraft overseas.

Additionally we delivered a 40’ high cube container that was loaded full with parts and accessories. This all had to happen at very short notice.

loading-underwater-submarineThanks to the teamwork of Filip and the import department, we were able to organize and complete the arrangements flawlessly and in conjunction with our partners in Spain, AM Cargo.

The first Triton submersible has already cleared US Customs and has been delivered to our client all within the scheduled time frame. It will depart shortly on its next underwater exploration voyage.

This is another example of the various types of complex and challenging shipments that we handle on a regular basis. We hope you enjoyed the voyage and if any out of the ordinary shipments ever come up, you know who to call!

How to Ship a Car Overseas: Complete Guide with Tips!

car loading in 40ft containerThere have been a lot of quality guides out there explaining the overall process of how to ship a car overseas from the USA.

This article will cover some similar steps as well as a few additional suggestions that we propose based on our own experiences over the past 38 years shipping cars overseas, as well common questions and myths that have come up over the years.

So without further ado, let’s get started. Below is a quick navigation to each section.

  1. Research
    1. Research shipping companies
    2. Get an idea for basic costs
  2. Request and Compare Quotes
    1. Do you want vehicle shipping insurance?
  3. Determine your priorities…cost vs. time frame
    1. Choose which method is best for you
    2. Select your departure port
  4. Select a shipper and gather the paperwork
  5. Vehicle inspection and condition report
    1. Additional advice

First Step: Do Your Research

So one of the first steps in any purchasing decision is to do the research and when shipping a vehicle overseas, research is a very important step.

When we say do your research, there are a few things that need to be considered and we’ll explain how they should be done.

Company Research

The first things that you want to do is gather a list of international car transporters and shipping companies that you’re considering using.

Search in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. but also use sites like BBB.org, FMC.gov, review sites, as well as forums. Don’t forget to use friends or friends of friends for references either.

Look at each company’s credentials and certifications. See whether or not the company is licensed, insured and bonded. If a company is all of the above they won’t hide it.

shipping company licenses

The licenses will vary also by the type of company you deal with. For example, freight forwarders will have FMC licensing and some may also have a special license if they operate as an NVOCC.

All domestic transporters are required to have their DOT license and if the international shipping company has an in house domestic pickup department, ask for their DOT information.

Additionally, make sure to ask each and every company, no matter how trivial it may seem, whether they are fully insured and licensed and whether they use licensed and insured carriers/third party services.

Go a step further and ask for those companies names and conduct some research on them as well.

Tip: Do this before you go out and request a quote from tons of websites. Anyone working from a computer can email you a price that looks great but it could be from an unlicensed company, for an uninsured transporter or a broker that never actually handles your car.

Cost Research

If you’re wondering how to research the cost of shipping a car overseas without requesting a quote, you can check the actual websites for rates. Although, not all freight forwarders or transporters will disclose rate information online.

It’s important to note that the rates on their websites are usually for the ideal shipment (smallest size vehicle, to a popular destination, at their best rate).

Also, rates can change quite frequently with the rise of fuel costs and other surcharges so online prices may not be 100% up to date.

Another way to research shipping costs is by visiting a few forums and seeing what others paid to ship their cars overseas. The price that you’ll find will vary based on vehicle type, the company used, the shipping method used and their departure location. Make sure to look at the date of the response as some of the forums may contain responses from 5 or even 10 years ago.

So although you may not get an exact number using either of the two strategies it should give you a pretty nice ballpark figure, that way you have an idea of the budgetary requirements and determine whether it is worth it to ship your car.

Step 2: Request Quotes and Compare Them

When comparing quotes, obviously the first thing that we do is look at that dollar amount. We don’t always look to see exactly what it includes. So make sure to read through each quote you receive carefully…and we mean carefully.

There’s a lot more to it than simply the ocean freight costs. Below are some key points to look for and they can all have a direct impact on cost but need to be predetermined before booking with a company.

  1. The type of service quoted: Are you paying for a port to port, door to port or door to door service?
  2. The method used: Is it shipping via roll on roll off vs. ocean container? Is it in a shared container or sole 20ft?
  3. Inland transportation: This goes hand in hand with number one. Some companies quote with domestic transport included, others only include the ocean transport.
  4. Destination Fees: Note: There will always be destination fees at every port, no matter the destination. This also relates to number one. If you are paying for door to port or port to port, this handles everything on the exporting side including US customs clearance. Unloading, customs clearance at the destination and transport from the arrival port all vary by destination. Make sure to ask about this!

Ask About Insurance

Most of the time, international auto transporters will offer this to you either through their own in house program or through a company they work with. Once again, these numbers differ by carriers and providers.

The rates can vary between 1.5% of the value of the car to 2.5%. Make sure you understand exactly what the insurance covers and ask your company! Are you purchasing a policy for total loss or all risk? When does coverage start?

Just like any type of insurance, when shipping a car overseas, the insurance is there for peace of mind. You will almost never need it, but when you do you’ll be glad.

Step 3: Determine Your Cost vs. Time Trade Off

This consideration is really all about your shipping preferences. Do you want the car shipped asap or are you more concerned with getting the cheapest rate?

Most people are uninformed of how long the process can take and how much it varies based on the method you choose.

Determining Shipping Method

car-consolidationIf you are trying to determine how to ship a car overseas quickly, then the answer is simple. Book your own 20ft container, supply all the paperwork and pay the bill.

As soon as it gets into the hands of your shipper with the documentation, the company will clear US customs and it will be loaded on the next available vessel then shipped.

The trade off here is the cost so expect to pay hundreds of dollars more than you would for some the next methods.

The middle ground for time vs. cost could be considered roll on roll off. Your car will be driven into the hull or belly of a RORO vessel and then secured and braced. This method is slower than the one listed above but costs substantially less.

Three things to consider with this method are that these vessels often transship, meaning they don’t go directly to your final destination. So they can end up taking longer. This isn’t always the case.

The other problem is that it lacks the added protection and security that transporting a car in a container offers. So it will be open to the elements such as sea water, moisture, etc.

Lastly, using RORO, absolutely nothing is allowed inside the vehicle other than standard tire jack, spare tire, etc. So if you wanted to supply a small manifest and place items in the car, that’s out of the question with this method.

Note: This does not mean that cars are showered with ocean water, but cars do end up getting more exposure to the elements.

The last method is consolidated vehicle shipping. This is where your car is car is shipped in a container with other vehicles bound for the same final destination port. Not always, but it generally takes longer since the company must have other vehicles to fill the container before it  can be shipped overseas.

However, you get the added protection of a containerized shipment and you can save hundreds of dollars if not more than that.

Selecting a Departure Port

Now most of the time, the shipper you select to move your car overseas will give you their best rate from their closest departure port.

departure mapThey should also give you other options. So, for example let’s say you are shipping your ford truck to Australia and you live in New Jersey.

A company may have a location in New York and you may want to ship out of New York but they offer you a rate from the west coast in Los Angeles as well. At first it seems obvious that you’ll want to ship from the east coast, but there are two reasons it may be beneficial to move it to California first.

  1. West coast to Australia is a much quicker sail time and shorter distance meaning…the ocean freight will cost less.
  2. Most of the time there is a higher volume since Australia is a more common destination from the West coast.

*This type of scenario is more relevant to overseas consolidators but it is still useful when you’re trying to figure out how to ship a car overseas.

Step 4: Choose Your Shipper and Gather All the Paperwork

The first part is a result of the previous three steps and hopefully by this point you’ve already selected your shipper.

The next step is to gather all the paperwork that the company requires and send it to them as soon as possible to speed up the shipping process.

Most of the time the documentation is straightforward. Documents needed to ship a car include a:

  • Clear original title
  • Copy of bill of sale
  • Copy of your US Passport

*If you’re shipping via RORO, then we’ll only need copies and the originals can stay with the car.

There are additional forms or documentation that are required by particular ports or final destinations. We won’t list every single example because that list is exhaustive but we will list a few just to give you an idea.

Shipping a car out of Miami requires a special notarized power of attorney, whereas that’s not required in Los Angeles. New York sometimes requires proof of payment on vehicles newer than 2010.

If you want to move a vehicle to Australia, you absolutely must have an import approval prior to shipping. These are just a few examples but the sales reps are fully capable of answering these types of questions.

Step 5: Vehicle Inspection and Condition

When shipping any type of vehicle overseas, always do your own vehicle inspection report and take pictures. We recommend first servicing your car before handing it over as well as getting it washed.

auto inspection sheetThis way, you know for sure the running condition of the vehicle and it will be much easier to spot any exterior dings or damage that your car already has to include in your report.

Most overseas auto transporters will also do this as soon as the vehicle arrivals at their warehouse or office but two inspection reports are better than one.Additional Advice:

If your company does not have it’s own warehouse or office overseas at your final destination city they’ll most likely be working with their own partners or agents.

Make sure to ask for their agent’s information and contact them well ahead of time. They’ll be able to answer more destination oriented questions.

In the end, there are numerous details and things that may come up during this process but being more informed about it will help you out in the end.

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Questions When Moving Abroad

As an international moving service, we get asked hundreds of questions when moving abroad.

And although some of them can be answered with a simple yes or no, the majority of them are usually two or even three part answers depending on the clients’ needs and specifics of the move itself.

So, we’ve gathered some questions that we get asked frequently by those preparing for an international move so that anyone else trying to find out the same information won’t have to look far. Here’s a list of the four questions:

  1. How do I figure out the volume of my shipment or cubic footage?
  2. Can I pack on my own and do I need special boxes?
  3. What is included in the service?
  4. Will I need to pay duty tax on my goods?

Question #1: How do I figure out the volume of my shipment or cubic footage?

Assuming that you’ve already begun the initial research part of an international move, meaning you’ve looked at a few overseas relocation services and maybe even come across a few online moving quote forms, you most likely noticed that the size of the shipment is based on cubic volume/ft and not simple metrics like how many boxes you are shipping or the length of a couch.

Now, there is a mathematical way to find out the cubic volume so that you can determine the amount of furniture or household goods you actually want to move. But it is much easier nowadays and convenient to use an online tool to calculate the volume of a shipment. Some companies have an estimation tool built right into their quote forms.

Another way to get this information is simply to call one of the company’s specialists. If they are good at what they do, then they will be able to give you a pretty accurate figure over the phone.

Question # 2: Can I pack on my own and do I need special boxes?

The answer to this question when moving abroad is really a matter of preference and it will lead into question #3, but in almost every case, international shipping and moving companies give customers the choice to pack themselves and box everything up.

We always recommend that items be professionally packed since goods have a long ways to go whether you are using ocean freight or air freight.

If you elect to pack on your own, you’ll have the option to: a) have a shipping container delivered to your residence which will be picked up after you’ve loaded everything b) have the items wrapped, packed and picked up by local team of movers and then transported to your moving companies nearest location c) deliver your cargo yourself to the warehouse of the company you are using to move overseas.

The last two options are usually the case if you are located within reasonable distance of your mover.

Addressing the second part of your question, you don’t actually need to have special boxes; however it’s highly recommended to use sturdier corrugated boxes.

At the least, we always tell clients that if they are going to pack themselves to use new boxes, as already used/older ones can be worn down and make the contents more susceptible to damage.

It is also important that if you decide to pack furniture, that you take the necessary steps in terms of wrapping and protection.

Questions #3: What is included in the service?

Having this questioned answered by the relocation company either during the consultation process or after you’ve received an online quote is absolutely vital because you could end up getting a great rate and then getting the short end of the stick.

Our international moving quotes include a breakdown of everything covered in the service you’ve selected so that nothing is left unaddressed. It’s important to find out exactly what the breakdown entails and what you are paying for.

For instance, there are a few different service options that we offer, and are common among other established forwarders. Here are some of the common services you may come across:

  1. Door to Door: The least stressful and most straightforward way to move your household, as your household items are picked up from your home in the USA and delivered to your new home in the UK for example.
  2. Door to Port: As the name entails, the service only covers your move up until the point where the shipment arrives at the port of entry. For someone that wants to pick up their items overseas, this is an option to consider.

There are more types, but these are the two most common and the services really depend on your preference in terms of convenience and cost.

Questions #4: Will I need to pay duty tax on my goods?

This last question greatly depends on the following criteria of your move overseas:

  • Final destination
  • Status of residence
  • Types of goods and the condition
  • Duration of ownership prior to shipping

Since each and every country has different customs regulations, banned goods/commodities, quarantine requirements and classifications, the best way to get the most accurate information is to find your destination country’s government website or customs website. However some sites won’t have an English version and the next best thing to do would be to speak with an international relocation specialist.

Europe is a really good example to use for this particular question. As the EU is an economic union, the member countries generally share a commonality when it comes to household goods moves and import duties.

Although it doesn’t apply to every case, in Europe or around the globe, if the items you are shipping as part of your international move are used, you have owned them for six months and have lived in your country of origin for more than a year; you’ll be able to import them without having to pay a duty tax.

Once again, this isn’t something that applies 100% of the time to 100% of the countries overseas, but it should give you a good understanding of what to expect.

If you do happen to be preparing for an upcoming move overseas and would like to find out what it’s going to costs or just have specific questions, you can contact us online or use our form to request a free international moving quote.

Written by Martyn Cohen

The Cost of Living in Spain

Written by Damien Shields

Spain has long held the interests of Americans looking for an expat adventure. From Hemmingway’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War to many students studying abroad in Madrid to the world renowned El Bulli restaurant’s influence on many of our top chefs, Spain just holds a certain kind of magic for Americans. And with their relatively low cost of living, you can experience that magic of moving to Spain yourself.

With the glaring exception of Madrid, a couple can expect to get by in Spain for around $20,000 per year and with a little money in the budget for going out and experiencing Spain’s world famous cuisine. Let’s take a look at how the prices break down.


Again, excluding Madrid, rent in Spain is very affordable. Two-bedroom apartments can be found for as cheap as $850/month and it’s not entirely unreasonable that you could get a three-bedroom house for as low as $1600/month; which is great if you plan on bringing or having kids. Utilities average around 116 Euros but still makes it cheaper than many American cities.

Dining Out:

Let’s be honest, you’re not moving all the way around the world to prepare all your meals at home. Part of the experience of going abroad is tasting the local flare as only they can make it. Luckily, doing so won’t break the bank. Mid-tier dining for two, including wine, can be found for $20-$40. You can save extra money by buying the daily specials, called menu del dia. 


Because every meal shouldn’t be taken at a restaurant if you want to live affordably, you’re going to have to buy some groceries. Again, the prices here are not too steep either. You can expect to pay about $70-$80 per week on groceries and keep in mind that the food you’ll be getting is extremely fresh and mostly organic.


Getting around in Spain is another affordable perk. Local public transit costs less than $3 dollars for a one-way ticket. Gasoline, however, is a little more expensive than in America, close to $5 per gallon when converted as they measure in liters. Luckily, as with most European cities, cars are not necessary to get around.