Chasing the Endless Summer on Your Motorcycle


The Endless Summer was a 1966 surf documentary focusing on two surfers determined to follow the sun around the globe and essentially live a life of an endless summer. What if you could do the same on your motorcycle? We’ve compiled five must-ride destinations around the globe and things to do in the area you’re riding. Of course, the summer months vary across the globe, so take your time riding in one place before heading to the next destination. We’ve also included optional destinations that are on the way, but didn’t necessarily make our top 5.

Stop 1: Pacific Coast Highway, California
Head back home to the United States and discover the beautiful West Coast via the Pacific Coast Highway. Along the way you’ll see redwood forests, surf towns with seals on the beaches, and a certain famous bridge. Be aware of sharp turns, steep cliffs, and narrow shoulders. The PCH stretches the 123 miles from Monterey Bay to Morro Bay (you’ll recognize the Marine Life Institute, featured in Finding Dory).
Area tour company: EagleRider Motorcycle Rental & Tours
Summer months for California: June, July, August

Optional via destination: Blue Ridge Parkway- Ride across the United States towards the Blue Ridge Parkway and see an incredible amount of the country. Choose between Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, or North Carolina, or do all four! Discover the charm and history of the East Coast before jetting off to Europe.

Stop 2: European Alps
The Alps, Europe’s #1 mountain range, spans across eight countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Picturesque mountains, lakes, and valleys surround quaint villages with one-of-a-kind Alpine culture. Switchbacks are commonly found in the roadways.
Area tour company: Edelweiss Bike Travel
Summer months for the Alps: June, July, August

Stop 3: Pyrenees Loop, France and Spain
After your Alpine ride, head southwest for a short ways and hit the Pyrenees Loop, located in France and Spain. In fact, the Pyrenees offers a lot of the same feeling as the Alps, just with less traffic. European bikers know and love this route with its awe-inspiring scenery and hairpin turns.
Area tour company: Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours
Summer months for the Pyrenees: June, July, August

Optional via destination: Cueta to Marrakesh, Morocco- This 1,600 mile ride offers sights such as kasbahs, the Sahara desert, mountains, bazaars, the Atlantic coast, and the famous Casablanca. The best times to visit Morocco is April to early June, and September to November. Opting for the latter months to visit is a perfect fit between the Pyrenees and our next location.

Stop 4: Cape Town Circuit, South Africa
This loop, 1,050 miles (1,690 miles), departs from and arrives in Cape Town, South Africa. It can be completed in a two-week journey through the Olifantskip Pass and Addo National Park (think elephants and other big game animals). Route 62 takes you across the Great Karoo and the Little Karoo Mountains and back to Cape Town. Be sure to stop in Oudtshoorn, the “ostrich capital of the world,” and Robertson for some wine tasting.
Area tour company: Motorcycle Tours South Africa
Summer months for South Africa: mid-October to mid-February

Stop 5: The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Only 180 miles (290 km) long, this ride is a one-day adventure on the southern tip of Australia. Traveling from Melbourne to Petersbrough, you can take your time to stop along the coastal towns for a break to shop, eat, and sightsee. Stop by the Grampians National Park, and keep an eye out for those adorable koalas! Be independent on a self-guided tour or travel with a tour company.
Area tour company: BikeRound OZ
Summer months for Australia: December, January, February (note: summer in Australia is no joke. If you’re worried about the heat, look into visiting during the transition seasons: September-November, and March-May.)

Optional via destination: Hana Highway, Hawaii- This 60-mile highway is located on the north end of Maui, keeping the small town of Hana reachable to the rest of the Hawaiian civilization. Mountains on the east side, the Pacific Ocean on the west, and waterfalls in between. This stop in Hawaii is the perfect break between Australia and your return back to the United States.

Schumacher Can Get You There!

So you’re hooked and wanting to do this ride, but how do you get your motorcycle across the globe? Schumacher Cargo Logistics ships to and from all of these locations, so we are prepared to handle your bike properly and securely while you travel between destinations.

Australia’s Fumigation Requirement – What it Means for Shippers 2016/2017

Kangaroos-Maersk-line

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 2016 through end of April 2017, will have to be fumigated within 72 hours 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 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is Waiting for You

Tunnel View of Mt. Rushmore

The #1 must-do for any North American motorcyclist is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held annually every first week of August in Sturgis, South Dakota. The 2016 rally will be the 76th rally, held August 8-14. Located on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest and just northwest of Rapid City, the rally offers a chance to connect with other riders, get a taste of the American West, and fulfill the dream of being part of a motorcycle gang. Vendors will set up shop along Sturgis’ Main Street and show off their inventory of gear, bikes, and other motorcycling necessities. The rally also hosts races, bike shows, and concerts from A-List musicians.

Things To Do

There are plenty of group rides available on the Sturgis Rally website, or the lone traveler can ride highways like Iron Mountain Road, Vanocker Canyon Road, the Wildlife Loop, and Spearfish Canyon. Nearby sightseeing includes Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and Devils Tower in nearby Wyoming.

Some top things to do are:

  • 14th Annual Sturgis Mayor’s Ride: Limited space available, so book fast! The Sturgis mayor hosts this annual ride on the first day of the rally, and all proceeds benefit the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department. The actual ride takes you to the best of the Black Hills, stopping for lunch at Custer State Park.
  • Badlands National Park: get a glimpse of Mars without actually visiting another planet. The Badlands offer other-worldly landscapes of buttes and valleys, deeming it a “bad” place for the pioneers to travel through with their wagons.
  • Sturgis Bar Scene: Sure, riding is what you want to do during the day, but what can you do once the sun goes down? Downtown Sturgis is home to plenty of saloons, bars, and pubs to give you a good time. Join the annual Sturgis Mayor’s Pub Crawl, or plan your own through Iron Horse Saloon, Knuckles Saloon, and Broken Spoke Saloon.
  • Needles Highway: If you love the excitement and adrenaline of twisting roads and narrow passes, the Needles Highway is a must. The towering granite spires lining the highway give it its name, and the highway lies in Custer State Park, offering a chance to visit another incredible South Dakota must-see.

Where To Stay

Hotels, campgrounds, and other 300+ vacation rentals are available for lodging. Find your home away from home here. Learn More

Don’t Wait Too Long!

The 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is only weeks away, so start planning your trip now! Schumacher Cargo Logistics is prepared to get your bike there safely.

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.

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.

navistar-lonestar-truck

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……..

Specifications

  • —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

navistar-loading
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.

covering-wheels
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

Choosing an International Moving Company

Tips to help you find the right international moving company

Image of family that completed their overseas move

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

You will be better off taking the time to carefully do some research – 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 choices 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 comparing overseas movers, which this article covers.

To skip ahead to later sections including our tips for how to choose an international moving 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 international 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 door to door service? Is that clearly stated in the quotation?

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.

Sometimes, companies will low ball with their initial quotations and not include a true door to door service. When this happens, clients arrive overseas to find hundreds if not thousands of additional charges. The best way to avoid this is to ask a few questions:

  1. Are terminal/port charges included? They are also referred to as DTHC – Destination Terminal Handling Charges
  2. Is packing and unpacking included?
  3. Do the shipping costs address stairs/floors for the delivery team?

Also, an international mover 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.

Who Determines My Shipping Cost?

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 with air freight, it is 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 move your belongings 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.

Is it company owned or owned by a third party? Are the premises fully insured and bonded?

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 moving company in advance.

Knowing the Jargon used by Relocation 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.

After all, your main priority would be to get settled in the new home and leave the relocation worries to the company you’ve chosen.

8 Questions to Ask an International Moving 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 moving 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 service provider, 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.

Are they Properly Licensed and Insured?

This is one of the most important considerations when choosing an international moving company.

Simply ask if the company is insured and bonded. Look on their website for licensing and membership information.

The licenses you want to see from an international mover include:

  1. FMC – Federal Maritime Commission
  2. FIDI – Is perhaps the most prestigious accreditation an international moving service can have.
  3. AMSA – American Moving and Storage Association
  4. IAM – International Association of Movers
  5. DOT – Department of Transportation
  6. OTI – Ocean Transport Intermediary
  7. NVOCC – Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier

Can the quoted rate change?

Many times a moving 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.

Some things that may affect the quoted amount: Actual volume vs surveyed volume, price of fuel(lowers ocean transport costs), changes to delivery/pickup address.

Are there any additional fees?

Some international moving 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.

As mentioned above, make sure to discuss destination terminal handling charges and additional packing fees.

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 Relocation 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 containerA Complete Car Shipping Guide With Tips

Do you need to ship your car or truck but feel slightly overwhelmed? Our complete guide on how to ship a car overseas breaks down the process.

Except for a handful of destinations, the process is straightforward so don’t worry.

We’ve also included a few additional suggestions that we propose based on our own experiences over the past 39 years shipping cars internationally, as well common questions and myths that have come up over the years.

If you are shipping a much larger vehicle, like an RV or motor home, visit our resource on RV shipping preparation.

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

Step 1: 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.

Most people searching for how to ship a car overseas rarely consider the entire process and all parties involved.

Cost Research

If you want to determine how much it cost to ship 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 for international car shipping. 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 can 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 on How to Ship a Car Overseas

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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