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A Comprehensive Guide to Car Shipping Containers

If you’re considering moving your car, there are a few different shipping methods available, but it can be hard to know which is best. However, a method of auto transport that offers several advantages is shipping your vehicle in a container.

Shipping containers are a standout choice for transporting your vehicle over considerable distances. They offer security, dependability, and a reasonable price point. This comprehensive guide will explore car shipping containers in more detail.

How Does Container Shipping Work?

Car shipping or vehicle storage containers are large vessels specifically designed for vehicle transportation. Once these vehicle storage containers are packed, they are commonly loaded onto either trucks or ships, all set for the journey to their designated destination. Built to withstand extensive voyages, car shipping containers safeguard vehicles from external elements, road-induced vibrations, and potential hazards. Thanks to their sturdy composition, often with fortified steel frames, vehicles remain secure throughout their journey.

When it comes to car storage, car shipping containers also offer a practical alternative to traditional garages. Shipping container garages provide secure, weather-resistant storage on level ground, ensuring the safety of your vehicle. They can create room not only for your vehicle but also an extra space for your personal items and household goods. This practical approach offers a cost-efficient means to declutter your residence.

How to Ship a Car with a Container

So, what is the process involved in shipping your car via a shipping container?

Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Selection and Booking

The journey begins with the selection of a suitable car storage and shipping container service. Research reputable companies that specialize in car container shipping. When you ship a car, compare prices, services, and customer reviews to make an informed decision. Once you’ve made your choice, book your shipment well in advance to secure your spot and ensure a smooth shipping process.

Step 2: Vehicle Inspection and Preparation

Before your car embarks on its shipping container journey, a thorough inspection is imperative. Note down any existing damages, dents, and scratches. This inspection serves as a reference point to assess the condition of your vehicle upon arrival. Next, prepare your vehicle for shipping. Remove any personal items, secure loose items, and ensure the fuel tank is only partially filled to minimize weight.

Step 3: Loading the Vehicle

Loading your vehicle into the shipping container demands precision and care. Utilizing a specialized racking system, your car is gently positioned within the customized cargo container. This system prevents movement during transit, ensuring your vehicle remains securely in place. This step is crucial to ensure your vehicle is safely loaded and to prevent any potential damage while the shipping container is in motion.

Step 4: Securing the Vehicle

Safety is paramount when shipping a car within a container. Ratchet straps and other safety equipment are employed to secure your vehicle firmly within the shipping container. These precautions safeguard against any unexpected shifts or jolts during the journey, providing peace of mind.

Step 5: Container Sealing

As your vehicle takes its position within the shipping container, the doors are sealed tightly, akin to locking your car within a protective shield. This sealing ensures that your vehicle remains sheltered from external elements, road debris, and environmental factors that might otherwise affect it during transit.

Step 6: Transit and Tracking

Once the car shipping container is sealed and ready, it’s time for the real journey to commence. The container, with your precious vehicle nestled inside, embarks on its voyage via trucks, ships, or other modes of transportation. Many container shipping services offer tracking options, allowing you to monitor the progress of your vehicle’s journey in real-time.

Step 7: Arrival and Unloading

Once your car reaches its destination port, the car shipping container is carefully opened. Skilled professionals employ ramps, lifts, and precision equipment to make sure your car is safely unloaded from the container, ensuring that the journey’s end is as smooth as its beginning.

Step 8: Post-Transport Inspection

As your car emerges from its container, you should conduct a thorough post-transport inspection to verify its condition. Compare its state to the notes you made before shipping, ensuring that any discrepancies are documented.

How Much Do Car Shipping Containers Cost?

When you’re talking about shipping cars, especially to other countries, you need to think about how much it costs. Car container shipping is often considered the most expensive shipping method, with costs typically ranging from approximately $1,000 to $4,500, excluding additional fees. These costs will vary depending on the car transport company that you choose.

The cost of car shipping containers and ocean freight is dependent on various different factors:

  1. Container Sharing: A shipping container can hold one or two vehicles depending on how it is outfitted. With shared containers, more vehicles can be loaded onto a ship, truck, or railway using fewer containers, making it more cost-effective. Using a car container for a single vehicle will result in higher shipping costs.
  2. Vehicle Size: The size of your vehicle also factors into the equation. Compact cars may attract a lower fee due to their space efficiency, while larger vehicles like trucks or SUVs could incur higher charges.
  3. Vehicle Type: The nature of your vehicle affects car shipping insurance costs too. Classic or exotic cars, owing to their higher value, command a more substantial insurance premium to ensure comprehensive coverage.
  4. Shipping Distance/Time: The distance and duration of transport will also impact upon costing. Long distances and extended transport times contribute to escalated expenses. Shipping domestically often proves more economical than shipping overseas. However, overland transport by truck or rail is generally cheaper but might entail longer transit times. Urgent transport demands might also incur additional charges
  5. Time of Year: Seasonal fluctuations can impact pricing, with cars shipped during high-demand periods like summer and holiday seasons potentially incurring higher rates. Planning shipments during off-peak times might yield more budget-friendly options.
  6. Additional Charges: Beyond the basic shipping fees, there are several factors that may contribute to extra costs. These may include a low sulphur fuel surcharge, bunker adjustment fees, ocean freight expenses, terminal handling charges, and security fees.

You should gather quotes from multiple car transport companies and scrutinize their offerings before making a decision.

What are the Advantages of Car Shipping Containers?

Container car shipping, though not always the cheapest option, offers distinct advantages:

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Container car shipping often includes broader and more comprehensive insurance coverage due to reduced handling risks, protection from elements, lower incident rates, advanced tracking technology, and adherence to strict regulations. These factors collectively contribute to a lower risk profile, making container shipping a safer option for insurers to provide coverage.

Exclusive Container Use

Choosing container shipping to ship your car overseas comes with an option for your car to have the entire container to itself. Also, car shipping containers are usually equipped with a lock box, which provides a secure environment to safeguard your vehicle and belongings during transit.

No sharing, no scratches – just a secure, personalized ride, keeping your vehicle safe throughout the process.

Designed to Endure

Built tough using materials such as steel or aluminum, car shipping containers are made to be highly durable. Rain, rough roads, salty air – your vehicle stays shielded, making the journey uneventful, regardless of challenges.

Savings for the Long Run

Though the initial cost might seem more, car shipping containers pay off in the long run. The protection they provide avoids hefty repair bills, turning that upfront investment into a wise decision.

Flexibility for Your Needs

Car shipping containers are flexible and tailored to you. Whether it’s a single car or more than one vehicle, these vehicle storage containers fit your needs.

How Many Cars Can Fit in a Car Shipping Container?

The number of cars that can fit in a car storage container depends on factors like container size, car dimensions, loading orientation and stacking, and adherence to safety requirements. Compact cars allow for greater capacity than larger vehicles. Careful planning and attention to safety are crucial for efficient and secure car transportation within shipping containers.

What Type of Vehicles Can Be Shipped in a Container?

Many different types of vehicles, ranging from standard cars and motorcycles to larger ones like SUVs, trucks, and even boats, can be shipped via an auto transport container. It’s not just about size, as the adaptable nature of car storage containers allows for creative solutions. You could also consider using a car shipping container to transport your luxury or classic car, and even ATVs can also fit inside.

What Are Alternative Options to Container Car Shipping?

When considering your options, there are plenty of alternatives to car storage containers. One common method is the Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) service, where vehicles are driven onto and off special transport vessels. While RoRo shipping is an efficient and cost-effective method to ship cars, it might not be as secure as using shipping containers.

Flatbed or open car carriers are another option to have your vehicle shipped. These choices are ideal for short-distance moves. Air freight is yet another choice to get your vehicle moved, but it can be pricey.

Your choice will ultimately depend on your specific requirements, budget, and the type of vehicle you’re moving. Each method has its pros and cons, offering flexibility for your unique car shipping needs.

CFR Classic: Your Global Leader in Containerized Shipping Solutions

CFR Classic stands out as a global leader in containerized car shipping. With a remarkable record of transporting over 1,500 classic cars and other vehicles across borders every month, CFR Classic is trusted by industry giants for dependable and secure auto transport shipping.

Introducing a groundbreaking approach, CFR revolutionized car stacking within car storage containers with its innovative R-Rak loading system. Unlike traditional wooden blocks, the steel R-Rak system ensures safer, eco-friendly, and faster loading of three, four, or even five cars per enclosed container. Embracing efficiency and sustainability, CFR Classic continues to shape the future of containerized auto shipping.

One of the core advantages of choosing CFR Classic is our dedication to competitive pricing. With our containerized shipping service, you not only receive top-notch protection for your vehicles but also enjoy cost-effective solutions that align with your budget.

Contact us today to experience the future of car shipping and explore how we can meet your unique shipping needs.

Joey has spent his entire teen and adult life in cars. Joey's father owned a Jeep store, and Joey had his own used car lot that he ran himself from age 22 until I was 30. At 30 years old, Joey got "out of" the car business and joined CFR Rinkens. Joey started when there were only 9 people at CFR, but the company grew to over 150 employees during his time there. When Joey started, CFR Rinkens was shipping about 40 vehicles per week from Los Angeles. Joey established locations in Houston, Miami, and New York and within the first year, CFR went to shipping 150 cars per week. Joey started as a customer service rep and later moved up to sales manager, operations manager, and marketing manager. Joey then moved to Europe for two years and spent the entire time traveling through Europe meeting with clients. In 2022, Joey and his partners purchased CFR Classic from CFR Rinkens and he returned to California to watch over the operation more closely.

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