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In this blog post, we address some of the common questions we hear from customers about the topic of containerized auto transport, or shipping a car inside a container. While it’s not the most common method of auto transport, use of a shipping container is still used from time to time, especially for overseas and international transport.
A shipping container, sometimes called an intermodal container, is a large, rectangular steel box that is used in the cargo transport industry. The term “intermodal” refers to the fact that the shipping containers can be moved from one type of transport to another: they can be moved by ship, rail, truck, or plane.
A car shipping container is specially designed to keep the vehicle secured during the transport process. Because car shipping containers can be moved from one mode of transport to another over the course of a long trip, it’s essential that the vehicle be firmly held in place and protected during shipping (see the “How Does It Work?” section below for more on this.)
A-1 Auto Transport ships all types of vehicles worldwide. Click Here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a FREE, no obligation price quote to ship your car to any destination around the world!
Container car shipping is most frequently used for international and overseas auto transport. When overland shipping isn’t an option, transport by boat is really the only logical choice, unless you plan to spend a significant amount on air freight. Part of the reason that container shipping is a popular choice for international auto transport is that you can also ship personal belongings along with your vehicle. This aspect of containerized transport has some obvious benefits if you’re making a permanent or long-term move to another country. Standard modes of auto shipping require that personal items be removed from the car.
Shipping a car to another country? Use this map of the world’s sea ports to find the most convenient port location for where your vehicle is headed.
The other option for car shipping by boat is a method called “roll on, roll off,” or RORO auto transport. This entails the vehicle being driven into a holding area under the ship, where it is then secured and delivered before being driven off the boat at the shipping port. For more information about RORO car shipping, you can read our informational page here.
After choosing a company to work with and arranging the transport dates, they will pick up your car for transport to the nearest shipping port where it will be loaded into a car shipping container. During this process, the battery is disconnected and the vehicle is secured using industrial strength tie downs and blocking to keep it place. If you don’t need the full use of a 20’ or 40’ container, ask about a discount for a “Less than Container Load,” which allows the shipper to combine smaller shipments into one container at a reduced cost.
Shipping a car in a container does mean there are some limits to the space available, though it remains an option for most vehicle types. Car shipping containers are roughly 8 feet wide and 8 feet high, which means there’s plenty of space for most standard sized cars and trucks. Containers are either 20 feet or 40 feet long (car shipping containers are often the smaller of the two), which makes it easy to move multiple cars at once, if needed. An added benefit or using a container for overseas shipping is that personal items can be stored along with the vehicle since there is ample room.
Have other questions about containerized car shipping? Feel free to send us an email with your request or give us a call at 1-800-518-8708!
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!
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