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Transporting goods across land, sea, and air has become more streamlined and affordable. Customers even have several options to choose from if they want to ship their goods from one location to another. One popular option for long-distance and international transport is shipping containers.
Shipping containers have long been used by businesses to transport goods in bulk, and now even individuals can use shipping containers to transport personal items such as furniture and goods. If you need to ship your goods to another location and want to try out shipping containers, here are some of the basics you need to know.
What are the advantages of using a shipping container to transport your goods compared to other methods? Here are a few reasons why:
Traditionally, goods are transported using trucks explicitly designed to transport freight. However, your vehicle will share the space. Although precautions are taken to prevent damage, there are situations where your items might get scratches, especially for long-distance moves.
Shipping containers can double as a secure room for your items, which will protect it from rain, snow, dirt, thieves and more. Since your items are enclosed inside the shipping container, it will be protected from contact with other goods or poor handling during loading and unloading. Also, if the shipping container is owned or rented by you exclusively, you don’t have to share it with other goods.
Shipping containers are the best option for overseas vehicle and household goods shipping, especially when several modes of transportation are involved. The shipping container can be loaded and unloaded quickly from a truck to a ship and vice versa.
Transporting goods via a shipping container is now more accessible and affordable for all. If you want your goods safely transported from point A to point B, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
When looking for a company to manage your shipping container transport, you can either go with a freight shipping company or a vehicle transport company. Vehicle transport companies are usually experienced when transporting goods through land, sea, and air, although some companies transport their goods through other methods aside from shipping containers.
Freight shipping companies are not targeted towards goods, but they have experience with handling large shipments and are usually more comfortable with transporting shipping containers.
If you want to make the process of transporting your shipping containers easier, you need to do your research and pick the best shipping company. Usually, people look at shipping costs and simply go for the cheapest one, only to find later that their service quality is subpar. Here are some things to keep in mind and looking for shipping companies:
Do they offer complete shipping services?
Some companies will take your shipping container from point A to point B, but they don’t have their own shipping containers, so you have to get them from another provider. If you want a hassle-free shipping experience, it’s better to get a shipping company that will provide all the services you need for the move.
The more companies that you have to deal with, the more complicated the process becomes. If the shipping company doesn’t lease their own shipping containers, they should at least connect you to a shipping container provider that they’ve worked within the past.
Do they offer full insurance?
Shipping goods is no joke. Although shipping containers offer more protection for their contents compared to other forms of storage, you should still protect your assets as much as you can. Ask the provider if they offer several tiers of insurance and go for the one that gives you the most protection.
Are they consistent at updating customers?
The biggest problem with shipping something overseas is dead silence. You worry about your shipping container, and you have no idea where it is. Is it still at sea? Is it stuck at customs? Some shipping companies offer automated text messages which keep their customers informed about where their cargo is.
Are they experienced at this type of service?
Shipping companies offer several types of shipping services, so they’re bound to be more experienced at some over others. When looking for a suitable provider, ask them if they have experience transporting goods via shipping containers.
Does their Area of Service cover your destination?
Transporting your shipping container will be more secure and hassle-free if the destination port is also serviced by the provider you’re getting. Suppose they have physical facilities such as storage facilities or a branch office, then all the better.
If you want to use a shipping container to transport your vehicle, you have to decide if you want to rent your own or if you want to get a shared container. Shared containers are cheaper, but it means that you are only renting space inside the container, and you have no control over what else is placed in the container together with your vehicle.
If you have the budget for it, renting your own container is the best option because there’s less risk of damage to your vehicle. Also, you can choose to load other items in the container together with your vehicle.
With shared containers, loading and travel times are out of your control because you have to wait for the container to fill up before it is loaded and transported. If you’re pressed for time and have a shipment schedule to follow, a private rented shipping container is better.
If you are a vehicle dealer, it’s better to purchase your own shipping container. It is an excellent investment for vehicle dealers because you will need to ship several goods regularly.
If you’re working with a logistics partner that offers various modes of transportation, you don’t have to worry about your shipping container. Once your shipping container reaches the other port, your provider will most likely have a truck on hand to pick it up and take it to the destination. If you are also traveling overseas, you can unload your vehicle from the shipping container at the port if you want to so you can start driving it.
If you are transporting a vehicle via shipping container to a buyer overseas, what happens once the shipping container reaches the other port depends on your agreement with the buyer. Logistics providers could have a truck ready at the other port to carry the shipping container to your buyer if they opted for door-to-door delivery. The buyer may also choose to pick up the container from the other port themselves.
What Can I Ship Using A Shipping Container?
If you want to make the most of your shipping container transport, there are several items you can ship in a container:
What Items Are Not Allowed in a Shipping Container?
These items are not allowed inside a shipping container:
How much does it cost to transport a shipping container by land?
The cost of transporting a shipping container locally via a truck is around $2-3 per mile. From experience, the average cost of transporting shipping containers by land is $300 to $500.
How much does it cost to transport shipping containers overseas?
The average cost of transporting shipping containers overseas is $2,000-$3,000. The price can go up or down, depending on several factors.
What factors affect the cost of transporting a shipping container?
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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