How to Ship A Shipping Container

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How to Ship A Shipping Container
How to Ship A Shipping Container

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.

Advantages of Using a Shipping Container

What are the advantages of using a shipping container to transport your goods compared to other methods? Here are a few reasons why:

Additional Security

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.

Convenient Loading and Unloading

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. 

How to Ship a Shipping Container

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.

1

Find a Suitable Shipping Company

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.

What Should You Look For In A Shipping Company?

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.


2

Choose Your Shipping Method

Choose Your Shipping Method

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.

 


3

Pick Up The Container From The Port

Pick Up The Container From The Port

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.


4

Shipping Container FAQs

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:

  • Furniture
  • Household goods
  • Building materials
  • Merchandize in bulk
  • Machinery
  • Vehicles

What Items Are Not Allowed in a Shipping Container?

These items are not allowed inside a shipping container:

  • Batteries
  • Aerosols
  • Chemical household cleaners
  • Fireworks
  • Guns
  • Ammunition
  • Nail polish/nail polish remover
  • Animals
  • Plants

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?

  • Modes of transportation involved (trucks, ships, planes, etc.)
  • Whether the shipment is FTL or LTL (LTL is shared)
  • The size of the shipping container
  • Total shipping mileage
  • Extra fees (security fees, customs, etc.)
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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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