How to Ship RV to Europe?
To ship RV to Europe, you may choose from several options. Most pick the RoRo method, through which you must drive your RV up and down a ramp to get it onboard the vessel that will transport it. For this method to be viable, your RV must be functional.
Another way to ship your RV is using a flat rack container. Like a flatbed truck, the RV is placed on a rack which is then stacked on top of others on the ship. Each rack can carry 88.000 pounds.
When you ship RV to Europe, getting it to the port or warehouse is usually done on land. You can either drive the RV to the pickup dock or get a company to drive it for you. You can also tow the RV or hire an auto transport company to carry it to the port.
If you decide to hire an auto transport company, first ask for their MC (motor carrier) and DOT (United States Department of Transportation), to make sure they are licensed and operating their business legally. These numbers can also be used to verify various information about the company, including its safety records using the safersys website.
If the company gives you a far lower quote than normal, they may ask you to pay hidden fees later on, or they may not have insurance.
All United States auto transport companies must have insurance to legally ship RV to Europe. Before using their services, ask for the company’s insurance policy and familiarize yourself with the shipping process.
The driver will verify your RV’s condition, note any damages in an inventory, ask you to sign it, and only then pick it up. You should receive a copy on this inventory, with which you can verify your RV’s condition when it arrives at its destination. If there are any additional damages, you may file a claim.
If the damage was caused by the automobile’s poor preparation for transport, the auto shipping company will not take responsibility.
Before taking any actions on your own, you should consult first with your carrier. He may ask you to do the following:
- Take out any personal or loose items from your RV, so it doesn’t move around and damage the interior during transit;
- Close the windows and doors;
- Electrical equipment should be unplugged, unless it is necessary for the transport;
- Inflate your tires, and make sure the wheels are not damaged;
- The hitch and tow bar must be in working order, latched and installed;
- The signal lights must be functional (breaks, indicator lights, turn signals and headlights);
- Copy your keys and give a set to the carrier along with a set of instructions he may need, if applicable.
It is important to consider how you will transport your RV. Depending on your budget, the RV’s value, and the speed at which you want it delivered, you may choose to transport it by sea, air, road, rail or a combination of these methods.
Here are some details for each type, so you may make a better decision on how to ship RV to Europe:
90% of worldwide trading is done on the sea, and for good reasons. Due to volume or size, certain cargo cannot be transported by air or by other methods. Shipping by ship is one of the cheapest ways to transport your belongings and automobile, the only downside being the longer travel time. Weight and size create serious complications when transporting by air, but with ocean freight, this is no longer a problem.
Besides vehicles and boats, you can even transport propellers, engines, ore, iron, coal, metals, and pretty much anything else using sea freight. Also, since companies are trying their best to reduce pollution, ocean freight’s popularity has risen even more.
Ocean freight benefits are as follows:
- Best for all kinds of items which don’t need to be delivered fast;
- Big volumes. Just one container ship can transport around 20.000 TEU;
- The most eco-friendly option out of all those available;
- Available throughout the world;
- Can be used in multiple ways (with the RoRo option, container shipping, shared containers, etc.).
To ship RV to Europe using this method, you should be prepared to wait up to 43 days depending on conditions.
Road Auto Transport
Road freight offers some of the following benefits over other ways to ship RV to Europe:
- Practical and profitable.
- Fast, speedy and on time delivery, considering the location and time schedule specified in the contract.
- Transportation in local, mainland and across the border. Long haul and short haul trucking is available even in the countryside. Although you won’t be able to cross the ocean using this type of auto transportation, it will be necessary on your way to and from the ports.
- Highly flexible service and versatility.
- Reduction in packaging cost and cheaper than other methods of transportation.
- Monitoring the path and location of the transport / tracking and tracing of the truck and cargo.
- Provides the most convenient, cost effective and inexpensive way of transporting cargo through door to door deliveries.
Door to door trucking services can be faster, but there are limitations when it comes to bulk transport, caused by seasonal changes or weather conditions, as well as traffic delays.
As the GDP around the world grows in the following 15 years, the demand for luxury cars and other valuable goods will grow as well. To meet the demand, cargo traffic across the world will probably increase by 4% each year.
Air freight is extremely important for the transportation industry. When speed is a necessity, it’s the best option.
Rail is environmentally friendly and considered an eco-friendly mode of transportation. Railroads are very fuel efficient unlike trucks and road vehicles. This means the greenhouse gas emissions are far lower. They can haul over 100 wagons with one driver.
However, there are some additional charges during the journey. There is a fee at every end of rail transit, for both road delivery and for lift costs, to move the container from the train to the truck.
Generally, railway transport is suitable and inexpensive for carrying goods at longer distances, while road transport is most suitable for shorter journeys. Cost neutrality is affected by several factors, like route and merchandise, although usually, it’s only effective in the distance of 130-150 miles.
Railway transport is more convenient because it can transport multiple cargo containers all at once. Moreover, it is more environmentally friendly in terms of Carbon Dioxide emissions compared to air freight.
The advantages of railway transport are:
- Dependable transit time;
- Most effective and economical mode of transportation on land. A train can carry more than 400 wagons;
- Quick, speedy, practical and economical for long haul deliveries. Usually above 500 miles;
- Safety in railway transport is consistent;
- Optimized traffic flows and reduced emissions.
Most likely, to ship RV to Europe, you’ll have to use multimodal shipping performed with several methods of transportation.
It is called combined transport because it’s carried out using a combination of sea freight, road and/or railway.
For example, Sea Air services are inexpensive compared to air services and faster than sea services.
Sea Air affects environmental sustainability and the transportation industry by keeping the level of freight costs under control and optimizing lead times.
The advantages of multimodal transport are:
- Just one operation to transport your RV anywhere in the world.
- It minimizes transit times;
- It requires less documentation;
- It’s economical and practical.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.