Shipping A Car Internationally From The Bay Area

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Shipping A Car Internationally From The Bay Area

There are two major shipping ports in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Port of San Francisco and the Port of Oakland. If you’re having a car shipping to another country from the Bay Area, you can bet it’s going to be from one of the two. Most likely, the Port of Oakland since it’s more suited to auto transport (see below).

Port of San Francisco – At one point the busiest port West Coast port, the Port of San Francisco had since passed that mantle on to the Port of Los Angeles. Though vehicles are still shipped internationally from the Port of San Francisco, there are logistical challenges when it comes to auto transport. Chief among these hurdles are the limited ability capabilities of handling either containerized or roll-on, roll-off service.

 Port of Oakland – Unlike its neighbor across the Bay, the Port of Oakland handles tons of containerized cargo, including vehicles being shipped overseas. Now one of the busiest shipping ports in the nation, the Port of Oakland to construct shipping terminals specifically designed for containers. As a result, it’s a great option if you need to ship a car in a container, both because it’s easier and the port is more geared toward shipping and receiving containers.


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Bay Area Car Shipping Overseas | A-1 Auto Transport.

In the section above, we talked about the Port of Oakland is more “container friendly” when it comes to shipping a car. For the uninitiated, shipping a car in a container is one of the primary ways people (or companies) transport cars internationally. The main advantage of a container, especially for an individual, is that you can put other items in the container–quite a few actually, which is helpful if you’re also relocating to another country.

Containers, often called intermodal shipping containers, are usually 20 feet long, there 40 foot containers are not uncommon. It’s generally the 20 foot variety that is used for moving cars internationally. As mentioned above, an advantage of using containerized auto transport (as opposed to roll on, roll off), is that you can take other items with you. Clearly, if you are relocating to another country, either short-term or long-term, it’s easier to have everything shipped together.

While the roll on, roll off method (RORO) can be an easier method if you’re shipping just a vehicle, you’re not generally allowed to have anything inside the vehicle. In fact, most companies will require that it be thoroughly clean, both inside and out before loading.

Make sure to keep these things in mind as you consider having a car shipped to another country from the Bay Area. Bear in mind that, if you’re in the region but not near to San Francisco or Oakland, you may have to arrange for overland transport to the shipping port.

               Call us at the number at the top of the page with your questions about shipping a car internationally from the Bay Area! We offer FREE cost estimates to all interested parties, given in real-time by a certified international shipping agent! Contact us today!

Joe Webster

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.

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