SHIPPING CARS OVERSEAS: A GREAT FEAT OF TECHNOLOGIES

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Submitted by Carlos Ruiz Serra on 11/12/2019

Shipping a car as a person is useful when you are looking for a car that is not available for you to buy near home, or maybe you can’t afford to go to the place where the car is because it would take a few days out of work or an expensive plane ticket. But the majority of cars that are shipped worldwide overseas are shipped by big companies with the purpose of selling them in different countries. To do so, they need a ship that has the capacity to transport a big enough number of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, trucks…) so that it generates profit to import them. In fact, they use ships that measure up to 260 meters long and 32 meters wide, with 9 cargo decks. So, as you can imagine, such an enormous ship requires an enormous, wellorganized crew.

 This crew is able to full the vessel of more than 3,000 cars they are given within just 15 hours trough a gigantic ramp that unfolds from the stern. One of the secrets to such a big capacity in the ship is its ability to change its inner form by modulating the height of the cargo decks to perfectly fit whatever vehicles it is feed. To do so, a highly efficient organization is required. The person in charge owns a planning in paper, but most importantly the plan is in his head. The operation begins when the car drivers start to drive them off the dry land parking to the gigantic ramp. From there, someone tells them where to go. When they arrive to their destination, the car has to be parked 10 centimetres apart from the nearby car: no centimetre can be lost, no car can be scratched.

 In fact, to make a such delicate work, employers are even told to wear soft clothes, as a mischievous zipper could leave its signature forever to the detriment of the quality of the service. The drivers also have to wear gloves and be able to drive right-handed cars with the required precision. Now you may ask: But, once the car is parked in the ship, how do drivers com back to the dry land parking? Well, there is no need to walk the long distance back there, it would suppose a great loss of time. There are taxi drivers that go in and out of the boat carrying car drivers. However, these colossal vessels not only offer cruises to cars, there is also room for bigger machines such as excavators, construction cranes, trucks, bulldozers… As you are probably already expecting, specialized drivers and machines are needed to push them on board. Once the bustle of car loading is over, the ship is ready to leave the port.

 The manoeuvre starts by pulling up the ramp. This process takes over 20 minutes at the biggest ships. Leaving the port is a tricky manoeuvre, and that is why other smaller ships are often booked to sail around and help the vessel’s captain to get out of there. The vessel speeds up to 70 nods and can sometimes find storms on its way, so the cars on the decks are secured with chains and ribbons. The travels a ship does and its timing are properly scheduled. It often has to go from port to port, loading and unloading all types of vehicles. This means it almost never stops, so the mechanic’s team has to be made up of experienced engineers that are able to work under pressure.

 Moreover, due to the complexity of the legal paperwork required to haul autos through different countries a staff of expert lawyers is also needed. Moving a gigantic ship through the see is not free: the refuelling of 3,000 tones of fuel can take 14 hours and cost around 850,000 $. In addition, the vehicles they are transporting are very valuable. This is why a security team is needed to protect the crew and the cargo. Another way to ship car overseas is into containers. This method provides the opportunity to ship different cars belonging to the same person or spare parts that must also be transported. The new system that is being used to do so is called R-Rak system, and allows the company to load four cars in one container.

 But you may ask, why using ships instead of trains or trucks? Well, the truth is trains and trucks are also used, but they don’t have the ability to move that much weight for as low a price, and ships can travel from one continent to another. In fact, more than a half of the goods in the whole world are moved by ships, which equals to 5 trillions of dollars. And, if that much money is moved by ships, why shouldn’t we trust them? And yes, once the cars are in dry land, they have to be moved by trains and trucks to their selling point.

 Usually 9 cars are carried by 1 truck (but there are also enclosed trailers that move fewer high-end cars), and it takes about an hour and a half for the truck driver to load them all. A train can move around 40 cars in a row. Again, no space is wasted. So this is the way that, for instance, a German car arrives to the American shop. But, why is this process important? You see, some people would say that progress in communication technologies are the main fuel to the globalization that allows our markets to be full of the most competent products from everywhere. However, what would communication be without a purpose? The purpose is fulfilled when this vessel is able to make a car that was crafted in Japan appear in Spain trough a complex organization of different ships in a port, different people charging the vessel, different vehicle brands competing to send a product as good as they can and a company and a client being able to talk to each other about the deal of buying an imported car or moving their car overseas.

Submitted by Carlos Ruiz Serra on 11/12/2019


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Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

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.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

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!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

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.

Testimonial
David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

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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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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