Shipping Trucks Overseas

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Shipping Trucks Overseas
Shipping Trucks Overseas

How to Ship Trucks Overseas

Are you looking to ship your truck overseas? Take a deep breath. We’re going to help you get through this as quickly as possible.

The process you will use to ship your truck overseas will primarily depend on the size and dimensions of the truck you are hoping to ship.

As a rule, larger, heavier trucks will be more difficult and more expensive to ship. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that small and medium-sized trucks share similar dimensions and weight to most passenger cars. Because of this, they are usually a little cheaper to ship overseas.

Think about it like this

Transporting a Ford F150 or a Ford Ranger is no big deal. The process is more or less the same as shipping a larger car. You can use the same shipping process that car shipping companies use for compact vehicles like Smart Cars and Toyota Corollas.

However, shipping a larger vehicle like a tractor or a bus will take more effort, and a slightly different shipping process.

We want to help you make sense of this. We’re going to provide an overview of the shipping process and how it is influenced by the size of your truck.

The first part will outline the process of shipping a small or medium truck overseas. The second part will outline the process of shipping a larger truck overseas. By the end of this article, you will have the requisite knowledge to get the best rates, and the best deals, from shipping companies to apply to your own vehicle.

Shipping a Small or Medium Truck Overseas

There are three primary options when it comes to shipping a small or medium truck overseas. By and large, your options will depend on the operational status of your vehicle.

  • If your vehicle is operational, you will most likely use “roll-on, roll-off” shipping.
  • If your vehicle is not operational, you will need to use container shipping.
  • If using container shipping, you will have the choice of sharing a container with the shipping company’s other clients’ trucks, or you can opt for an exclusive container that will only house your vehicle.

“Rol- On, Roll-Off” Shipping

Depending on the shipping company, “roll-on, roll-off” shipping is reserved for operational vehicles only. Your truck will need to be able to be driven onto the ship, secured, and then driven off the ship once the ship arrives in port.

This is one of the most common forms of international shipping because it is affordable and easy for all parties involved.

To qualify for “roll-on, roll-off” shipping, your truck will need to fit in the equivalent of a parking space. During transit, it will be latched and secured to the ship, alongside hundreds, if not thousands of other vehicles. This is the most economical option and the option that many people choose for their operational vehicles.

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

Shared Container Shipping

With shared container shipping, the process of shipping a truck overseas takes longer. This is because a shared container will not be loaded onto a ship until it is full.

You will need to wait for the shipping company to load other clients’ trucks into your container before it can be loaded. However, shared container shipping is more cost-effective than exclusive container shipping. If time is a factor, you may be better off choosing exclusive container shipping.

Exclusive Container Shipping

Exclusive container shipping is faster than shared container shipping, but it is also more expensive. That is the trade-off that you will need to consider.

Your vehicle will be shipped in its own exclusive container, protecting it from potential damage and sea water.

If cost is a factor, it may be better to choose shared container shipping.

Shipping a Larger Truck Overseas

Although some options may be limited, like shared container shipping, other options are still available for larger trucks.

If your truck can fit into a shipping container in one piece, it can be shipped.

Another option is to load your truck onto a flat rack, and then have the flat rack transferred to the ship.

A third option is to disassemble your truck into smaller parts, transport those parts, and then have the truck reassembled at your intended destination.

Container Shipping

If your truck can fit into a container, you can either take advantage of exclusive container shipping, or even shared container shipping.

This option is the most cost-effective, as using a flat rack will result in an added charge, and disassembly and assembly costs money too, even before the whole shipping process starts.

Flat Rack

If your large truck cannot fit in a container, it can be loaded onto a flat rack.

Flat racks are very similar to flat beds that you see on low loader transport trucks. Flat racks, which can host over 80,000 lbs., are a great and easy option to ship your truck overseas.

While it is unlikely that your truck will weigh anything over 20-30,000 lbs., you may be able to share the flat rack with other clients from the shipping company. Of course, this will depend on the shipping company.

Using a flat rack is a great option for trucks that cannot fit in a container, and cannot be disassembled.

Disassembly and Assembly

If you can, it may be cost-effective to disassemble your truck, ship it to your intended destination, and then reassemble the truck once there. Being in a non-operational state, it will be easy to ship your truck components in shipping containers.

The containers can be secured and locked, ensuring that you are the first and last person to see the components during the time of its shipping.

But, this isn’t always a viable option for everyone. In the end, you need to choose the method that works best for you and your budget.

Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask us. We know that the shipping process can be stressful.

Shipping a Large Truck is Easy

You won’t believe how many clients have come to us flustered at the thought of shipping their truck. They believe that the process will be harder, more convoluted, and more expensive.

  • Slow down, breathe: There are so many factors that go into determining overseas shipping rates for trucks that no one number can be placed on a shipment. Factors like the size and dimensions of the truck, available shipping options, and the option you choose all matter.
  • The market is on your side: It’s true. You have a lot of leeway in price when it comes to shipping trucks overseas. To lower costs, you can delay the date of shipment, share a container with other clients, or even disassemble your truck first (if the costs of doing so are lower than shipping the truck in one piece).

Surviving the Customs Process

No one enjoys working with the government. Clearing U.S. Customs can be a major headache on its own.

When shipping trucks overseas, you need to consider how challenging the customs process will be and the various rules and regulations you need to follow.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Are you exporting your truck to a country that is restricted for trade?
  • Have you screen your shipment against denied party lists?
  • Do you know what classification codes your shipment falls under?
  • Is your shipment a civilian or military class (something as simple as ball bearings can turn your civilian truck into a military class shipment)?
  • What special regulations does the destination country have on vehicle shipments?
  • Do you have all the proper paperwork to facilitate the shipment?
  • Are you ready to deal with this major process?

Unless you understand the export process, we always recommend that you work with an experienced auto shipping company.

There are too many risks associated with export laws and breaking even the smallest rules can lead to excessive fines and even jail time.

The government takes trade rules very seriously and you will need to familiarize yourself with those rules if you want to do it properly. But if you’re like most people, save yourself the time and stress and hire a shipping company to help you out.

A-1 Auto Transport is here

We don’t want you to feel stressed about shipping a truck overseas. Sure, it’s a long process and there is a lot of paper work. But that’s why we’re here. When you hire us, we do all the paperwork for you, all you have to worry about is who is going to receive your truck when it arrives.

Are you ready to get started? Great. Give us a call and we will get you the best price possible. We don’t overpromise, we just get your truck from point A to point B.

Joe WebsterWritten By:Joe WebsterConnect with Joe Webster on facebookConnect with Joe Webster on linkedin

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.

Email me -

Satisfied Customers

“I am meticulous when it comes to everything. At first, I was thinking of just driving all the way to Illinois from New Jersey. A friend recommended me to go to A1 Auto Transport and told me a lot of good things about them. I refused initially because I had filed a 4 day leave just to drive and visit my mother. But things did not go well. My boss asked me to cancel my leave because a very important client asked for an urgent meeting, and the manager could not attend to it. I was hopeless and took the risk of asking help from A1. The notice was short and I forgot I needed to inform them in advance. After a couple of hours, I received a call and they told me they found a way to book me with no extra fees. I am so thankful I got to attend to my work matters. I did not get to see my mother, but the vehicle and items inside it were in perfect condition as if it was me who took care of it. I owe you guys big time! I got one huge deal from our client.”

“The plan was to ship my car from California to Utah. I went through nearly 20 quotes after using an auto shipping site which linked to a bunch of brokers. Finally, I found A1 Auto Transport, a company with its own trucks with great reviews. I was sold. Joe was very competent, gave off the impression he’d done this a million times, and it really showed throughout the transport. He listened to my request carefully, offered me several options, stayed in touch during the transport, and made sure I was happy with everything. Overall, a great company which I would definitely recommend to others!”

“I’m so glad I met you Joe!! A truly fortunate experience. Having to transport a car to Minnesota, I was stunned to see the company, who was supposed to take care of it, just vanish. I couldn’t reach them anymore, like they went bankrupt overnight. However, I was lucky enough to not pay anything, so I simply researched some more until I found A1 Auto Transport. Joe answered my call the first time and we soon agreed on a date and a quote. Unfortunately, I got caught up in work and forgot about it. The order was not confirmed, so Joe must’ve thought I changed my mind. I called him the next day and arranged for a new date. This time, I made a note on my phone and it went well. I replied to his email this time, and the driver arrived at a parking lot down the street on time, as promised. The driver was nice enough to not mention my previous mistake. He delivered my car in just 3 days. Upon careful inspection, there were no scratches or damage done to it during transport. Joe was there along with the driver and they both waited patiently until I was satisfied. Thanks!”

“A1 Auto is kind of like your favourite mom and pop pizza parlour, the one you can’t get enough of despite all the new, expensive avant-garde pizza shops that have mushroomed conspicuously across the entire neighbourhood and seem to have taken over the whole world...but not you. Because you value quality and genuine customer service, and know this business understands and works doubly hard to give you your money’s worth. I’ve been using A1 Auto Transport whenever I left California for business: they may not be the cheapest car transporters around, but the sheer professionalism, dedication, and heart they put into their work is just amazing and worth my every dime. I’m probably one of the most sceptical people you would ever meet. I’m rarely convinced when bombarded with dubious, self-congratulating ads of companies that look like they’ve spent tons of money on marketing materials just to lure your average guy in. A1 Auto Transport is the complete opposite of these companies. My car always arrived promptly on schedule, never with a hint of scratch or dirt or damage, and they keep me updated every step of the process. When you’ve found a company whose genuine care for their customers comes naturally, you stand by them no matter what. It’s the most logical thing to do.”

“A1 Auto Transport helped me move a vehicle to Iowa from Houston. I was a bit nervous, no knowing much about such services. Thanks to Joe, I was able to clear the fog a little. He answered all my questions and explained everything in a way that left no room for interpretation. The details were straightforward. I picked Sunday as the pickup date, since I wasn’t at work, and they accommodated me. The truck arrived an hour early, yet the driver patiently waited for me to arrive. He thoroughly checked my car for scratches or anything that might affect the transport then drove it onto the truck. I was given a 2 day time window during which the car was supposed to arrive in, and it got to Iowa in the evening of the first day. The trip didn’t damage it at all. Next time a friend wants to move, I’ll surely recommend A1 Auto Transport.”

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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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