We’ve covered some aspects of overseas auto transport in other places, but it’s something that so many people need at some point in their lives that knowing how it works is a lot more important than you might think.
Overseas auto transport services are a lot like regular auto transportation through the contiguous United States, except for the fact that it’s only a single part of the actual journey and that the actual overseas part is fraught with peril.
Seriously, we’re not kidding; thankfully we in this country have regulations preventing things like this from happening, but that doesn’t mean that those weather conditions are only out to get the Russians (remember, the Cold War is over). Even if your goods are secured under the deck in the cargo hold, hurricanes and typhoons are still things that overseas shippers have to contend with.
But that’s neither here nor there. When shipping overseas, your vehicle will be picked up by an overland auto transport company with a standard auto transport truck and shipped west, to the port in Tacoma (for shipments to Alaska) or Long Beach (for shipments to Hawaii).
There are several different overseas shipping companies out there – not car transport companies that work with them, but actual port shipping companies. Port shipping companies handle the giant cargo ships that actually move your goods over the water, and they don’t just ship cars.
Oftentimes they are shipping your vehicle along with a hundred others for different customers, food stuffs needing to be transported, TV’s and computers – pick something that gets shipped overseas and one of the port shipping companies handles it.
Anyway, when your vehicle is shipped overseas, it starts with it being loaded onto the ship. Generally they’re shipped in giant containers that are either secured to the deck of the cargo ship or secured under the deck. Some companies will secure their vehicles in the open under the deck, but those are rare (and priced much differently).
Most cars are shipped in giant 43′ shipping containers. This affects your price, but typically it’s standard regardless of where you’re shipping, as overseas transporters have specific prices for specific routes (i.e. shipping to Anchorage from Tacoma will be the same price every time, but will be different than the price from Long Beach to Honolulu, because different distances).
Overseas shipping is a long process; from port to port takes anywhere from 10-14 days depending on the shipping company and the ship date, and most overseas transport ships only run routes twice a week, at most.
This means that if you miss the boat the last time around, you’re going to have to wait until the next cargo ship shows up. Luckily, you won’t need to wait with your car; your shipper will pick it up at the pickup location and deliver it to the port, where the port shipper will take temporary custody of it and make sure it gets loaded and is stored properly while waiting for an overseas shipping barge of theirs to be ready to load.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle overseas, definitely check out the links that we provided above. They’ll give you some seriously good information regarding transporting a vehicle to Alaska or Hawaii, and even the video is worth a watch (though it’s kind of scary). You can get free quotes by filling out our free online quote request form to the left of almost every page on our website, and you can give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live auto transport agents. They can answer questions, give advice on auto transport and explain more about the overseas car transportation process. It’s that easy.