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International Car Shipping Tips

What To Know About International Car ShippingInternational Car Shipping

The first thing you must do is figure out if your vehicle is even eligible for importing into the United States? The same applies for international car shipping exports. Don’t rely on the word or representations of anyone in the opposite country. They may have a self interest in asserting that there are no problems or barriers, when in fact, there may be significant impediments to either importing to the USA or exporting from it. Go to the source. Go to that country to discover the rules and perhaps more importantly the costs associated with shipping your car internationally.

There are forms that you need to fill out to certify that your vehicle conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Gain a full understanding of the costs you are likely to incur. There are likely to be duties, taxes and other government agency fees associated with international car shipping. There will be freight fees for both domestic and international aspects to the shipment. You will need to provide proof of insurance. There will be wharf and storage charges. Some ports allow five days free storage before they start charging storage. Some countries it is three days. Some start the clock ticking right away, which seems unfair, but what can you do?

Your vehicle will need to have the undercarriage hosed down to rid it of foreign soil. That’s an expense. Importing into the USA, your vehicle may need to be registered. Then there will be other middleman expenses such as broker and customs fees.

You need to select the ports of departure and entry in both the USA and foreign country. Here are some of the busiest ports around the world:

Largest USA International Ports

1. Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles is located in the San Pedro Bay – Los Angeles, California.

2. Port of Long Beach

A stone’s throw from Los Angeles Port is the Port of Long Beach.

3. Port of New York & New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest and busiest US east coast port and 3rd largest nationally.

4. Georgia Ports

Georgia ports are the Port of Savannah and Port of Brunswick. The latter is especially busy with automobile imports.

5. Port of Seattle-Tacoma

The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma are jointly operated by the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

6. Port of Virginia

The Hampton Roads Port of Virginia is one of the biggest on the US East Coast.

7. Port of Houston

The Port of Houston is the busiest USA port and largest on the Gulf of Mexico Coast.

8. South Carolina ports

South Carolina Ports include the Port of Charleston and Port of Georgetown.

9. Port of Oakland

Another California port makes the list, the Port of Oakland.

10. Port of Miami

The Port of Miami rounds out our list.

Overseas Car Shipping

There are many more, but any of the above USA ports are likely to provide quicker service to most international car shipping locations.

The five most popular overseas shipping destinations are Germany, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Australia. Here is a list of the 50 busiest non-USA ports.



50 Largest Non-USA International Ports

China Ports:

Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Hong Kong, Guangzhou Harbor, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, Xiamen, Yingkou, Suzhou, Lianyungang, Nanjing

Singapore Port:


South Korea Port:


United Arab Emirates Port:

Jebel Ali – Dubai, Khorfakkan

Malaysia Ports:

Port Klang, Tanjung Pelepas

Netherlands Port:


Taiwan Port:


Belgium Port:


Germany Ports:

Hamburg, Bremen/Bremerhaven

Japan Port:

Hanshin Ports, Keihin Ports

Thailand Port:

Laem Chabang

Vietnam Ports:

Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong

Sri Lanka Port:


Indonesia Ports:

Tanjung Priok – Jakarta, Tanjung Perak – Surabaya

India Port:

Mundra, Jawarharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva)

Spain Ports:

Algeciras, Valencia

Philippines Port:


United Kingdom Port:


Saudi Arabia Port:


Greece Port:


Brazil Port:


Oman Port:


Panama Port:


Malta Port:


Egypt Port:

Port Said East

There are of course hundreds more international car shipping ports around the world. A quick google query will likely discover the right and most convenient port near you.

How Long Does It Take To Car Ship Internationally?

At minimum it takes about two weeks to ship a car from port to port. It’s usually about a month for most international car shipments. Sometimes it is several weeks or even a few months. It depends upon whether you are shipping from the American east coast, west coast or gulf coast? And where you are shipping to matters as well. Shipping to Europe from the USA west coast takes weeks longer than from the east coast. The reverse is true if shipping a vehicle to Asia or Sydney, Australia. Give yourself plenty of time and plan to be inconvenienced.

Who Should You Choose To Ship Internationally?

There are a number of good choices to ship internationally. However, we think a particular good one might be CFR Rinkens with locations in most USA major ports. We have nothing to do with international car shipping or Rinkens, but we’ve noticed they seem to have their act together. As always, perform your due diligence first.

Choose Direct Express Auto Transport For Domestic Port Shipments

Direct Express Auto Transport consistently earns high auto shipping reviews, usually five stars on TransportReviews, TrustPilot, FaceBook, the BBB and Google+ Plus. The thing to remember is that we have shipped over 200,000 new and used vehicles and while not perfect, ours is an amazing track record of success. To get your vehicle to or from a port domestically in the continental USA, use us.

Our car transport quote calculator does such the best job of providing free accurate rates that we simply have a much higher percentage of satisfied customers. It also helps that Direct Express Auto Transport has an experienced staff of customer service representatives. We care and it shows. Call us today at 800-600-3750!

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