5 Questions to Ask Before Shipping Cars Overseas

In our 25 years of experience, we’ve come across hundreds of questions regarding international car shipping. Your automobile is a big investment, and when transporting it overseas, you want it to be handled with the best care. But with so many companies to choose from and so many logistics to figure out, what is your best option for shipping vehicles to and from international ports?

To help you find and choose the most reliable company for international car shipping, you need to be asking the right questions. We’ve gathered up a few of those key questions that will give you a better grasp of which freight forwarding company to go with for overseas shipping.

1. How should I ship my vehicle internationally: air freight or ocean freight?

For starters, ask yourself if you’re wanting to ship vehicles by air freight or ocean freight. Both have their advantages, but you’ll have to decide which factors are more important to you.

For example, shipping by air freight can be more expensive but will get your vehicle to its destination quicker. On the other hand, with ocean freights you often get more shipping choices for cargo including roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping and container shipping. That plus the value in service you get for the price are why many individuals choose ocean freights over air freights.

Working with an international car shipping company that offers both options can be convenient and give you more flexibility. Ask about their rates for air vs. sea freight shipping and those other factors like port locations, container options, and speed that will impact your decision.

2. Who will be picking up the vehicle at the port of call? What regulations should I expect?

Each international shipping location will come with its own regulations. However, a good international automobile shipping company will be able to assist you with all the necessary paperwork and other details for your chosen port of call. They can handle even complicated shipping situations and communicate clearly what all you need to do before shipping commences.

If you are unable to pick up your vehicle right away, having a reliable representative from such a company will matter even more. They can set your vehicle aside or store it until you arrive, or in some cases arrange for additional transportation from the port to a nearby location. Most companies will also allow you to designate another person to pick up your vehicle, so long as you communicate that to them before the aircraft or ocean freight leaves.

3. How quickly can my car be shipped overseas?

The time it takes to ship your vehicle overseas will depend on how you answer the first question. If you choose air freight shipping, you can generally expect your car to arrive within 5 days to a week. For ocean freight shipping, that time frame may be extended to 2 weeks or more.

That being said, the international shipping company you go with will also play a major role in the speed of shipping. Some companies are using advances in maritime shipping to expedite ocean freight forwarding to shorten shipping times comparable to air freights.

4. Does the international shipping company offer specific services for used vs. antique vehicles?

Discuss with shipping companies you are considering about how they handle shipping used cars compared with shipping antique or classic cars. Some companies, unfortunately, treat both types of vehicles in the same manner when antique automobiles should receive some special attention and care.

Make sure you know beforehand what to expect whether you are shipping a family car overseas for military relocations or bringing back a classic car you’ve recently purchased from an international seller.

5. Where can I find the best international shipping company?

Lastly, how will you know that you’ve found the best international shipping company? Shipping rates will matter, but your decision should come down to something beyond price. Look for a company that offers not only efficient shipping speeds and convenient cargo options but one that also is known for its reliable service.

Because your vehicle can be shipped by any company, but not all will provide you with the personalized and high-quality service you want so you can ship cars overseas with no worries. Not all international car shipping companies are like K International.

We’ve gained the loyalty of thousands of customers and companies by providing the best customer service and personalized assistance for each client. Our team responds promptly to all inquiries so that you can feel confident in your decision for an international car shipping company. Request a rate today for shipping your car overseas and learn more about how valuable it can be to have a reliable team like ours on your side.