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What is Overseas Car Shipping?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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Overseas car shipping involves shipping a car over water, usually to a foreign destination, by ship. In some cases, especially when shipping within an archipelago, or between a country's mainland, and its island territories, the shipping may still be considered domestic, even if the transport does take place on the ocean. Overseas car shipping is not a fast way to get a car to a final destination, but in many cases may be the only practical way to do it. While shipping a car by air is possible, it is much more expensive.

Before considering overseas car shipping, it is best to make sure the company being used is reputable. In some cases, shipping a car overseas may involve several different companies. Usually, these companies partner with one another in order to build a business coalition. This helps provide some continuity into the process, and ensures the customer will only need to deal with one company to get the car to its final destination.

In most cases, the best option in overseas car shipping is to use a company that is headquartered in the country where the shipment originates. This provides better assurance to the shipper that the service is guaranteed. If any legal action needs to be taken, in the event of damage or loss, there is a better chance of resolution if using a domestic company. Foreign companies may not be subject to the same laws that the shipper or owner of the vehicle is used to.

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In most cases, overseas car shipping will involve taking the vehicle to a local port. For those not close to a sea port, overland car shipping may be necessary. The car shipping company offering overseas service may offer land service as well, or it may have to be contracted separately. Either way, once it arrives at a sea port, it will then be loaded onto a cargo ship. Often, it will be placed in a protective container, similar to the trailers hauled by large trucks. These containers may be stacked high on top of one another as they move overseas.

In some cases, it may take several weeks, perhaps even as long as a month or two, from the time a shipment leaves a port to reach its final destination. The time involved will depend on the shipping schedules, as well as the number of transfers needed to reach the destination. This may also impact the overall price. Often, a number of factors will be considered in pricing for overseas car shipping. Distance, weight and volume will all be factored in, as will the urgency of the shipment.

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