How Long Does it Take to Ship a Car?

How Long Does it Take to Ship a Car?
September 26, 2022 Chrissy Goodwin
yellow cargo auto shipper

Get An Answer to One of Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Without a doubt, one of our most frequently asked questions is, “How long does it take to ship a car overseas?” This article will provide a detailed overview of the process and answer your questions about how long it will take to ship your car or truck. Please note that this article only applies to personal vehicles. Please get in touch with us directly for information about shipping heavy equipment or a fleet of vehicles designed for resale or commercial use.

The Average Speed of a Cargo Ship Determines How Long it Takes to Ship a Car Overseas

Judging the average speed of a cargo ship is sometimes tricky because the sea is an untamed, unpredictable entity. You never know what might happen on the water to delay your vehicle shipment. However, a qualified shipping company does everything possible to mitigate the risks.

Collecting a list of estimated freight transit times from your freight forwarder is imperative. A cost estimate for each shipping method is helpful, too. What you learn can affect your choice to go with an open-air carrier or a Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo) ship, or you might decide to go with an auto shipper that can transport your car via air freight. Selecting the air freight option may reduce how long it will take to ship your car or truck. At Trans Global Auto Logistics, we trust our ability to ship your vehicles quickly and without error. Here’s a breakdown of average speeds for a variety of carriers.

Consolidated Container Ship

large stack of cargo containers

Consolidated container ships are the most cost-effective way to transport your vehicle. Your car gets loaded into a container with other automobiles going to the same port. While more affordable than other options, the average speed of a cargo ship is low when compared to other options. Of course, that also depends on your location. Your car may reach its destination in three weeks, but when determining how long it takes to ship a car or truck, it’s more likely to take 30-40 days.

Single Container Shipping

Although single container shipping also involves a cargo ship, it reduces your freight transit times. But, unfortunately, you pay dearly for the privilege. Transporting your car in a large container of its own will likely cost twice as much as a consolidated container.

However, it takes far less time for your vehicle to voyage through the shipping process, and it will be cleared through customs quickly. When determining how long shipping a car overseas will take with this method, your vehicle should arrive in two to three weeks. It’s the optimal choice for moving classic cars.

RoRo Ships

RoRo ships are the preferred method for shipping cars. Rather than being loaded into a container, the automobile is rolled onto the ship and safely braced, then driven off once it reaches its port.

RoRo ships are faster than the average speed of a cargo ship but slower than what you’ll experience when you book a container yourself. When trying to figure out how long it will take to ship your car or truck, it comes down to the destination and total distance, though your auto shipper should be able to get your vehicle to you in less than a month. It’s an excellent middle-ground option, but you should be aware that your RoRo ship probably won’t travel a direct route to your destination.

Ultimately, you have to compare the average speed of a cargo ship to how long you can wait to have your car shipped overseas to your overall budget. If speed is more important than anything and money is no object, then air freight might be your best bet. Talk to Trans Global Auto Logistics about the pros and cons of each choice.

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