We are in the process of compiling a
expedition vehicle shipping
resource. If you have shipped an
expedition vehicle please email us
the details of your shipping
experience, including recommended
agents (or those to be avoided),
prices, problems, bribes, and
anything that could make the
process less painless for those who
We need your help.
When sending a vehicle from one place on the globe to another
by ship you feel like a minnow among sharks. It was probably
the most difficult element of our trip. Port officials, customs
agents, and government employees all seem to conspire to
make the process seem virtually impossbile.
While motorcycles can be sent by air cargo, larger vehicles must
be placed in the uncaring hands of sea based cargo shippers
who invent new rules as they go along and attempt to extort
special service levies to circumvent them.
On this trip we handed over the keys to the van to shippers on
four seperate occasions and we learned a
thing or two about the process.
There are two basic types of shipping,
RORO (Roll On Roll Off) and Container
shipping. Each has it's own merits and we
tried both ways with varying degrees of
The cage we built to seperate the driving compartment from the back of the van while shipping RORO.
Things to have ready before making calls to the shipping company.
1. Measurements (length, width, height) of your vehicle in both feet and meters.
2. Weight of the vehicle (see your manual)
Questions to ask the shipping companies
1. Cost of container shipping / Cost of RORO or LOLO?
2. Shipping dates?
3. Number of days in transit?
4. Which port does it leave from?
5. Which port does it arrive to?
6. Are there additional fees for the paperwork? Generally there is a $25 fee for the
original bill of lading.
7. Are there additional fees for loading? Generally there is a $100-150 fee.
8. Does your company have a contact person in the port of arrival?
9. Is it possible for me to be present when the vehicle is loaded into the container and to
take all keys when it is complete? The key to the vehicle? The key to the container?
10. Can we put our own locks on the container?
When you have chosen a shipping company make sure that your bill of lading lists the
1. In the space that under the heading â€œType of Modeâ€� it should say FCL/LCL.
The other option FCL/FCL indicates that you will remove the container from the port
before unloading it.
2. Under notes make sure it says the container is NOT opened until you are present.
3. Make sure to note the container number and seal number.
Before making a final decision on which country to ship to, check on flights. It is not
unusual for ships to run behind schedule. It is probably not wise to book a flight for the
same day you are scheduled to check in your vehicle with the shipping company. Give
yourself at least one extra day, perhaps two between the day the ship leaves and the
day your flight leaves so you do not have to reschedule the flight.
There is some confusion as
to which countries in Latin
America require a Carnet de
Passage. We found that
Ecuador and Peru require
the document but recent
developments suggest that
this is no longer true for