Vehicle shipping

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Shipping Terminology[edit]

The following terms are common-place when shipping goods in containers.[1]

  • Ocean Freight: The cost of actually shipping the container from A to B.
  • Bunker: The cost of the fuel for the ship.
  • Stuffing: Getting the goods into the container and sealing it. The details here are important as this may include moving the container around or not.
  • Lashing: Physically lashing the vehicles into the container so they don’t move around.
  • Unstuffing: Getting the goods out of the container, which again may include moving the container from the port to the yard or not.
  • Chassis Fee: The cost for use of the special trailer used by a truck to move a shipping container from the port to another location.
  • Documentation Fee: The cost of lodging all the paperwork with customs.
  • Bill of Lading: The official document describing the contents of the container.
  • Port Fees: The amount charged by the port to allow the container and its contents to pass.


  • All of the above may be charged per container or per vehicle and may cover both ends or not.
  • If you put more than one vehicle into a single container (it's usually cheaper) make certain it's very clear on the Bill of Lading who owns which vehicle.

Styles of shipping[edit]

  • Roll-on, Roll-off Abbreviated as RoRo. A system of shipping where the vehicle (or other freight) is driven onto and off the ship using ramps. Generally less expensive than Container shipping, but has increased risk of theft of personal items held in the accessible areas of the vehicle.
  • Lift-on, Lift-off Abbreviated as LoLo. When the loading and unloading of freight is done by cranes. Often used for smaller harbours. Also called Flat Rack.
  • Container shipping Is where your vehicle is transported within a shipping container. These can be 20 or 40 foot containers. High cube containers have a higher roof space. Open top containers have no top (but may have a tarpaulin secured across the top) and the doors can be removed for better access.

Shipping to and from South America[edit]

An internet search of shipping routes will show that there are many port choices for shipping in and out of South America. The most popular choices for Motorhome shipping are Cartagena (Colombia), because of its position for transport to and from the North American continent; and Uruguay, as a port that is considered easy to deal with and a country with good vehicle storage options.

  • From Cartagena to Europe, and vice versa, there are many options for container shipping.
  • From Cartagena to Europe, and vice versa, via Roro the options are more limited: Wallenius Wilhelmsen; NYK Line; K-Line might all be suitable options.
For Cartagena shipping (all types): Many ships or shipping brokers will not even respond to enquiries from Overlanders, but there is an agent in Cartagena who regularly ships Motorhomes to many destinations in the world. He deals with Wallenius Willhemsen Lines. Schedules for WWL can be found at:, and bookings can be made online. These bookings will likely be directed to Luis La Rota of Enlace Caribe (Cartagena), which is the agent mentioned above. The web address for Enlace is: .
When it is time to ship from Cartagena: (based on The Belgian and the Aussie's experience with RORO February 2015) About 3 days before the ship arrives you will be required to get your vehicle into harbour. That day or the day after there will be a customs inspection (for the VIN number), then about 24 hours before the ship leaves there will be a drug inspection for which you will need to be present. During the drug inspection you will be required to take everything out of your vehicle so that it and the contents can be inspected. This might be done by people or dogs. From the time that your vehicle arrives in port (about 3 days prior to ship arrival) you will need alternative accommodation (hotel/friends house). In Cartagena, you should plan to remain in Cartagena until the ship departs. Additional costs in shipping RORO from Cartagena (beyond the quoted shipping price) are about $USD300 (port costs, insurance, etc) plus fees for customs agent and broker of about another $USD300, plus hotel accommodation costs. Container shipping has higher additional fees.
  • From Uruguay to Europe, and vice versa, Grimaldi is a popular choice that also allows personal passage aboard the ship.


  1. Shipping across The Darien Gap Pt. 1 | The road chose me

Hackney's Shipping Guide for Overlanders

Montevideo (Uruguay) to Norfolk, Virginia in shared container (part one) and (part 2) - Capitol Southbound

Santos (near Sao Paolo), Brazil to Galveston, Texas via RORO shipping part 1 and part 2 - Life Remotely

Cartagena (Colombia) to Galveston, Texas via RORO shipping - Bodeswell

General information on shipping a vehicle: Finding a Shipping Schedule, Ensuring a Good Container Loading of your Car, Car Shipping Rates and Terminology – Landcruising Adventure

On shipping your vehicle (in a container) to South America: Shipping a Car to South America, Shipping Ports in South America, Custom Clearance at Ports in South America – Landcruising Adventure

Container shipment from Bangladesh to Singapore – Landcruising Adventure

Container shipment from Malaysia to Argentina – Landcruising Adventure

Shipping your car across the Amazon River from Belém to Macapá – Landcruising Adventure

Shipping your vehicle from Brazil to French Guiana (over the Oiapoque River) – Landcruising Adventure

1st July 2014

Seabridge run a almost weekly service to Antwerp. This is Ro-Ro. They allowed stowed personal posessions in your car. We have no experience of this but charges are easy to calculate. They charge Length x Width x Height in meter and then €44.00 EUR per cubic meter. There is a fuel surcharge od 20% on top of that. Then there are charges ion Antwerp that are €245.00 EUR. There is another $295.00 CAD for the port charges in Canada. That's it. So our truck at 5.52 x 1.8 x 2.2 = 21.86 x €44.00 EUR = €961.80 EUR + 20% + €245.00 EUR = €1,399.00 EUR plus the $295.00 CAD.

Shipping Halifax to Liverpool 20 Foot container.


We loaded in Dartmouth in Guysborough Transfers yard. I arranged to load myself and they do the strapping and lashing. Price agreed was $250.00 CAD paid in cash. We have not yet loaded so I will update this once it’s completed about the "hassle factor". Contact Details for Guysborough are [1] I spoke to Mark ( and negotiated a price based on my requirement to load the car myself. It seems this must be done in a yard in Canada and you are not allowed on the port. This is usually the case but there seems to be no flexibility here and you are NOT allowed on the port. Guysborough are just across from the port so it’s no problem.

Loading is a full week before departure. We were asked to arrive no later than Friday the week before shipping. We are intending to load on Thursday just in case anything is a problem. This means you have 7 days before it sails and sailing is a week. Currently flights home are on a Wednesday to Gatwick on Air Transat. Cheapest option is book late and price is lower. Currently under $550.00 CAD per person, one way. You can leave before your vehicle according to Sandy.


Shipping was arranged as PORT to PORT Halifax to Liverpool using Affordable Freight [2]. Contact Details are Sandy ( The price was $1,675.00 USD (Prices will rise 1st July 2014). This is the lowest price we got in all our searching. We tried 8 companies. They were all around $2,500.00 USD. This $1,675.00 USD was paid in cash in Canadian dollars using bank exchange rate in person at their office. They do not accept cards but will accept bank cheques or transfer. Drawing our CAN$ was the easiest for us. Their office is NOT in Halifax or Dartmouth and is Kentville quite a way from the port. The price was port to port including terminal handling. Shipping is on Atlantic Carrier Lines.


Not required shipping a vehicle and personal possessions from Canada to UK. The container is sealed by the loading agent and that’s it. There is quite a bit of UK paperwork needed at the other end though.


The car must be less than a quarter tank of fuel. A packing list is recommended for personal possessions for the UK end mainly. Propane must be empty.


We arranged unloading locally with the port directly. We are not using an agent. Paperwork fee to Atlantic Carrier is £30.00 GBP and we expect maybe £30.00 GBP for shifts as the handling fees are mostly on the shipping costs. We expect customs to be £30.00 GBP and will clear ourselves. You will need to complete a C3 form and C179B and present to UK Customs in Liverpool with a packing list for the personal possessions. We have been informed that it does not need to be detailed just an outline of all contents.

Shipping veracruz mexico to san antonio chile (18.01.2018-03.02.2018).

I shipped with wwl on the mentioned route. This means i shipped roro. I did not put in a wall and left a bunch of tools, towels, plates etc in the van. I used arturo martinez as an agent in veracruz. He is best reachable over whatsapp. The office is marked as cevertam office on ioverlander. Contact arturo martinez Phone: +52 1 229 215 4496 email: His services cost me 300usdollars.

The port fees in veracruz were pretty reasonable. I paid the following: 768.70pesos to ssa mexico 19.28 pesos to administracion portuaria 109.78 pesos to ssa mexico Total 897.76 The fees can vary slightly depending on wich dock is used. These fees are for dock 1.

The cost payable to wwl is the following: Ocean rate: 950$ Bunker adj factor: 95$ B/L Fee -load: 50$ Canal surcharge:143.27$ Total 1238.27 These costs applied to my van with the following measurements:19.982cbm and 2900kg

In san antonio the agent broom sa is issueing the bill of landing for wwl. Their office is also marked on ioverlander. Very friendly i got my original bill of landing, paid the port fees and got a list of the stuff i had to do. Cost: emision de bill of landing: 49500 chilean pesos Handling:29500 chilean pesos Total: 94000 chilean pesos

Procedure in san antonio cl: 1. Bill of landing broom 2. Aduana preclearance 3. sti At the sti office in the port i had to pay 36000 chilean pesos to get some other paper. Plus the temporary importation permit at the aduana office. Then i was able to pick up the van and drive it out. The peocedure was pretty easy. The people in the sti office were really helpful. I was accompanied through every step by a guy that works there. Very friendly and helpful.

Receiving the van i realised that my vacum, the battery charger and my cordless drill, as well as my back liscense plate were missing.

Agent in veracruz:300$ Port fees in veracruz: 48$ Shipping to wwl: 1238.27$ Fees to broom san antonio: 156$ Fees to sti san antonio: 60$ Total: 1802.27$