How to transport a car from Germany to your country?
Cars can be transported by ship or truck, even by plane - or you drive it home. It depends on where you live. The principal German harbors for international shipments are Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
1. - Container shipment:
A 20 ft Container (approx. 6 Meter long) can hold one normal passenger car. A 40 ft container (approx. 12 m) can hold two cars of average size or even three very compact cars. Some packing companies put even more cars into such containers, but that is a very high risk.
Cars transported in containers must be securely fastened in the containers to avoid damages in case the weather gets rough during the transport on the boat . The fastening services are an extra charge and is generally not included in the freight rates you might receive!
Containerfreight is safe and perhaps the best way to ship a car. The container will be loaded, locked and sealed in Germany and will not be opend until it reached its destination.
How much will it cost? It is not just the seafreight for the container, there are other charges which come on top:
- Ocean freight for the container from Hamburg to your nearest port.
- Container vanning, that means stuffing a container, loading your car into the container and fasten it.
- Some high value cars are loaded on wooden platforms, that cost extra.
- Cars in containers can be "dangerous goods" and need a special certificate or can be treated as normals goods (disconnect the battery and drain fluids). There are charges for that.
- Possible other charges: Terminal handling charges (THC), Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF), B/L Fee, Geman customs declaration (ABD and EUR1), Hazardous Surcharge, International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), Piracy Surcharge, Suez Canal Surcharge (SCS), Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF), others...
Once the container arrives at your local port there might be local charges for you: Destination Delivery Charge (DDC), unpacking charges, customs clearance, wharfage, Demurrage / Detention, release fee, handling fee, Destination Terminal Handling Charge (DTHC)...
2. - Roll on/Roll off Shipment:
Worldwide most of the cars are shipped on so called Ro/Ro vessels which function just like ferry boats. Some of this ships have decks for normal cars and bulk freight and for better cars or brand new ones the "high value deck".
These are special ships that were solely built to transport cars and no passengers. Each has a capacity of thousands of cars which are driven on and off board. That means somebody of the crew or harbor workers are driving the cars on and off the boat. These shipping lines are specialized in this kind of transport and normally no problems or dents occur. Ro/Ro shipment is the cheapest way to ship a car. Some ports are not equipped with facillities and ramps to unload such car carrier vessels. Ro/Ro shipment is not available for every destination!
The biggest German port for ro/ro shipping is Bremerhaven, but for some destinations ro/ro ships can be loaded at Hamburg port.
How much will it cost? It is not just the seafreight for your car on a ror/ro vessel, there are other charges which come on top:
- Ocean freight for ro/ro shipment.
- Document fee for port logistics (BHT or Z-Number)
- Terminal handling charges (THC)
- Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)
- B/L Fee
- War Risk charges
- Possible other charges: German customs declaration (ABD), International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), Piracy Surcharge, Suez Canal Surcharge (SCS), Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)...
Once the ship arrives at your local port there might be local charges for you:Destination Delivery Charge (DDC), customs clearance, wharfage, Demurrage / Detention, release fee, handling fee, Destination Terminal Handling Charge (DTHC)
3. - Airfreight:
A car transported by plane - yes it's possible. I did that several times. Car will be fastened to a airfreight platform and loaded into the plane. The IATA, International Air Transport Association has special rules for such transports. DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulations). Most of the time cars can be transported in passenger planes (PAXok). Sure, it is not cheap, but you have your car the next day.
if your car cruises around the world over rough oceans, you better have it insured!
This is a freight insurance. Your car can be insured for the duration of the transport. I always recommend this to my clients. A container can fall down during loading or something can happen on board. . .
A ”full cover” marine insurance cost approx. 1 % of the cars value. The ”full cover” is the best you can get, but it does not cover scratches or minor dents, rust or oxidation damages. My advice is to alway ask what kind of damages are covered.
For Ro/Ro shipment most insurance companies do not offer the ”full cover” insurance. They offer ”stranding cover” only. This is also called ”total loss” insurance. Always ask what kind of damages are covered.
Law in international trade:
The Incoterms or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) relating to international commercial law.
Please find further information in the internet:
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