Reading Time: 3 minutes

Moving overseas can be stressful. With NAT and our partners, you can rest assured that your international car shipping won’t be stressful. We will transport your vehicle safely to the RO/RO vessel, or you can opt to hire a car shipping container and work through a container shipping company. This is also a good option when you need shipping container car storage.

It’s important to follow the rules on how to load a car into a shipping container in order to avoid additional fees or penalties. 

Looking for more information on shipping containers? Check out our Pods car shipping container review here.

How it Works

When moving overseas, the first thing you want to do is shop around for container shipping companies. It can be expensive, so make sure it’s not cheaper to sell your car and buy a new one in your destination than the costs of shipping it. Unless your car has a high sentimental value, it’s usually not worth shipping a car with low appraised value. 

Once you have found a company to ship your car, you will have to do all the paperwork, which might include providing:

  • Original titles
  • Bill of sale
  • Liability waivers
  • Et cetera.

As with national auto transportation, it is important to ensure your car is clean inside and out when it comes to international shipping in a car shipping container. If the car is clean on the outside, it makes it easier for Customs to do an accurate inspection. They will be able to assess any pre-existing damages. 

Also, be sure to remove any personal items, such as non-factory electronics from the inside of the car and from the trunk when you clean the interior. This includes stereos, GPS systems, as well as documents, clothing, and trash. 

car shipping container

Preparing Your Car for Shipment

A twenty-foot storage or car shipping container is a perfect size for car storage. Available for sale or on a rental basis, you can find a container for your needs.

Before loading the car into the car shipping container, be sure to follow all the usual preparations for car shipping, including:

  • remove or retract the radio antenna 
  • fold the side mirrors, if possible
  • disassemble large spoilers
  • put up the convertible top
  • drain the fuel from your car
  • disconnect the alarm system and battery
car shipping container

How to load a vehicle into a shipping container

It is important to find out whether you’re allowed to load household goods with your vehicle when you hire a car shipping container. We do not recommend this, as boxes or other heavy items may become unsecured during transit and fall onto your car, causing damage.  

Your car will probably be inspected, so it is prudent to put it as close to the container door. You don’t want to have to unload everything to reach the car.

Expert tip: Enlist a friend to help you load your goods, and to be an extra pair of eyes when you load the vehicle into the car shipping container.

car shipping container
  1. Start by loading and securing all your boxes and household contents into the container. Label every box, and take photos.
  2. You can use a flat-bed truck or a ramp to load the car into the truck. Ramps are available for rental.
  3. Drive the car to the container, and then push it into the container, especially if the container is narrow.
  4. Use the fasteners or tie hooks provided to secure your car to the ceiling, sides, and floor.
  5. Use wooden blocks or wheel chocks to block the wheels from the back, front, and sides.
  6. Apply ratchet straps or tow rings to secure the axle behind the wheels.
  7. Invest in a shipping container bolt seal to help prevent tampering and theft.

In most cases, it is best to use open or enclosed carrier transport (covered car transport) for your vehicle when shipping it within the country, or ro-ro transportation when shipping your car overseas. Using a car shipping container is more beneficial if you will be shipping the car only, and not household goods that make shake loose and fall on your car, causing damage. Speak to the friendly consultants at Nationwide Auto Transportation today about your options.