How to ship a car in a Shipping Container

If you are wondering how to ship a car in a shipping container, hopefully, we can cover the best options available to you. Many people swear by shipping containers to move things around the globe. Others, when it comes to cars, trucks and other vehicles, say roll on roll off services are the best way to do it (RORO). In this guide we will simply tell you what options you have when shipping your car in a container, what containers you can choose from, what delivery options there are, and the benefits of shipping as opposed to RORO services.

RORO vs Shipping Container

car secured in containerIt may be you find a shipping container a better solution than a ‘roll on roll off’ service – RORO ships are specifically designed for cars, trucks and trailers but we find are only cost effective if they are going where you want your car to go. Shipping Container vessels are the opposite of these, called LOLO(meaning ‘lift on lift off’) Another one of the advantages of shipping a car in a container is if you have any other items to be used at the destination, or spare parts, these can be loaded and shipped with your car inside your container. They can often offer a competitive option if you’re shipping to an inland location, or to anywhere that isn’t immediately near a RORO terminal. If you do opt to ship, the next step will be whether you purchase the container (from us!) or use a shipping line owned box. A good shipping line will loan you a free shipping container as long as you book a slot on one of their boats – this will normally work out as the most cost effective option. Although if you want to use your container at destination or for more shipping jobs, you may want to look at purchasing your own.

Purchasing a Shipping Container

When purchasing a shipping container our export spec containers come in 3 main sizes. While a 20ft container is suitable for shipment of one car or 4×4, our 40ft options provide sufficient space for two average size vehicles. So this may be more cost effective if you have to ship more than one car.

  • 20′ long x 8′ wide x 8’6” high
  • 40′ long x 8′ wide x 8’6” high
  • 40′ long x 8′ wide x 9’6” high (High Cube)

We have new and used containers available with CSC plates. Typically a used container will be sold with a minimum 6 month CSC plate whereas a new container will have circa 5 years CSC. So if you are thinking of using the container for multiple shipping jobs over years, it may be worth considering a new one. Also you need to think, what are you using the container for at destination? so do you want it looking new, or do you want it 40ft long. It is entirely up to you and we will simply help and get competitive prices for you. Different vehicles of various shapes and sizes have been shipped around the world time and time again. We have sold containers to people moving and storing antique military vehicles, classic cars, forklifts and even JCB diggers! (needless to say it was a 40ft HC for that one!) If you’re reading this and realise you may not need to buy a shipping container , you want to use a shipping line owned container (as mentioned above) you may want to approach a ‘Freight Forwarder’ or a ‘Freight forwarding company’ – There are hundreds across the UK and they can be found on yellow pages, Google or BIFA.Org the industry association website.

Shipping Container Haulage

sideloader container deliveryIf you do chose to ship a car in a shipping container there are a couple of shipping container haulage options available from us. We can drop the container off with you, you load your cargo and then we return in days/weeks to collect the container and take to the port. Alternatively we offer a ‘wait and load’ service where we arrive, leave the container on the back of the lorry until you are loaded then take the box straight to the port that day (typically a 3 hour loading period). However if you are shipping a vehicle you will need to make sure you have a way to get it in a container on the back of a lorry – ramps, raised loading bay etc. Otherwise the drop and return option would be preferable for most. If you are unsure how to ship your car in a shipping container, and especially what type of shipping container haulage will be best for you, please check out our haulage options and loading guide. And of course you can always contact us if you need any advise or want to weigh up your options. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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