International Shipping Methods
There are 3 main options when sending your vehicle, equipment, machinery or other large items from the USA to overseas. Due to the size and weight of these shipments, they are usually carried by ocean-going vessels.
1. Ocean Container International Shipping
This is probably the most common and most recognized shipping option. I’m sure everybody has seen the ocean containers being pulled by trucks on the highways. A container is nothing more than a water-tight metal box designed for easy loading/unloading of the cargo. The popularity of this options stems from the fact that all containers are of standard sizes around the world which makes it very easy for the ports, warehouses, vessel operators, truckers, manufacturers, etc to handle them.
There are 2 sub-options that you can get with Container service:
A. Full Container (also may be called “dedicated” or “exclusive”). With this option, only your cargo or vehicle will occupy the container. This option is naturally useful for shippers that have enough cargo to fill the whole 20′ or 40′ ocean container.
B. Shared Container (also may be called “consolidated” or “economy”). With this option, the container will be loaded with cargo that belongs to different owners. This is a practical way to ship cargo overseas if you only have a single item or a vehicle and don’t want to pay for the whole container.
2. Roll-on Roll-off Vessel Transport
Not a lot of people are familiar with this shipping option but it’s not something new and companies around the world have been using this service for years. This service is very popular with car manufacturers when they need to move a large number of vehicles overseas. The vessel is equipped with ramps and the vehicles are driven on at the point of origin and driven off at the point of destination. The Ro/Ro vessels usually have a few decks (levels) inside with different heights allowing for the transportation of not just the passenger cars but also much larger vehicles such as trucks, mobile cranes, boats, recreational vehicles, buses, etc.
3. Lift-on Lift-off and Deck Shipping
This method is not used very much in transoceanic routes. It’s mainly used for shorter travel distances such as, for example, from the USA to the Caribbean islands. With this service, the cargo is simply lifted on the vessel with the help of cranes, nets, and ropes and sometimes cargo is not covered from the elements and exposed to the seawater and wind.