All about international shipping by RoRo vessels, RoRo export-import related commerce.
Read through our extensive collection of online advisories and rate information
Based on advise given to us by the major RORO steamship lines:
New shippers are encouraged to submit their B/R Booking Requests
as early as possible, since all RoRo sailings are subject to the availability of service and space.
This can mean requesting your RoRo booking 2 months in advance for high-demand destinations.
Some lines serve ports only once a month, and it is not unusual for the SS Lines to take a
RoRo ship out of service from one of their scheduled sailing rotations - without notice -
to undergo periodic repairs while in "dry-dock". Shippers should be prepared to send in your
paperwork for your "new shipper booking request" well in advance of the desired sailing date.
New accounts with a proposed shipment expected to happen sometime in the future (more than 2 months)
should send in a preshipment deposit/retainer for our service. Upon receipt a file will be opened and our customer
service dept will be able to assist with any advance preparations.
New Sefco accounts have to submit "real ID" and "become known" for security purposes [click here for details],
and to supply VID vehicle identification numbers and other details (complete shipper/consignee details)
that can be entered into our system well in advance of sailing dates.
All shipper/consignee details must be checked against a US Treasury
OFAC-Office of Foreign Assets Contract database of "denied parties".
"Pure Car Truck Carriers with variable deck height and strength,
suitable for transportation of cars as well as high and heavy rolling material.
The capacities of these vessels vary from 2,500 to 5,500 cars."
70% + 20% + 10% = 100% space allocated on a typical RoRo ship
This represents the average percentages, for... space allocated on-board the major RoRo ships, depending on the type of account
Practices vary from SS Line to SS Line.
70% - Major Commercial Accounts
20% - Government Accounts (often paying high USG rates)
10% - Privately owned vehicles (POV's) and other Heavy Equipment
Space on the ship is the most valuable element in RORO shipping.
Getting a spot on-board a high-demand RoRo vessel is a coveted thing.
In some cases, there can be a long waiting line - similar to getting on a ferry with 100 people ahead of you.
Think of how quickly tickets can sell out to a popular "rock concert".
Some ships "open up for new bookings", then fill up to
capacity, very quickly. Some vessels are booked up well over one to two months in advance.
Depending on the time of the year and the route,
it can either be very easy to get on a RoRo vessel-where space is readily available on ships,
or it can be very "tight" with a long wait to other destinations.
RoRo vessels departing from a major car exporting nation (eg. Japan)
can expect to see full ships when the New Years' supply of auto's are rolling off the production lines.
Getting space in high demand periods/routes, require submitting a new booking request
several weeks in advance of sailing.
For space on a RoRo ship, please book your reservation early!
Read our online ADVISORIES posted on our site for updates on shipping market conditions, such as...
...reports of port congestion, strikes,
and other factors that can affect shippers and Sefco customers.
Look for our collection of RORO SERVICE MAPS ...to get a better idea for
the routes taken by several major RORO steamship lines. Ask us
for further details.
Shipping your vehicle overseas? Ask us for rates and advice.
From anywhere in the USA to points worldwide. Import and Export, 3rd Country Shipments.
Find out more about our service.
Have a look at our guides concerning the international shipping of
automobiles, motorcycles, motorboats, sailboats, oversized construction equipment,
tropical and extreme climate vehicles, personal effects and household goods, throughout the world.
This is one of the most popular and economical methods for shipping vehicles overseas.
Ro-Ro vessels are like having a huge,
floating, multilevel in-door parking lot,
sailing between the US East Coast,
Northern Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
In addition to the international shipping of POV's personally owned vehicles, passenger cars,
SUV's, trucks, buses, ambulances, dump trucks, tractor trailers and other self propelled vehicles, we ship a lot of
heavy construction equipment and other oversized (non-containerizable) cargo.
Many RoRo ships will also take crated and uncrated motorcycles.
[see photo of roro vessel -
read commentary and see more of our photo galleries]
The cost for "exclusive-use" container service is often a lot
more than shipping
via a RoRo vessel. RoRo ships are in high demand and they only serve certain high volume routes.
Containers on the other hand can be shipped practically anywhere. Containers are highly secure.
Sometimes more than one vehicle can be shipped at the same time, inside 40-foot or 40-foot "high cube"
ocean containers. Sometimes people ask us if they can ship more than one car in a 20-ft container.
Since most cars are over 16 feet long, unless it is a minature bumper car, only one car
can fit in a 20-ft container (see photo at right).
We can load several motorcycles into one 20-foot or 40-foot ocean container.
Containers with a car or motorcycle can also be combined with your own household goods and personal effects.
We do not however load cars and personal effects belonging to unrelated parties.
SITEMAP GUIDE > Air freight shipping > Expedited Air Cargo Service.
Air freight is used for high value vehicle like Ferrari's, armored vehicles
and collector cars.
Because of restrictions placed on motorcycles shipments by ocean cargo consolidators going to most overseas locations,
if there is no RoRo service, then airfreight is often the only other
way to ship a motorcycle. This is because export rules require that the original
title has to be checked
and approved by US Customs for export. If a titled motorcycle is loaded into an ocean "consolidation container"
along with other cargo, the export clearance process for the motorcycle will hold up everything else in the container.
All the other shippers sharing the consolidation ocean container will complain that their shipment is
delayed because someone else's motorcycle is holding
up the export of the consolidation container. Now practically all of the major ocean consolidators
will not accept motorcycles for export in their "shared containers".
Air is the more expensive option, but it is very safe and obviously very rapid.
The arrival date and estimated time of arrival for Air Cargo Flights
are much more time-specific as compared to the sailing and
arrival time of an ocean ship.
Delays can be caused while awaiting official US Customs approval for the "release for export".
Trans-shipment connections (via a secondary or intermediate port)
will increase the total transit time.
Direct port-to-port sailings and direct airport-to-airport flights work best.
Air Cargo Shipping Specialists
Our auto export department has arranged for the export of
many vehicles by aircargo freighter service, including very heavy armored cars with values in excess of $250,000.00
The work involved with aircargo vehicle exports is very much "hands on".
This often includes sending personnel directly to the airport at the same time that the cargo gets there -
to liaise directly with US Customs - to submit the all the export documentation (original title, AWB airwaybill,
Hazmat certficates, etc).
AirCargo space has to be reserved and "booked" in advance to go on a flight, but nothing is loaded onboard an aircargo freighter before
US Customs stamps it as "ok to go".
To confirm the shipping/handling charges we will need to know the exact three dimensions of
the vehicle and the weight. We'll also need to see a copy of the title (by fax or email).
Further, our "HAZMAT" specialists must do certain things to render the unit
non-hazardous and a special declaration has to be issued. This adds to the cost but is absolutely necessary for
the vehicle to be loaded on board an airplane.
See photos: Premium Auto Shipping via Air
What does air cost? As a rough guide, figure 3 to 4 x times the cost of sea containerized shipping, from/to major US/European seaports/airports.
We can help arrange for US Customs export clearance of your vehicle title.
If something is not done the right way, the export clearance can be rejected by US Customs.
For vehicles shipped by air,
having cargo "rolled over" to depart on a subsequent flight (or vessel)
can easily mean additional fees to keep the cargo on the ground at the airport while waiting the next flight.
For vehicles shipped by sea, in general we can get some extra lattitude regarding the amount of "free time"
allowed while cargo waits on the ground at the port, but still, the length of time that the cargo can sit somewhere before storage begins to accrue, is limited.
Do things the right way: "Sefco is the way to go!"
A deposit/retainer of $ 500 min would be good for opening new Sefco accounts planning to move cargo 2 months or further in the future.
If we are to actually submit a formal B/R Booking Request, requesting & booking space on a vessel to happen in less than 60 days,
then the total freight charges will need to be prepaid.
Space on RoRo vessels
is in high demand; after a booking for space has been secured, the cargo needs to fill the space.
We can not reserve space and then not have the cargo fill that space on the designated vessel. [Read some do's and don'ts.]
photo: a large Ro/Ro ship enters Sydney Harbor, Australia
Do you currently own property that you need to ship overseas?
Vehicles, Heavy Equipment, Boats, Containers, all kinds of cargo can be shipped.
We contract directly with the shipper / property owner or
Let us know your details and we'll send you the rate.
If you are uncertain about what to do, please feel free to contact our company for
feedback. Third party logistics providers, traders and other
interested persons can obtain specialized support service including the latest updates and rates by
providing a retainer to our company, to formally become a Sefco Commercial Account. Benefit from our "Export Expertise".
Important note about Sailing Frequency, and Allocation of Space aboard RoRo vessels.
Some RoRo Carriers going to "high demand" ports
have rapid transit times and frequent sailing
(= costing more);
while other RoRo Carriers go to these same ports, but it
will take a much longer time to get space on their ships with less frequent sailings (= lower cost).
Please advise what is your preference so we can provide you with the best options.
In certain ports of destination, where service is less than once per month,
shippers may be given a choice in shipping prices.
Especially for Heavy Equipment:
The cheaper price may mean that it's going to take a couple months before the freight get's loaded onto the vessel,
or a much higher price where your freight would go out usually within a month's time.
Whichever rate you select it would still require a deposit (of at least $500) for Sefco to book this freight with the SS Line.
Example: RoRo Sailings to Beirut - where, using the more expensive line,
we would be able to book your freight for a sailing within a month.
Alternatively, for a cheaper rate to Beirut you will be looking at a sailing date within 3 months.
Safe and Economical Shipping Services
Use our freely accessible on-line rate guides to get a better idea of the rates and procedures for shipping
your vehicles and other ro/ro cargo from/to the United States and hundreds of destinations worldwide.
Important: SS line routes and rates change frequently
and this information
is provided as a general guide only - giving an indication of costs measured over several years time. All rate quotations must be reconfirmed at time of booking with SS Lines/carriers (subject to any GRI or changes imposed by the SS Lines/carrier.)
click the image below to go to this section of our website
RORO Rate Grid Index - General rate guide for shipping vehicles via Ro/Ro service all over the world.
ADVICE > Auto FCL Fact Sheet
- Get a better understanding of the shipping services and costs offered by Sefco.
Shipping vehicles inside of your own exclusive-use ocean container is one of the safest ways to
export high-value vehicles.
Personally Owned Vehicles (POV) for export
From our website:
Our rate guides and services are primarily for property owners with standard vehicles.
Even if you do not plan to ship your vehicle within the next 30-60 days, contact our RoRo department
so we can send you any updates and developments, so you are well prepared
and informed for when it comes time to actually move your property.
Can you make a reservation for space on a high demand vessel and then just let it go unfilled?
Short answer: No. The view held by the RoRo steamship lines is that the space on their ships is in great demand and ships moving in
high-demand trade lanes are often completely full.
Shippers have certain responibilities, one is to pay the applicable charges and the other is to produce the cargo.
Imagine what an airline would do if you book and buy a plane ticket, then not show up for the flight? In business, people look
for 1) reliable payers and 2) parties well informed about their respective responsibilities.
Are there special requirements for customs in the USA or overseas?
Read our "Do's and Don'ts".
Heavy Equipment Exports > Real Case Examples
Moved heavy equipment weighing over 25000-lbs
via specialized trucker pickup from West Virginia door -
with special street permits - from the US East Coast via sea into the base port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
for connecting vessel trans-shipment, delivered to the port of Mombassa, Kenya. Copy of B/L bill of lading, shown below.
Documents are often transmitted via email in PDF format.
Some nations - in the EU and Australia
- have strict rules concerning C L E A N I N G your cargo before it is exported.
If you need heavy equipment, trucks, boats or other cargo to be cleaned prior to pier delivery, ask us for
SPECIAL SUPPORT SERVICES > cleaning and temporary storage
S.I.T. storage in transit for vehicles and heavy equipment (pre-export) can be arranged upon request.
S.I.T. storage yards (for inside/outside) are often relatively near to the major port shipping terminals.
Our clients receive the most up to date information
concerning sailing departure dates, ETA estimated times of arrival,
schedule changes and other news you need to know.
Our shippers, paying customers and established accounts always receive our closest attention and care at all times.
We encourage logistics providers to register with Sefco so we can send you the latest updates for service into the areas you are
most interested in.
Keep informed: get rates, updated sailing schedules, and much more.
You do not have to be shipping immediately "this week", for us to help you obtain
sailing schedules, latest delivery "cut-off" dates, updated vessel arrival dates, re-confirm port fees,
double check on documentation requirements, and provide general support for your anticipated overseas consignment.
If you have worked with us before, as a paying customer, you are already considered to be an "established account".
If you are working with us for the first time, please send in your initial retainer for active account service.
Once registered, we will maintain a file under your name
and we will be able to help you keep track of all that needs to be done.
There's a lot of free information that you can obtain by visiting the nearest public library,
and reading trade publications that publish sailing schedules, provide the transit routes for the largest SS Lines,
and the Embassies are open to field questions from the general public regarding the latest
requirements for the importation of personal property. US Customs is open and has staff to help with any questions
regarding export clearance procedures for vehicles at the various US ports. But why spend all that time?
We have the information, we have the knowledge and experience.
We can start working for you right now, today, to answer your questions.
"Work with us, and we'll be working for you."
You can sign up now, and decide to ship your personal property many months later. In the meantime, we'll be available to answer
your questions and provide the serious and professional attention that you deserve.
And people tend to have lots of questions!
The cost of your registration can be applied to Sefco's price for purchasing and shipping services.
Are you in the "American heartland" - somewhere in the interior of the USA,
and you are thinking about buying a vehicle to be shipped back to your home country?
You are in good company. Many people do what you are thinking of doing. But what is the smartest and most cost effective
way to arrange this?
Let's say you are in Oklahoma or Minnesota.
If you buy a car locally, it's going to cost you a lot of money
just to move it from, say, Minneapolis, all the way to the US East Coast - which is where most RoRo ships depart from.
Instead: Look up the year/make/model that you want. Go online and go to local dealers. Decide on what you want to buy.
Then ask us to contact the dealers that we have been working with for many years.
Over the years we have built up some very good relationships in this area.
Some dealers provide discounts on vehicles that they sell for export.
SEFCO can act as your purchasing agent, to buy the model you want. We can arrange for a pre-shipment inspection of your vehicle,
complete with digital photos (added value option). We can arrange to pickup and transfer to the
piers along the US East Coast. If you buy through SEFCO,
we buy from sources sensibly located for export.
Register for our service and we'll be working for you.
Our account-focused services are tailored to address the particular business interests of our customers.
Our Sefco customer online report, help you track the latest developments within your various trade areas.
Subject matter include: RoRo export sailings to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, South and Central America.
If you would like to get a better idea of how things work, please review our
free online service guides.
We provide many examples of rates (which are always subject to confirmation at the time of booking), methodologies and requirements.
If you become a Sefco account,
we'll track developments for you and report to you on any changes in rates, schedules, sailing routes,
customs requirements, inspection requirements, and more... all tailored to your needs.
All schedules are reconfirmed at the time of booking, and are subject to change.
There are additional sailings through our carefully selected network of carriers, forwarders and approved agents located around the world.
Once you become a Sefco customer and a formal commercial account, we'll keep you "in the loop" concerning the latest developments,
matters of concerns, and general information pertaining to our various trade areas.
Please click on the images below to see a larger version (jpg images).
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We specialize in the overseas shipping of automobiles,
motorcycles, motorboats, sailboats, oversized construction equipment, tropical and extreme weather vehicles,
personal effects, household goods. Auto Shipping by Sea and Air Freight. Although the majority of vehicles shipped
internationally are shipped by ocean, we do transport a great deal of armored vehicles, race cars, classic,
antique and collector vehicles (often valued in excess of $1 million) via air freight as well.
Located in the United States and Around the World.
In addition to our Elizabeth, NJ warehouse, we offer warehousing services in Baltimore, MD;
Brunswick, GA; Ft. Lauderdale, FL;
Houston, TX; Los Angeles and Oakland, CA; London, England; Paris, France; Antwerp, Belgium; Amsterdam, NL;
Bremerhaven, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Dubai, U.A.E.
We have a vast network of associates throughout the world that enables us to handle all of your
international shipping needs from almost any location on the globe.
Superior Service at Affordable Rates. Courteous Service is more than just a catch phrase.
Whether you are shipping your car to Nigeria, one cubic meter of personal effects to Puerto Rico,
or the entire contents of your home to Ireland, our conscientious and knowledgeable staff will assist you
with every facet of your international shipping requirements.
The majority of our business is based on repeat business as well as recommendations through clients
that have previously entrusted us with their automobiles, personal belongings, furniture (antique as well as new),
household goods and general freight.
Our years of experience along with our expertise as an international shipping company
will allow us to make your overseas shipping experience smooth, seamless and successful.
International Shipping Company, Dependable Auto Shippers.