Reading : 2 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

Proper loading of your car for shipping will mean the difference between safe travel and scratches, damage or worse. Be sure your wheels arrive safely with these tips.

Prepare your car for travel

  • The vehicle should be clean and free of mud and debris.
  • Remove fuel.
  • Disconnect battery and disable alarm system.
  • Retract antenna and roof, if applicable.
  • Learn of any applicable permits or permissions required to have the container in your yard. Ask representatives of your homeowner’s association or county government.

Load the car

Your container will likely be 20 x8 x 8 or 40 x 8 x 8. If you are also loading personal items, you may want the larger container. Number and/or label boxes for convenient unpacking. You might also try smart labeling with products such as Quick Peek. Apply the stickers to your moving boxes and take pictures of the contents. Use your phone later to scan labels for a quick reminder of what’s inside. Put these items in first if you are moving into an area where the car will require inspection. Inspectors will need ready access to your vehicle, and it will be a hassle to have to pull out your mattress or boxes at the checkpoint.

Options for loading the car into the container include a ramp or flat-bed truck. If you don’t have access to one, you can rent one from a local vendor. Load the car onto the truck and back the truck as close to the container entrance as you can. Drive the car from the truck to the container. Alternatively, you can rent a ramp to drive the car into the container. If yours is a very narrow container, you will need to push the car inside because you won’t be able to open the doors and get out. Enlist a helper. An extra pair of eyes and hands can help you stay safe and avoid accidents.

Secure the car

The container will come equipped with tie hooks or fasteners on the floor, sides and ceiling. Use these to securely fasten your car and belongings so there is no shifting during travel. Use wooden blocks or wood or metal chocks to keep the tires from rolling and the car in place. Nail chocks in place. Use tow rings or ratchet straps around the axle behind each wheel. Also use straps or rope to attach the top of the vehicle to prevent tipping during rough travel conditions. Don’t skimp on ratchet straps – if you need heavy duty, spring for it. Broken straps offer no protection and will cost you more in damage repairs in the long run. Consider a shipping container bolt seal to reduce likelihood of theft or tampering. Learn from your shipper if this option makes sense in your case.

Loading a shipping container is easy to do with the right equipment. If you take care to fasten the car securely you can feel confident of safe, damage free arrival.

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