Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shipping Your Car from Europe to the USA




Now there is a new TSS (Travellers Service Site) on this blog, where you can check out how to ship your vehicle. This post is a copy of the first part. You can get to the site with all information HERE.

Shipping your vehicle from Switzerland to the USA


Conditions: My truck fits into a Standard Dry 20 ft Container

Shipping from: Basel, Switzerland 

Shipping to:  Elizabeth Harbour, New Jersey, USA

Shipping bySchneider Transport, click the link for information

While in Switzerland I was dealing with: Dominik Hürner, Special Services

Schneider + Co. Ltd.
International Freight Forwarding + Logistics
Solothurnerstrasse 48
CH-4002 Basel
+41 (0)61 365 96 69 / Phone
While in New Jersey respectively New York: I was dealing with Mark Aerne, he runs Sales & Markting for Schneider in the USA (I actually knew Mark from before, which was the driver for my decision to work with Schneider). Mark is just the guy you want to have handle things for you - really.

Schneider + Co. Ltd.
145 Hook Creek Blvd.
Bldg C-1 (G)
Valley Stream, NY 11581
+1 (516) 256 1600 Phone
+1 (516) 256 0056/ Fax
maerne@schneider-transport.com | http://www.schneider-transport.com
Cost:  This is sea fright, so it is very much a changing supply/demand market. At the time when I shipped cost for the Container to ship from Basel Switzerland to New Jersey USA would be about USD 3'800. Be aware, the US customs might charge you some additional cost: There are two inspections that are not just happen every time and are somewhat random, but if your container is picked to be inspected accordingly you will have to pay for the govermental services. At the time I shipped, which was 2010, there were two potential sources of income for the US governement. One is a physical inspection of your container, the other is an X-Ray. Of course my container was picked for both of them . This was costing me at the time another roughly USD 500. There is nothing you can do about that should you want to get your vehicle. (That might be one of the reasons some people say it might be better to ship to Canada). However on the big scale of what a Panamericana-Trip costs you, not really too much of an issue. And you want your car. In my case it was even more so,  I want my car! The unionized harbor workers were on strike for 5 days after my Container arrived. There are between 4'000 and 7'000 containers coming in every day at the harbour, so 5 days = about  35'000 containers.
Potential Cost Savings: When shipping ex-Switzerland you might consider driving your car up to northern Germany or the Netheralnds instead, this will safe you the cost for the shipping from Basel to Rotterdam on a Rhein-Vessel. However the savings will be in a range of about USD 600 to USD 1'000. Driving up the roughly 1'000 kilometes at European fuel prices, staying over night at least one night, getting a flight or a train ticket back home, doesn't make a whole lot financial sense vs. spending the extra money and ship directly ex-Basel. 
Comments: I would not try to do it on my own and arrange for customes clearance etc., neither in Switzerland nor and especially not in the USA. Schneider was the right choice. In the USA Mark picked me up, he run me through all the offices, brought me to the respective offices at customs etc. In NJ Schneider outsourced a part of the import work to an agent speciallized on temporary car imports, Mark introduced me their too, the whole thing was just seamless for me. The customs rip-off with X-Ray and all that has nothing to do with Schneider and really was beyond their control.

Where to stay while you wait for your vehicle: Sorry, can't recommend any place to stay in NJ, as I was staying with friends. Check www.hotwire.com or www.booking.com for Hotels in the region.

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