Diverse reasons and situations would always necessitate the purchasing and subsequent importation/exportation of vehicles from one country to the other or from a geographical location to another.
You may however want to keep your transportation (shipping) cost as low and as convenient as possible especially considering the fact that you may have already spent a fortune in acquiring the car and may probably spend more to get a customs clearance.
Deciding on the method of shipment for your car is therefore a very important aspect in the car purchasing process. An overseas vehicle importer has two options when shipping vehicles. Either transporting in a container on a container vessel or opting for a Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) service also known as a car carrier.
While each of the two options would get your car to you, you might want to consider the pros and cons for each method before making a decision.
Using a container vessel
Shipping your vehicle through a container basically involves lashing the said car in a container and transporting through a container vessel. This method is more expensive comparably to a RORO service. It however guarantees exclusivity to the space in the container thus if you opted for an Full Container Load (FCL).
Using a container to ship you car also gives you the opportunity to stuff the container with other personal effects that you might want to ship along with your car. This method is therefore more ideal when you are relocating or moving residence with more than just your car. However, your car in a container may be handled many more times compared to a RORO service..
Opting for a RORO service (car carrier)
A car carrier is basically a vessel purposely designed and equipped to facilitate the storage and transportation of cars permitting a Roll On Roll Off service, cars are literally rolled into the hold of a vessel lashed , transported and rolled off at the port of discharge.
This is a more cheaper alternative compared to shipping in a container. It also allows for less handling of your vehicle as it is rolled on (at loading) and rolled off (at discharge). The car must however be fully operational as it must be driven into the vessel, a nonoperational car may however attract extra cost during the loading process.(as there may be the need for jump starting)
Car carriers are mostly used by the major car manufacturers to distribute their cars so it is surely a safe method of vehicle shipment.
Note however that, when you intend to relocate or move residence and may want to send other personal effects in addition to your vehicle then a RORO service would not be the ideal choice for you.
Making a decision
While a container vessel may not be limited geographically ,a Car carrier may be. This is because almost every port has facilities to service a container vessel and therefore can be used to ship cars from any location, on the other hand not all ports may be equipped to service a RORO vessel hence some geographic limitation with regards usage. There is also the issue of frequency of service as there are more container vessels calling at ports comparably to car carriers. Fortunately in Ghana, the Tema port can service a car carrier.
In deciding on which method to use , consider your needs, the cost as well as convenience and most importantly availability. With my opinion however, I would suggest a RORO service since it has a slight advantage over container in terms of cost and convenience.
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