How Many Cars Go In A Container?

(2 February, 2022)

How Many Cars Go In A Shipping Container.jpg

A question many businesses have when investigating the feasibility of car container transport is “how many cars will go in a shipping container?” This is often the million-dollar question, as a key consideration for all logistics businesses is their transportation cost per unit. The more cars you can fit in a container, the lower your shipping cost will be.

In truth, this is one of the areas in which container transport often falls short when compared with RoRo shipping. If you can only fit a couple of cars in each container, transportation costs will be high. It may be worth taking a calculated risk of damage from cars being manually driven on and off different transport modes, as this is counterbalanced by the low cost of Ro-Ro shipping.

Such goes the argument in favour of RoRo shipping.

The Containerised Car Transport Guide

The Benefits Of Container Shipping

Our range of high-strength and corrosion-resistant steel, collapsible racking systems, for instance, enable the safe and efficient transport of cars within containers to any destination in the world. There is a big advantage to this. Once a car is safely secured within its container, it won’t need to be moved again until it reaches its final destination. The entire container can be lifted by crane from train to storage yard, from storage yard to lorry, from lorry to ship etc. This eliminates the need for vehicles to be driven about, which is where accidents are likely to happen.

Shipping Consignments Of One Vehicle Type

So, back to our question, how many cars will one of our systems accommodate in a single shipping container?

This obviously depends on the size and make of the cars you need to transport. The following is a very rough guide, assuming your shipment involves all vehicles being of the same type, using a standard 40ftHC shipping container:

  • 5-6 small cars, e.g. Smart Car, Fiat 500, Tata Nano etc.
  • 4-5 mid-range cars, e.g. Volkswagen Golf Hatchback, Honda Civic, Skoda Octavia.
  • 4 large cars, e.g. BMW 5 Series Saloon, Hyundai i40, Mazda 6 Tourer Estate, Ford Mondeo.
  • 3 Pickups/SUVs, e.g. Nissan Qashqai, Range Rover Sport, BMW X5, Volvo XC90.

The ability to ship this number of cars in the container will make container shipping a viable alternative to RoRo, as you will need fewer containers than you would if you didn’t use racking. This is great news for businesses that need to transport a large number of cars and for whom container transport previously wasn’t affordable.

Shipping Consignments With Multiple Vehicle Types

If you use our R-Rak adaptable racking system to transport three Range Rover Evoques in a shipping container, you may find you have some room in the container to spare for another, smaller car. This is where car racking really comes into its own. Using a racking system allows you to transport multiple types of vehicle within the same container. You could, for instance, combine a mixed shipment of six Range Rovers and two Ford Fiestas in just two shipping containers, whereas you might need four shipping containers if you didn’t use racking. This is a massive cost saving and opens up interesting possibilities for flexible car transport.

One of the main services we offer customers is customised load planning to maximise the number of vehicles you can containerise within the smallest number of shipping containers. The customer comes to us with an inventory of different vehicles and our job is to provide the most cost-effective solution. It’s a bit like playing Tetris with different sized cars, but it works extremely well.

The result is cost-effective container shipping, without the risk of bumps, scratches and theft that come with RoRo shipping.

Our FREE Containerised Car Transport Guide

Discover the possibilities of car racking systems in our free Containerised Car Transport Guide. Using a customisable, stainless steel racking system can help you maximise the number of cars you can transport in a container, even allowing you to use containers for multi vehicle shipments of different makes of car. Click here to download your copy and find out more.

The Containerised Car Transport Guide

The Containerised Car Transport Guide

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