How Many Racks Do I Need For Transporting Cars?

(15 November, 2017)

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You’re in the car transportation business.  Your job is to get the cars from the manufacturer to the dealer.  You’ve looked at all the options and chosen to go with a containerised transport using a racking system, such as our R-Rak solution.  

But where do you start planning for the number of racks you need to transport your consignment? For the sake of convenience we are going to use the R-Rak as an example for planning purposes. If you use another type of racking system, you will have to discuss your requirements with the manufacturer to determine the right number of racks – as it may be different to our own calculations. 

Planning Considerations

The two main variables to consider are the total number of vehicles you need to transport, and the size and make of the vehicles. The fewer containers you need to use, the cheaper your consignment will be, so our goal is always to help customers get the largest number of cars within each container as possible.

As a rule of thumb, the following is possible with the R-Rak:

  • To load four standard sized cars inside a shipping container, you will need two R-Raks. 
  • For loading three medium cars inside the same container, you will need one R-Rak.
  • To load six small cars inside one container, three R-Raks are needed
  • A mixed consignment of 2 small cars, plus 1-2 standard sized or 1-2 large cars, will need two R-Raks.

Each R-Rak module has two wheel frames and four vertical posts and can fit into any 9’6” High Cube shipping container.  Because each module is separate, any size vehicle can be accommodated - it doesn't matter what the length, width or height of the car is.  The R-Rak is adaptable. As long as you tell us what cars you want to be transported, we will tell you how many racks you need.  

How The R-Rak Improves On Other Racking Systems

This is a big improvement on other racking systems and on using container transport without racks. In the past one or two cars could fit in a container.  But by using an automotive rack, many more cars can fit in the same space. We designed the R-Rak system specifically so users could double or triple a number of cars that go into a container.

It is also important to note that the R-Rak is also easy to use, which means the installation is quick, servicing is quick, dismantling is quick, and then - the R-Rak can be used again. No heavy machinery is used for installation, two to four workers operate an R-Rak easily and effectively, the steel is a lot more environment friendly than the wooden options and they’re cost-effective to use.

Not only this, but the R-Rak also reduces vehicle handling requirements, transportation costs and the risk of damage to the cars.  It has made it simple to transport cars, safe and reliable.  You know that you can now ship more cars in one container than any other way. But - how do you work out the logistics?

Return Shipping

The reason that the R-Rak works so well is that the engineering, design, and technology allow the R-Raks to be adapted to different vehicle configurations and shipping container sizes.  They can be expanded and they can be collapsed.  This is important.  You may need 60 R-Raks to get all your cars to their destination, but because the R-Raks can be collapsed for the return journey, you only need a single 40ft container for coming home. In a nutshell, for every 30 to 60 containers used for transporting the cars outbound, only ONE needs to be returned. 

Our Free Guide To Containerised Car Transport

For more information about containerised car shipping, please feel free to download our complimentary e-book: The Containerised Car Transport Guide. The guide explains all the benefits of steel car racking systems over the alternatives, including temporary wooden racking and Ro-Ro transport. Click here to download your copy.

To discuss your transport requirements with our team, please call +44 1926 4082 82 or send an email to You can also click here to request a quote. We promise to get back to you quickly and efficiently.

The Containerised Car Transport Guide

The Containerised Car Transport Guide

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