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During the shortage of space on ships, container shipping of cars becomes an alternative to roro shipping.

Among the advantages of container shipment of cars are the following:

- Some ships do not accept unmovable cars, when any car can be packed into a container;

- With container loading, multimodal transportation is possible, for example, first by sea then by land;

- Сontainer transportation is safer than ro-ro transportation if the car is shipped on deck;

- Only container shipping can be done for some countries. For instance, from Japan to Georgia;

- It is possible to pack spare parts in a container in the place with the cars, however, many ro-ro carriers prohibit inner cargo;

Among disadvantages of container shipping are:

- All cars for packing in one container must be collected in one place, even if the cars were bought at remote auctions;

- If the fasteners in the container are incorrect, there is a high probability of damage to cars;

- Usually, one customer has to buy all the cars in the container unless it is a combined shipment;

There are several types of packing (vanning) of the car inside the container. Generally in Japan vanning style separate in two types: simplified vanning and strengthened vanning (so called kyoka-van). Selection of vanning type usually depends on the logistics rote to the country of destination. If there is more than one trans-shipment of the container, then strengthened vanning is done.

Samples of simplified vanning:

Samples strengthened vanning:

20F container dimensions:

  • Length: 19’4″ / 5.89m.

  • Width: 7’9″ / 2.35m.

  • Height: 7’10” / 2.39m.

  • Tare weight: 4,894 lbs / 2,220 kg.

  • Payload capacity: 48,171 lbs / 21,850 kg.

  • Cubic capacity: 1,170 ft³ / 33.2 m³.

40F container dimensions:

  • Length: 39’6″ / 12.03m.

  • Width: 7’9″ / 2.35m.

  • Height: 7’10” / 2.39m.

  • Tare weight: 8,245 lbs / 3,740 kg.

  • Payload capacity: 58,996 lbs / 26,760 kg.

  • Cubic capacity: 2,391 ft³ / 67.7 m³.

Usually, two sedan type cars could be packed into 20F container and 4 sedan type cars could be packed in 40F container. Following are sample vanning plans for 40F container:

Following the price list of one of the vanning (packing companies).

Price is provided per container.

Other in Japan expenses for the car remain the same as for ro-ro shipment, except container DRAYAGE and THC.

DRAYAGE is procedure of picking up the empty container from the shipping company and later bringing it back filled with the cars.

Drayage fee depends on the distance from port to the vanning place. Could be 30,000- to 120,000 jpy per container

THC- Terminal handling charge. Its fee which is charged by port authorities for handling the container.

THC is 48,000 JPY per container.

Thus the invoice breakdown for the cars shipped by containers will be as follows:

- CAR PRICE 車両代金




- SHIPPING CHARGES 船積み料 ("Funazumi ryokin"), which includes following:

- a) Yard storage fee;

- b) Photos;

- c) Radiation check;

- d) Custom clearance for car in Japan;

- e) Vanning (packing fee)



- FREIGHT 運賃 ("Unchin")



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127,752 units were exported from Japan to other countries on April 2023. Below to 15 importer countries. Data includes both Ro-Ro and container shipment. Russia- 20,963 cars UAE- 16,186 cars New Zeala

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