Transport of a car in a container

Transportation of a passenger car in a container to the Netherlands

When a personally owned vehicle is being transported in a container, usually the household goods (when applicable) will be loaded, securely blocked & braced first. After that, the car will be placed in the container and securely fastened (blocking & bracing). Upon arrival in the country of final destination, there are several possible scenarios:

The seemingly most efficient way of handling at destination is to ‘take the chance’ that the container will be able to be transported to the final address unopened, after custom clearance. At the final address, with the use of a ‘car ramp’, the car will be unloaded and handed over to the client.


It is necessary to use a car ramp because the container will be delivered on a trailer which results in a major difference in level between the container and the road. (See photo below).

The above mentioned method of delivery comes with a few risks and conditions which makes it worth considering to unload the car at a warehouse using a loading/unloading dock (which solves the difference in level between the container and the ground floor).

Next, the client can choose to pick the car up at the warehouse or to have it delivered to his/her residence via a so-called car ambulance. (See photo below).

When the client chooses to have the container unloaded at the final address, the final address needs to be accessible for a 16-meter long vehicle (undercarriage + truck).

In addition, you have to consider potential narrow access roads and roundabouts on the way to the final address. In the case the truck + container can not fully reach the house (or within reasonable walking distance) or there is a certain amount of doubt, unloading at the warehouse may be preferred, after which the options mentioned above apply (personal car pick-up or the use of a car-ambulance).

In case the truck + container will be able to reach the house (or within reasonable walking distance), there are more risks and conditions that should be kept in mind. Based on the following risks and conditions a decision has to be made whether or not unloading the car at the warehouse is a better option:

  • The width of the car in relation to the size of the drive-through-space (door-width) of the container (which is 2.28 meters max.). In case a passenger car is (too) wide, there is a chance that there will not be enough space between the inner side of the container and the car door necessary to enter and start the car and drive it out of the container. When a passenger car is (too) wide, it is necessary to establish if the moving crew can enter the car through the boot for example.In case it turns out or seems like the car can not be entered*, it is wise to unload the car at the warehouse. At the warehouse, a screw jack can be used after which dollies (four wheel carts) are placed underneath the car to be able to steer it straight out of the container.
    *When the car battery no longer works or the electricity has been disconnected for example
  • The car ramp can bare a maximum weight of 2500 kg.
  • When unloading a car with lower suspension (a sports car for example), the clearance of the floor space can be limited in a way that the car can get stuck on the ramp or damaged when the front of the car hits the streets after driving down the ramp. If this is the case, we also strongly advise to unload the passenger car at a warehouse with the use of a loading/unloading dock (therefor eliminating the difference in level).

Taking the above mentioned points into consideration, we must advise to unload a passenger car at the warehouse and use a loading/unloading dock to create less risk of damaging the car. The transportation can generally be well insured, however we do assume that you would prefer to receive the car undamaged.

Will you inform your Account Manager of your preference? Should you require more information, we will be here for you!