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How vehicle size impacts shipping costs for oversized vehicles

How the Size of Your Vehicle Impacts the Price You Pay for Shipping

The size of a vehicle plays a critical role in determining the price of transport by sea for several reasons:

  1. Space Utilisation: Ships have a limited amount of space. Larger vehicles occupy more of this space, limiting the number of other vehicles or cargo that can be carried in one voyage. The opportunity cost of transporting one large vehicle might mean forgoing several smaller ones, affecting overall revenue for the vessel owner.

  2. Stowage Considerations: The stowage and arrangement of vehicles on a ship need careful planning to optimise space and ensure safe transportation. Larger vehicles can pose challenges, requiring specific placements or arrangements which can limit the efficient use of available space resulting in lower revenue for the shipping company.

  3. Handling Equipment: Larger vehicles might necessitate the use of specialised or larger handling equipment, like cranes or reinforced ramps, both for loading and unloading. This specialised equipment can be more expensive to operate and can also slow down the handling process. All adding to the cost for the shipment that will be passed on.

  4. Safety and Stability: Larger vehicles can affect the balance and stability of the ship, especially if they are challenges with evenly distributed cargo. This can have implications for the safe operation of the ship and may require additional ballasting or other measures that can only be billed to the cargo owner.

  5. Docking Constraints: Not all ports are equipped to handle very large vehicles or the special equipment required to load/unload them. This can limit the choice of ports and may result in using a port further from the closest loading point or destination. Meaning you could incur additional land transportation costs.

  6. Insurance Costs: Larger vehicles, especially if they have a higher monetary value, tend to lead to increased insurance premiums for the shipping company. As expensive as your vehicle was to buy and insure privately, it is a higher liability also for the shipping company.

  7. Special Requirements: Larger vehicles and oversized cargo, usually have unique requirements, such as protective coverings, securing mechanisms, and specialised loading procedures. Unfortunately, all of this can add to the cost billed to you.

  8. Port Fees: Some ports might levy charges based on the size or volume of the cargo. So a larger vehicle will attract higher port fees.

  9. Route Limitations: Some shipping routes or channels have size restrictions, especially for larger RoRo (Roll-On/Roll-Off) vessels. These are usually the type needed for massive vehicles. This can limit choices and necessitate using specialised ships, which cost a little more.

  10. Increased Time: The process of loading and unloading larger vehicles, especially if specialized equipment or procedures are required, can be more time-consuming. Potentially leading to longer turnaround times for the ship, which means more costs passed on.

Given these considerations, it’s easy to see why the size of a vehicle can affect the cost of shipping. Leading to higher transportation costs which are then passed on to you the customer.

At JCS Global we pride ourselves on providing competitively priced shipping for Class O and oversized vehicles… Get an online quote for your vehicle now