How to ship a vehicle from Canada? | A How-To Guide

LAC Team


Updated: October 14, 2021

What To Look For?

Your vehicle is one of your most prized possessions and a valuable investment.  It needs to be handled properly, with the right equipment and by the right staff. The last thing you want to do is risk its safety by shipping with an unqualified company.  If you’re an individual about to make a life change, moving to another country can be a stressful experience.  And that’s even before you start thinking about how you’re going to transport your car(s).  But whether you’re a private individual with one set of wheels, or an importer with many, car shipping from Canada can be a daunting task.

It is not all about the price tag

Given this, it is puzzling to discover the majority of people looking to move vehicles outside of Canada usually only consider the cost of shipping a car.  To minimize the factors left up to chance, and make for a stress-reduced vehicle shipping experience, several other considerations need to be put on the scale.  Focusing on cost alone and setting aside all these other variables could leave you with a feeling of regret, and any responsible consumer should be informed before making a commitment of this importance.

Size and resources available

Does your shipper only service individuals and small moves, or businesses and automobile manufacturers too?  Are they able to accommodate not only the general public, but dealers, fleet, rental and leasing companies as well?  If they can handle all that, chances are they’re organized enough to handle your project too.

Does your shipper have a proven infrastructure?  This includes a network of secure compounds, access to different ports and terminals, options for road and ocean travel, and a fleet of trucks operated by professional drivers.

Do they employ quality people?  From experienced advisory staff to expert drivers and handlers, every employee knows the right way to treat your car when shipping internationally.

Prevent any and all damage

Aside from cost and timeliness, one should also consider the shipping company’s track record for potential damage to the merchandise.  One surprise people will dread above all others is having their vehicle shipping company inflict abuse and cause damage in transit.  Not only will time be lost following up with paperwork, but someone will have to pay for those repairs too.  How to check the company’s history?  Verify with online research, looking for complaints against them for damages during shipping. If there are many people complaining that their vehicles were damaged during shipping, then you may want to reconsider.

Quality of customer service

One more factor to contemplate about your car shipping service provider is the experience you’ll have with their customer care reps.  This is particularly true if you have special requirements, an unusual car or truck, or are sending very expensive or rare vehicle(s).  Nothing causes more anxiety in a customer than looking for information and not being able to find it.  In the freight/cargo/shipping business, everything should be transparent and step-by-step updates should be available to the consumer.  When you need a status report, or help tracking the shipment, someone should be there for you.

Ask people or companies who have used them before, and pay attention to the quality of their customer care in the initial couple of contacts.  If they’re aloof, not attentive to detail, or make you feel unimportant, find another shipping company.


Vehicle Shipping Logistics

Providing outbound logistics

A truly pro auto logistics team will offer its customers a thorough end-to-end turnkey solution for cargo import/export outside the country.  This means ensuring visibility and keeping control over the entire process: A-Z.  It emphasizes structure, organization, and efficiency yet still remaining flexible enough to accommodate personalized service requests, tailored to each customer.

Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) terminals: Key locations

RORO terminal services continue to expand internationally, synching land and ocean transportation. In addition to the standard loading/unloading from vessels, yard management and Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) a top-notch company is able to deliver on specific customer requirements. These terminals are designed and operated to deliver expert service within a safe environment, all the while offering a sophisticated range of value added services.

Inland transport by truck

Inland transportation services for finished vehicles should be offered from manufacturing plant to port, from plant to dealer and from port to dealer by truck.  A Vehicle Distribution Center (VDC) should be available for storage, value added service and timely distribution to meet all customer needs.


There’s a lot to think about, and you’ve got enough on your plate already.  The more certainty you have about quality service from the get-go, the less anxiety you’ll feel later on.

Apart from simply “How much will it cost me?” a number of components come into play when selecting the right logistics company for international car shipping. Having the right resources, responding on time, avoiding damage, and quality customer service with the ability to track your shipment are all crucial.

For commercial moving, an efficient operation with value-added services and the ability to facilitate the administrative process are also key.  Lest we forget personalized service.

Bottom line: Are they ready to move my car(s) when I am, across international borders?  Safely, quickly and efficiently.

Related Articles

Don't just take our word for it

Learn from the experiences of those who matter most: our customers