Friday, May 24, 2024
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HomeGuest ArticleSafe shipment of cars in containers

Safe shipment of cars in containers


This is a guest post by Brie Moreau who works with CFR Rinkens, a global leader in the safe shipment of cars in containers specializing in used autos, with more than 1500 classic cars and other vehicles transported overseas every month.

image for be my guestThe shipping and freight industry has been booming for the past several years, driven by globalization of the market place. With a large quantity of goods being bought and sold on a worldwide basis, companies and individuals are constantly looking to increase efficiency when moving products.

Among the almost infinite number of items to be shipped from one place to another, including overseas, is cars. Until the internet widened our target audience, used or restored cars were typically bought and sold locally and only the very wealthy could ship them great distances.


When shipping an automobile in a container, traditionally, the shipper used to size up different cars and build a wooden racking system to hold all the cars. Each container can hold more than one so the price is decreased with multiple cars.

This requires building temporary ramps for getting the car from ground level to its place within the container. When the container finally reaches its destination port, the people at the receiving end are tasked with figuring out how to safely get the cars out of the boxes.

The time consuming process usually involves building more temporary ramps and/or the use of forklifts, which are notoriously damaging to the average automobile.

Does this sound like an awful lot of trouble? It is and that’s why ingenuity and the ability to think outside the container has made a huge difference in shipping cars.


In 2011, CFR Rinkens introduced a revolutionary new method, called R-Rak, for shipping cars that was ingenious yet so simple.

The design incorporates racks with a series of pulleys that allows the car to be driven into the container and lifted with a built-in hoisting system.

Similar to the auto-hauling trailers that big trucks pull on the highways, cars are stacked one on top of another and safely belted in place.

Since no forklifts or temporary ramps are used, valuable time and resources are saved. Removing the cars at the receiving end is much easier.


The possibility of damaging cars with this method of shipping is actually much lower than the traditional method for several reasons.

  • Extensive testing has been done with the new system, including slamming containers full of cars into walls and it has been found that the cars stay in place. The testing was already done on special cars procured for this purpose.
  • Loading and unloading, without forklifts and temporary ramps, is much less complicated which also decreases the possibility of damage.
  • There are no piles of wood for rebuilding temporary ramps added to the container so the possibility of them breaking loose and banging about while in route is not an issue.
  • Your car will arrive at its destination in the same condition as when it was driven into the container.
  • Besides the lower cost, as a bonus the environment wins because trees are left to grow rather than be cut down for building temporary ramps.

So the next time you are considering shipping your car make sure that you use a shipping company that uses this revolutionary racking technique. This will make sure that your car will be in good hands, or in this case, on good racks, when shipped.

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  1. Using a tested certified steel racking system which is used many times pays for itself in the first couple of moves, installation and removable of racks is very quick and simple.

  2. We have witnessed the R-Rak system personally, and for shipping large orders overseas, being able to pack in the goods into a container (even 4 cars!) is changing the logistics industry.

    We ship container buildings around the country and have noticed that none of our cars or trucks were damaged.
    It went all smooth, and our client was satisfied.

    Cheers for the article…

  3. Sulkkhan, of course a simple container shipment may be a little cheaper, but all the rack set up & tear down labor time, the cost of the racks and/or the repo of the racks, etc., greatly increases the total door to door cost of the cars in a container using this rack system. I can see where it has its place in shipments where roro service is not available, but otherwise, I suspect the total door to door cost per car is cheaper via ro-ro.

  4. Hi we use a wooden ramp system and load 5 cars per 12m .
    No additional offloading ramps are required .
    Wood from commercial forestry is a sustainable product and one of the greenest of building materials .
    You do have to remove the timber frame but the costs are very low .

  5. What do the racks cost, how many labor hours does it take to setup/tear down the racks, and what becomes of the racks at destination? Why not just ship the used cars as cargo on a ro-ro, like ACL or WWL, etc.?


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