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Discussion Starter #1
So here I am in Italy on business and have spied some nice potential acquisitions. Surprisingly Alfas from the 60s and 70s are few and far between but the ones I have seen are in superior condition. So has anyone bought a car in Italy and shipped it stateside? What are the issues and what is the probable cost? Thanks for any advice>
 

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Gary's break down is very informative and right on. I have shipped cars from Europe to California several times and am currently planning another transport from Switzerland to California.

Rough numbers from my side, end to end:
  • Roll on Roll off will set you back somewhere around $3,500
  • A 20' container sets you back around $6,000 - $8,000
  • Flying in your purchase begins at $15,000 for the transportation charges only
There are a few charges that most people forget to consider and that add up to the costs on top of transportation charges.

First, where is the car? You need to get it to the port. Most likely, you will need a service to get it there.

If you do a container (And depending on the value and uniqueness of the car, I do recommend it), quite a few additional charges at the port apply - both in the sending and receiving port (Terminal handling, drayage, warehouse handling, harbor maintenance fees, etc.). Those can add up significantly. Note though, that some of those charges do not apply for RoRo.

You need a customs bond for the car that runs at $4 per $1,000 in value.

You need to pay duty - 2.5% of the value of the car.

I highly recommend an additional insurance for the car that will set you back several hundreds of dollars but will be invaluable for peace of mind.

I have always used a service for customs clearance. Contrary to Gary's post, I believe that they only charge ~$150 for the service and saving the time to deal with was worth the money for me. All other fees such as x-rays, etc. would apply in any case. Correct me if I am wrong here.

Lastly, you need to get the car from the harbor to the warehouse of the freight forwarder (If it is in a container) - Another couple of hundred bucks, though you save those again for RoRo.

For illustrative purposes, here is a recent bid I got from Cosdel in San Francisco. Cosdel specializes in classic cars and have a superior reputation for their services. No affiliation here: I checked them out since I am shipping a Zagato-built Lancia Flaminia and really need to make sure that everything will be perfect. I calculated roughly $9,000 for the car to be here and that is before the 8% or so sales taxes that the DMV California will charge.

All in all, I made pleasant experiences with shipping cars but the costs do add up and you need to be prepared.

Mike
********************

Inland Haulage
Collection from Meilen, CHF 625.00 (air or ocean)

Export Freight

Ocean freight for the car in a 20' to Long Beach - CHF 4,995.00
-includes container loading, drayage, documentation and export formalities.

Air freight from Zurich to LAX - CHF 15,000.00-based on the weight and dimensions that you have provided; includes airport transfers, documentation and export formalities.

Arrival Charges

Ocean

Carrier Terminal Handling - $480.00 per 20'
Drayage to Warehouse - $280.00 per 20'
Devanning - $225.00 per vehicle
Warehouse In/Out Receiving Report - $50.00 per vehicle
Pier Pass - $60.00 per 20'
Customs or other agency exams - At cost, if required

Air
Carrier Handling Surcharge - $40.00 per Air Waybill


Customs Clearance Charges

Customs Entry - $350.00 per entry
EPA/DOT Waiver - $50.00 per vehicle
Duty - 2.5% based on the bill of sale value of the vehicle
Merchandise Processing Fee - 0.21% based on the bill of sale value of the vehicle
Harbor Maintenance Fee - 0.125% based on the bill of sale value of the vehicle (ocean only)
Customs Bond - $4.00 per $1,000.00 based on the bill of sale value of the vehicle, plus the duty amount and users' fees
 

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Mikes post is a good complement to my thread breaking down costs. My way of doing it was a minimal cost (although it was a bit higher going to a west coast port) example. Certainly when the value/rarity of the vehicle starts going up, at some point it is time to consider container shipping and insuring the vehicle. You may also wish to do the latter for a less expensive vehicle, but I was comfortable forgoing insurance knowing the reputation of the shipper based on the experiences of other AlfaBB members. On a vehicle like mine priced in the mid teens, the thought of container shipping never entered my mind, although at double the price it starts to become something to consider.

I did document 100% of my costs and I didn't have to pay for a customs bond based on the vehicle value. I'm guessing that's another container shipping only cost (or maybe based on the port of entry). That's because when I did get a quote from a customs broker he added this customs bond in along with things like a harbor maintenance fee, merchandise processing fee, and a few other nickel and dime things that start to add up (and which I didn't have to pay). My quote for the broker's service was $350, though certainly every broker at every port decides what their fee is. If I was doing container shipping, paying a broker because of the extra complication/fees of shipping by container then becomes more reasonable.

Also, in my case there was no cost associated with either getting the car to port in Europe (except for covering Roland's expenses) or getting the car from port in the U.S. to where I live (via a forwarder). That all played into my decision to look for a car in Europe in the first place--being able to ship a car for a small percentage of the value of the car such that it was cheaper than buying in the U.S. for a rare model. Of course, not being able to find one of these cars in the U.S. in a predictable timeframe was also a big factor--I wasn't willing to wait for years that seemed likely for the right car to come on the market here.

Gary
 

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I am amazed by these prices.. I regularily send cars from US to west europe.

Most often I can ship a midsize (porsche 911/ferrari308) size car for approx $1000 ro-ro seafreight (and that is to Drammen/Oslo, not central Europe!)

Inland trucking runs to anything from $400 for a short haul, to $900 from mid states USA and $1300-1700 for a cross continent haulage.

My Ferrari 308 shipped from Palm Springs to Gothenburg costed a total of $2300 all included ( I could have saved $400 on inland freight, but went for a more expensive company as it was a ferrari)

I shipped mini cooper from sweden to CA once, it was not bad, I remember it being more or less the same price as shipping a 911 from CA to sweden..

Try Susan or Jessica at the US office of EH Harms

E.H.Harms USA

Or go directly on the German part of the company.. here is a link to their pricelist.. I recommend them. ship cars every month with these.

Germany
 

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Actually,I don't believe that you may have to pay this much if you get a shipping company to let you use what they call in Italy a Vuoto. This would be an empty Container that came to Italy from the States full of merchandise and is returning empty. The port in Livorno has often boats returning to Charleston SC full of Vuotos. Usually what the shipping carrier does is charge you half of the Taxes on the Container and let you put whatever you want to put in it, this should be somewhere between $600.00 US. . If it is an Automobile you will have to empty the Gas tank or leave less than 1/4 tank. The Dogane costs may vary, but if you declare that the Automobile is for your use at US customs you pay nothing, if you sell, you will have to pay the aforementioned tax. I am not sure about what the Guardia di Finanza will charge you on the way out, this will be up to them. If you know people, sometimes no cost over there, this, fortunately applies to me. :)
 

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if you declare that the Automobile is for your use at US customs you pay nothing, if you sell, you will have to pay the aforementioned tax.
Unfortunately, this does not work unless your stay is only temporary in the US. Trust me as a green card holder and still European Citizen, I tried ...

Nevertheless, there are cheaper carriers but I get very, very concerned about their reputation with classic cars, especially those that require either some skills or parts that are hard to find and very expensive. Last thing I want to happen, even with insurance coverage, is any missing or damaged part on my Flaminia Zagato. I believe that paying upfront for a carrier that has experience with classic cars is money well spent.

On that note, I gave E.H. Harms a call and was not very impressed. First, no experience with classic cars (At least what they told me), second, you have to deal with all entities directly (i.e. all they did was giving me an email of a Swiss carrier). Not really what I am into nor where want to spent my time. Again, happy to pay for expert service.

Nevertheless, thanks all for pointing out alternatives. There have to be more guys who used high quality carrier service and I appreciate other options. So far, I checked Cosdel (Came highly recommended but pricey), Abel ("middle of the road" but very good to work with and I used them twice) - Who else?

Mike
 

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Shipping From Italy

i would like advice thei company Alemanno Spedizioni

Alemanno & C - Trasporti - Spedizioni Livorno

as i use from many years for my trading of classic car ..so they are quote specilised ( very importnt for expample is loading procedure into container ) also the can arrange pick up the car everywhare in italy for good rate ..and more have some experience with papers of classic

They are based in Livorno are smll comapny so thet car for they cuistomer.
 

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Check out Highland Worldwide : Home website for contacts on info for European to N. America car shipment. There is a very good deal on a regular schedule RO-RO ship between Long Beach , CA and Hamburg, I believe...way less than what has been flying about here so far.
 

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Check out Highland Worldwide : Home website for contacts on info for European to N. America car shipment. There is a very good deal on a regular schedule RO-RO ship between Long Beach , CA and Hamburg, I believe...way less than what has been flying about here so far.
Although I'm not in the market to ship a car having been one of these people who apparently paid "way more" a couple months ago, can you direct me where under this website it descibes RoRo shipping of private cars? They seem to be a global business consulting service with nothing to do with shipping automobiles.

Or, is this some sort of service where they know who to contact that does the actual shipping and these consultants collect a fee acting as a go-between? I'd feel much more comfortable dealing directly with a shipper unless there are literally dozens of AlfaBB folks who have used their services like you get with an actual shipper like Wallenius. Cheap is good, but at some point you need to be able to sleep at night knowing the reputation of who you are entrusting your car to.

Gary
 

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Thanks, that looks a lot more comforting than a bunch of IT dweebs speaking marketing BS :) (no offense intended to anyone, I'm in software engineering myself).

If someone found a reliable and cheap way to ship cars, I'm sure the variety of desirable vintage Alfas in North America would take a turn for the better.

Gary
 
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