How to Choose the Right Shipping Method for Japanese Car Exports 

Congratulations! You’ve found it the sleek, iconic Japanese car that’s been living rent-free in your head for years. But the thrill of acquisition quickly gives way to logistical reality: how do you navigate the vast Pacific Ocean to bring your automotive beauty home? 

This guide will steer you through Japanese car exporters and help you choose the perfect shipping method for your new prized possession. 

The Two Options: RoRo Vs. Container

Like choosing the right car, selecting the ideal shipping method demands a thorough understanding of your options. The main options are Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) and container shipping. Let’s break down their strengths and weaknesses: 


Imagine a floating parking lot – that’s essentially what a RoRo ship is. You simply drive your car onto the open deck, secure it, and let the ocean breeze carry you and your beloved vehicle across the waves. 

RoRo is a budget-friendly method that is perfect for standard vehicles. It’s also fast and efficient thanks to its specialised design and quicker loading/unloading times. 

While RoRo’s open-air nature keeps costs down, it also means less protection from the elements and potential bumps from neighbouring cars. This factor might not be ideal for pristine classics or luxury vehicles. 


Think of a metal cocoon for your car. Container shipping offers maximum security and protection, shielding your vehicle from the elements and prying eyes. This option is the go-to for valuable, delicate, or modified cars. 

Your car travels in a controlled environment, minimising the risk of damage and need for car service. Additional packing options like wood blocks and tarps can also further enhance protection. 

However, this premium protection comes at a higher price tag. Containers also take up more space, potentially leading to longer wait times for shipping. 

Factors to Consider

Choosing between RoRo and container is just the first step. Here are some additional factors to ponder: 

  • Destination: Not all ports have RoRo facilities. Check your destination’s options before making a decision. 
  • Vehicle condition: Pristine cars might benefit from the extra security of containerised shipping. 
  • Urgency: If you need your car ASAP, RoRo’s faster turnaround might be the deciding factor. 
  • Multiple vehicles: Shipping multiple cars together often makes container shipping more cost-effective. 

Consulting the Experts

Navigating the complexities of Japanese car exports can be daunting. That’s where reputable shipping companies come in. They can assess your needs, recommend the best shipping method, and handle all the necessary paperwork and logistics. 

When choosing a shipping company for your Japanese car export, prioritise their reputation, experience, and offered services. Compare quotes and communication styles across multiple companies, ensuring they’re properly licensed and insured. 

Consider specialisation, safety records, and tracking options for valuable or delicate vehicles. Remember, research is key to finding a trustworthy company that will deliver your dream car safely and on time. 

With the right knowledge and guidance, you can conquer the challenge of Japanese car exports and soon be cruising down your local street, becoming the envy of every petrolhead.  

Hit the gas on your research and prepare for an exciting ride!