1. Contact a freight forwarder 2. Booking of cargo space 3. Documents required
4. Delivery of your cargo at the port of loading 5. Loading and securing 6. Cargo tracking
7. Transport documentation 8. Insurance 9. Freight and charges
10. Arrival at destination 11. Cargo Damages  


Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean is an industrial carrier focused on delivering global shipping and logistics solutions for manufacturers of cars, trucks, heavy equipment and specialised cargo. We do not have the resources or processes in place to deal with private persons directly.

Nevertheless, we understand private person may want to ship their own cars, motor homes, motor bikes and yachts. Therefore we have drafted the below guidelines which provides some basic information needed to facilitate problem free transactions.


1. Contact a freight forwarder

Shipping your own car, motor home, motor bike or yacht across the ocean is complex and you as shipper have some legal obligations to fulfill. Therefore you are required , as a private individual to contact a freight forwarding company who can provide you a full range of services including inland transportation, preparation of shipping and export documents, consolidate the total cost, booking cargo space, arrange cargo insurance, and filing of insurance claims. At the same time, the freight forwarder’s agent at destination will be able to help you with the collection of your property at destination as well as all documentation that is needed to have it released without any delays.

Contact a recommended forwarder.  

2. Booking of cargo space

2.1 Service product
You will find Information about our services under Trade maps. You may at any time look them up to find out whether our service product meets your needs.

2.2 Schedules
Our Shipping tools provide access to updated vessel schedule information and allows you to find a suitable sailing. Space on our vessels is not guaranteed until a firm booking has been placed by your freight forwarder. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean  does not accept bookings from private individuals directly.

3. Documents required

In order to comply with security regulations, we require all shipping instructions to be completed no later than three days prior to the subject vessel's arrival at port of loading.

More detailed document requirements can be found in the Port information.

Your freight forwarder will be able to assist you with additional documents required to clear your car, motor home, motor bike or yacht through customs at origin and at destination.

4. Delivery of your cargo at the port of loading

4.1 Terminal operation hours
Terminal operation hours and terms for storage charges vary and we recommend that you check the local conditions through the Port information.

4.2 Exact measurements (length x width x height, weight)

The exact dimensions are required to ensure that the vehicle can be stowed properly to avoid damage and to calculate freight. The dimensions may be verified by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean  through physical inspection. In case of discrepancies we will notify the shipper prior loading if time permits.

More information about Product Measurement can be found here

4.3 Keys
All vehicles are driven onto the vessel and keys must therefore be left in the vehicle or handed over to the terminal operator as per custom of the port.

4.4 License plates
Remove license plates and carry them with you in your baggage. They may be "souvenir" items in foreign ports. Having to replace them when you pick up your car, van, motorhome or motorbike is both costly and inconvenient. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean  cannot be held responsible for stolen license plate from your vehicle.

4.5 Personal effects
No personal effects are allowed in the vehicle or in the trunk. Please note this is a security requirement as a result of tightened security measures imposed by various Customs Authorities around the globe. Vehicles with personal effects will not be accepted for shipment and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean cannot be held liable for any such personal effects being stolen at port or elsewhere.

4.5.1 What can be left in a Car, Motor Home or Boats & Yachts
Only standard equipment i.e. vehicle/boat tool kit, spare tire, mounted fire extinguisher and those items which can be defined as standard equipment of the vehicle/boat when delivered from the manufacturer to the dealer. Factory or non-factory stereo, speakers and audio/video equipment in the vehicle or trunk and lockers must be securely and permanently fixed.

4.5.2 What must not be left in a Car, Motor Home or Boats & Yachts
Please note your vehicle will be inspected and should not contain items that could be construed as being dangerous or a security liability on load or discharge terminal or during ocean transportation. If any such items are found, your vehicle will be rejected for loading.

Prohibited items are, but not limited to:

  • Personal effects such as clothing, suitcases, crates or boxes.
  • TV's, VCR's, DVD's except factory installed, or accessories such as CB radios.
  • Flammable, corrosive or hazardous substances, pyrotechnics flares, oils, paints, solvents.
  • Pressurized cans or containers of any kind.
  • Medical supplies or equipment.
  • Firearms or ammunition of any kind (even deactivated weapons or spent shells).
  • Perishable goods or food stuffs, plants or vegetation.

4.6 Motor homes
Propane tanks containing propane cannot be accepted. The tanks must be fixed on the unit itself and certified as empty. If the tanks are of a removable type, the tanks must be removed prior to delivery to the port.

Motor homes that need electrical power during the ocean voyage cannot be accepted.

Motor homes carrying motorcycles/scooters will only be accepted when the structure of the vehicle provides dedicated storage area for such units. In any case, your forwarder should contact the local Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean office or agent for further advice.

4.7 Delivery charges
Charges apply as per local port tariffs and are payable by the shipper.

4.8 Radios
Remove "pop out" radios. Theft is rare, but it is better not to make it easy.

4.9 Fuel
Please deliver your vehicle with no more than one-quarter (¼) tank to comply with applicable safety regulation. You need enough fuel to deliver, load/discharge your car, and reach a gas station at destination.

4.10 Condition of cargo/cleaning
Deliver the vehicle clean and ensure that the vehicle meets all acceptance standards covered by national quarantine laws in the country of discharge. National quarantine authorities may inspect the cargo and reject discharging or demand cleaning. Any costs associated with rejection or cleaning will be for the account of the cargo. See our Clean cargo guide for more details.

5. Loading and securing

Vehicles are driven on board our vessels and lashed to the cargo decks with nylon straps with parking brakes on. Therefore we require that all vehicles are in a safe and drivable condition. Otherwise vehicles may be rejected.

6. Cargo tracking

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean offers all customers to track the status of their shipment through the Track & Trace application free of charge.

7. Transport documentation

Shortly after we have loaded your cargo and you have settled freight and charges we will issue a Sea Waybill serving as the contract of carriage and receipt of the cargo. We prefer to forward the Sea Waybill via e-mail since it offers you the advantage of paperless release of cargo at destination. More details regarding transport documentation are found under Basic transport documentation.

The Bill of Lading terms and conditions apply to all shipments handled by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. The terms and conditions are printed on the reverse side of the Bill of Lading. They can also be viewed and printed from here.

8. Insurance

We strongly recommend that you buy a Marine Insurance policy. The liability of the carrier is limited by international regulations and do not necessarily reflect the full value of a vehicle. See chapter 10 of the Bill of Lading terms and conditions.
International freight forwarders will be able to guide you through the options to have your cargo correctly insured against possible damage.

9. Freight and charges

9.1 Ocean freight
The ocean freight is calculated based either on the cubic measurement or the weight of the cargo (whichever is greater), or per unit (e.g. cars) and varies depending on the ports and nature of the cargo. Freight and charges for personal owned vehicles shall be prepaid and are due for payment once the cargo is loaded.

9.2 Local charges

The load and discharge ports normally charge for their services in local currency directly to the shipper or through Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean  depending on port practice. These charges depend on port tariff and vary between ports. Payment term is "cash on delivery" and local charges collected through Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean  will appear on our documents.

Before you go to the discharge port to collect your unit, your freight forwarder should check with the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean office or agent at destination for applicable local fees, acceptable forms of payment, and required documentation.

9.3 'Additional' charges
Some additional charges do apply and the booking office will inform which charges apply and how much they amount to. The most common charges are Bunker Adjustment Factor and Sulphur Regulation Charge. Additional charges also apply for issuing Bills of Lading, pre-filing of security information to Customs Authorities (where applicable) and corrections after the Seaway bill has been issued.

10. Arrival at destination

The guidelines captured below are general and local variations exist. In any case, please contact your local forwarder at destination who will provide you with all information and procedures to prepare the pick-up of your unit at destination.

We recommend that the person picking up the vehicle bring a spare key.

10.1 Schedule
You find the latest updates on departure and arrival times of our vessels in our Schedules tool.

10.2 Notice of Arrival (NOA)
Your forwarder’s agent at destination will receive a notification of the arrival approximately four days prior arrival of the vessel. We recommend forwarders to supply us with an email address to which we can forward such notice. Although the estimated time of arrival (ETA) is stated on the NOA you should check the vessel's ETA in our Schedules tool as changes do occur.

10.3 Payment of local charges
The Notice of Arrival will show due charges to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean . Local payment practices vary from port to port. Therefore, please talk to your local freight forwarder at destination about additional charges that may apply at the port or terminal.

10.4 Delivery order
Once all ocean freight and charges have been settled we will issue a delivery order, which evidences that you have the right to take delivery of the cargo. You also need to check what additional documents are required for customs clearance and taking delivery of the cargo. Therefore, please contact your local freight forwarder to guide you through these requirements and ensure a smooth delivery process.

10.5 Examine cargo for damage

We recommend that you inspect the condition of the vehicle before taking formal delivery. If you find any damage please record it on the receipt or dock tally before signing and returning it to the delivery clerk.

If you notice damage after delivery you must notify us in writing within 3 days of delivery. See Cargo Damages procedure below for how to expedite processing of cargo claims.

11. Cargo Damages

11.1 Damage reporting (if you have a Marine Insurance policy)
Please submit the claim directly to your insurers, who will settle it in accordance with your insurance policy. Your freight forwarder will also be able to assist you with this process.

11.2 Damage reporting (if you do not have a Marine Insurance policy)

Your freight forwarder can file a claim directly with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean . All claims and/or notices of loss or damage must be filed within the period prescribed by the Bill of Lading or Sea Waybill and/or applicable law.

More information about this procedure can be found here.

11.3 Settlement
Your freight forwarder will receive a claims reference number once the claim has been recorded and settlement is normally offered within a few weeks.