Bringing An Overlander Back Home

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#21
Pretty dam cool ! What freight forwarder did you use ? Just curious because I worked for one. Done a lot of shipping items all over the world. Did you stuff it into a 20 ft container? Great story and looking forward to hearing it. 2 different ships ?
 

DeLuke

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Dallas
State
TX
#25
Here's the narrative on the international shipping, sorry if it skips around a bit. The transportation process has been surprisingly easy, maybe a bit slower than expected but the hassle-free service from my logistics group is more important. What are 3 months versus 2 when you're getting a bucket list Jeep?

I used Schumacher Cargo Logistics. They handle 100% of the process, and their service has been great. They have offices on the West Coast, Gulf and East Coast. I definitely recommend them. I was a little bit lucky in that Andrew lived in the Brisbane metro area that has a major port. He was also willing to drop off at the port, but if you need it, Schumacher can also arrange a pick-up through their Australian partner for a reasonable fee. There are a handful of forms to complete including a limited power of attorney that allows Schumacher to handle all the import customs filing on my behalf. This might concern some, but the POA is very limited to customs filings, and I didn't have a problem signing it. Schumacher also arranged for a shipper to bring it up from Houston to Dallas. Their added fee was more economical than if I had to take a weekday off, fly down to Houston, get to the port warehouse, and drive her back to Dallas (not to mention the breakdown risk in a 250-mile drive). I considered picking it up, as that's part of the adventure, but practicality got the better of me.

There are two methods of transport for a running vehicle: roll-on, roll-off (RORO) or container shipping. In RORO, they drive your car onto a big enclosed ferry-like ship. You cannot include anything like boxes or additional parts using RORO, but it is significantly cheaper than a 20ft container. With container shipping, you basically get the whole 20ft or 40ft container and can put parts, extra tops, bodies, etc. in it. If you have 2 vehicles and some parts, I understand the 40ft becomes very economical. Shipping costs from Brisbane to Houston/Freeport was $4,200ish for RORO versus $7,500ish for a 20ft container. To your shipping cost, add about 3.5% of your declared value for customs (2.5%) and fees (~1.0%). Schumacher requires most of the shipping costs up front and the remainder plus the % costs once customs clears it. I went with RORO for the cost as I didn't have anything else to ship with it. I did get a few quotes from other firms. They were all in the ballpark. Some cheaper but Schumacher seemed to have a better end-to-end process.

After port drop-off, it's pretty much a waiting game. 4-5 days after Andrew dropped it off, the Overlander was loaded on the Hoegh Jacksonville and set sail. The neat piece here is that there are free ship tracker sites that can show where the ship is located and other info (as long as it's reasonably close to shore). Plus, the Hoegh corporate site lists the schedule for each of their ships. The schedules change as I found out later. I tracked the ship around Australia, up through Indonesia, past the Philippines, past Taiwan and to Japan. The ship then made several stops around Japan and over to Korea.

The ship trackers even tell you if the ship's load is getting lighter or heavier by measuring the draft. For instance, the Jacksonville came from Germany to NZ and AUS. At each stop down under, the draft was decreasing as it unloaded more German cars than it took on, like mine. In Asia, it was loaded down with Japanese and Korean cars for the trip over the Pacific. Once it moved away from Japan and into the open Pacific, the ship trackers stopped updating. I estimated it moved about 15 degrees longitude (one square on my map and about 900 miles) every couple days. The trackers also give you the average and last speed so you can guesstimate a little.

Eventually, the Jacksonville made it through the Panama Canal and headed into the Gulf of Mexico. About that time, I asked Schumacher how things were looking as the Jacksonville schedule only listed Mobile, AL - not a Houston area port. They let me know that since the Jacksonville ended up not scheduled for Freeport, the Overlander was taken off in Kanda Japan. It sat for 2-3 weeks before getting loaded on a new ship (Hoegh Trotter) scheduled for Freeport, TX. When I learned this, the Overlander was already on the Trotter in the middle of the Pacific. So timing slipped a few weeks. Initially, we were scheduled to land at Freeport on 2/2, but actual landing was 3/4.

Once it landed, Schumacher let me know that the Overlander could be released in as little as one day or up to 21 days if chosen for inspection by US Customs. We didn't get selected, and it was released in 2-3 days. After release, Schumacher requested their final bill which represented all the customs, duties and other on-shore fees plus my shipping to Dallas. I paid on Friday, and it posted Monday, 3/11. They have lined up a shipper who may deliver it Wednesday (3/13) or Thursday (3/14). Once it arrives, I have to get it titled and will cover that process in a separate post.

That's been my experience but still have this last leg left. Any questions?
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#26
Great write up ! Thanks. The RORO can be a little scary when more than 1 ship is involved when you are dealing with something close to priceless. Regular vehicle, that is what insurance is for. I don't consider that a unreasonable cost.
 

DeLuke

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Dallas
State
TX
#27
The RORO can be a little scary when more than 1 ship is involved when you are dealing with something close to priceless. Regular vehicle, that is what insurance is for. I don't consider that a unreasonable cost.
Definitely agree and had to get over the hump on RORO. Plus, the transfer was unexpected! I did forget to discuss insurance. I got a quote from Schumacher and a quote from Hagerty who insures my Jeeps. Hagerty was maybe 1/3 of the price (about $125 compared to $300-$400 for Schumacher from memory). Hagerty is always easy to work with and insures your declared value. So Hagery Specialty insured the overseas transportation. Once it landed, I shifted to a normal Hagerty policy which will cover the ground shipping from Freeport to Dallas and my future driving.
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#28
Thanks for the write-up. Really interesting. Do you anticipate any issues titling and registering an Australian vehicle?
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#29
Do you know why Freeport was selected instead of Port of Houston? I believe most imports for this region are run through PoH. Freeport is mostly industrial as far as I know.
 

DeLuke

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Dallas
State
TX
#30
Do you know why Freeport was selected instead of Port of Houston? I believe most imports for this region are run through PoH. Freeport is mostly industrial as far as I know.
I'm not sure why Freeport versus Houston or Galveston. Freeport seemed to be the option with RORO. Maybe Hoegh Autoliners only goes to Freeport? Maybe Freeport sets up better for RORO? IIRC, my container quote was either to Houston or Galveston so that's why I'm guessing it's a Hoegh or RORO thing.
 

DeLuke

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Dallas
State
TX
#31
Overlander arrived in Dallas this morning. It did have a dead battery after 3 months at sea, but they were able to jump it to drive on and off the trailer. Not sure how it rolled off the ship. I had to run to work so spent maybe 5 minutes looking at it and driving it into garage.

A2EF8F55-A55A-485C-A8D2-88007B6C10E2.jpeg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
#33
I'll be curious about the title issues. I researched it here in Mississippi, and since they have an "EXPORT" VIN, the local courthouse was lost. Told me to contact the people at the main office in the capitol. Pretty sure it can be done, just more BS paperwork :fingerscrossed:

Very Nice Overlander :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#37
This has probably been answered before. But of the 27,792 scramblers built, how many of them were exports?
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
#38
That is too cool! I see you’ve already taken it off road. That license plate is certainly a wall hanger
 
Top