When you decide to ship a vehicle, there are many steps you can take to minimize transport time and expenses. The first thing you should do is choose a reliable shipping company, of course. But there are some things that are out of your control, such as peak season surcharges (PSS). 

These surcharges increase the cost of your shipment when taking place during high-volume times like holidays. During these times, not only do shipping rates increase, the time it takes for your vehicle to reach its destination also increases. Here are some tips to mitigating the effects of PSS.

 

PSS: Explained

Peak season surcharge is basically an additional fee that has been applied by carriers during peak seasons, such as June, July and August. These surcharges are designed to cover increased operational costs in times of high demand because freight forwarders and supply chains are working at top capacity. You will find that ocean freight surcharges will be included in your shipping quote, which includes ground shipping costs and ocean freight costs.

The terms general rate increases (GRI) and peak season surcharges (PSS) are easily confused. The difference between them can impact your shipping quote though. 

  • PSS adjustments relate only to peak season.
  • GRI is an overall cost increase in shipping rates that is not dependent on the time of the year. 

Keep in mind, both cannot be applied at the same time.

 

Typical Peak Season

Peak seasons can actually happen at any time of the year, no matter what country you’re shipping to. But in general, the highest demand for transportation occurs between summer and early autumn. This is because people tend to shop more in summer than in any other season. Demand also increases during the holiday season, thanks to sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and major holidays such as Christmas, and then later on, Chinese New Year in February.

 

How to Avoid Peak Season Surcharges

To save money on PSS, heed these tips: 

  • Talk to your shipping company about ocean freight surcharges
  • Be on the lookout for lower PSS adjustments online
  • Avoid transshipments, when your goods are delivered to one destination first and then to another
  • Place your shipping order before or after peak season

Following these simple steps will help you minimize the impact of peak season surcharges. Planning to ship a vehicle overseas? Get started with our instant quote calculator at Ship Overseas, which is always FREE!

 

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.
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