Shipping a Car to Panama


Looking to begin the process of shipping a car from the USA to Panama? You’re in luck, as we are the foremost experts in this industry! Check out our guide, where you will find out about:

Shipping Car from USA to Panama

Ship Overseas, Inc. is here to answer your questions regarding the shipping process to Panama, including Pricing, Documents, Departure and Arrival Ports. But as always, if you have more questions, please get in touch with us directly. As the top industry experts in car shipping, you can trust our guidance through all stages of the process. That’s because we bring more than 40 years of experience to the table.

For the most up to date pricing quote, we will need the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case Panama) from you.

Pick Up

In the majority of cases, people pay us to come get their vehicle from their home or work rather than driving it themselves to the nearest port. Upon receiving your quote to ship your car to Panama, you will see an optional charge listed for us to pick up your car for you and transport it to the shipping port — usually a couple hundred bucks. This option may be worth it to you if you live far from the port, as otherwise you would be responsible for the costs of gas and food, time off work, getting back home, and staying in hotels. We would be happy to drive your car to the nearest port in the USA. 

Departure Shipping Ports

The U.S. departure shipping ports (RoRo only, no containers) that ship to Panama include:

  • Newark, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Houston, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL 

Bring your car and meet us at one of these ports. If you cannot, then we can pick up your car for you.

Arrival At Shipping Terminal in Panama

Our shipping line arrives at the Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama, which is where your designated pick up person will get your vehicle. That person should bring cash with them to pay for Tax or Duty. See the section below for Vehicle Import Tax & Duty. Manzanillo International Terminal, located east of the Atlantic opening of the Panama Canal on Manzanillo Bay, is one of the largest container transshipment terminals in the region.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Panama

Cost to ship a car to Panama starts at $810 from Newark, NJ and $922 from Jacksonville, FL.

When thinking about the cost to ship a car to Panama from the U.S., bear in mind:    

  • Compact cars cost less than large SUVs to ship.
  • Shipping a car from the East Coast USA costs less than shipping from the West Coast.   
  • It costs more for us to pick up your car at your house.
  • While you will save money if you personally drop off your car at the departure shipping port, you still have to make travel arrangements for getting back home.

Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes

In general, it takes three to four weeks to get a car from the USA to the Manzanillo International Terminal. Keep in mind that the Estimated Time in Transit includes the time from when your car arrives at the shipping terminal — not the transit time involved for the trucker to pick up your car at your home. 

The base cost to ship a car from USA to Panama is:

  • From Newark, NJ $960
  • From Baltimore $810
  • From Jacksonville, FL $955
  • From Houston, TX $1050

Your decision to have us pick up your car instead of dropping it off yourself will impact final cost, as will the year/make/model of your car and which departure port you choose. 

Vehicle Import Tax & Duty & Destination Handling Charge

Contact Mizela for accurate import tax prices. Import duty must be paid when the car is picked up. Ship Overseas does NOT collect the import duty

Mitzela Maldonado
(Mitzela’s Whatsapp Number in Panama)

The destination handling charge for shipping a car from USA to Panama is approximately $300.

If you are in the USA, contact the Panama Embassy by phone if you need the latest information.

Storage Fees

If for some reason your designated person can’t pick up your car at the port on arrival, you will be charged storage fees by the port in Panama. Contact us for the latest storage fees.

Optional Marine Insurance

We advise you to buy the optional marine insurance in the event damage or loss occurs. This is rare, but it can happen, especially during hurricane season from June 1 to November 30. We offer full coverage Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage, lasting from the time your car is loaded onto the ship until it arrives at the arrival port. The cost is 1.75% of the value you want the car insured for. We recommend this option particularly if you would be unable to cover costs related to repairs or losses out of pocket. Please learn more about Marine Insurance here.

Documents Required to Ship Car to Panama

Shipping a car to Panama from the USA will require you to bring the Original Title and Consignee’s ID (person picking up the car).

Shipping Methods

RoRo shipping is the only type of shipping we offer to Panama, and it’s available from the following USA ports: Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Houston, TX; and Jacksonville, FL.

RoRo (Roll On Roll Off)

RoRo stands for roll on, roll off, so anything with tires that can Roll On and Off the ship of its own power can use this method of shipping. These ships, which look like one big parking garage, can accommodate vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, campers, trailers, buses, construction vehicles, and boats. Most people use RoRo when shipping one vehicle, but your car must have the ability to make it up and down the ramp with no assistance. Once loaded on the RoRo vessel, your vehicle will be tied down securely in its designated spot.

New car manufacturers prefer to use RoRo shipping because the cars get additional protection against external elements. All vehicles are tied to the deck and are not exposed to the ocean.

This option is highly efficient and cost-effective, with reliable departure and arrival dates akin to an airline flight schedule.

Payment Methods / Options

You are responsible for payment when your vehicle arrives at the departure shipping port.

Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check

If you are not located in the USA, this is the most common method of paying. We will provide our bank information once you have placed your order.

Credit Card & Zelle

Paying with Zelle? There are no service fees to worry about. Paying with a credit card? You will be charged a 3% service fee.

Canceling Your Order

In the rare event that you require us to cancel your order, please email us as soon as possible. Payment will be refunded via the same payment method you chose, minus a $300 cancellation fee.

Additional Information

  • For safety and weight reasons, your vehicle should not have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
  • The destination handling charge is approximately $300.
  • You must provide a clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the designated spaces.
  • If you bought the car new, your name must be listed as the registered owner on the front of the Title.

USA Customs Clearance

Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear US Customs for you. Though some US Customs agents will look in your trunk, most usually just peer through the car’s window.

Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in Panama

Anyone you choose. Just let us know who they are in advance of the sailing date so we can list them as the Receiver or Consignee. They will have to provide proof of identification with a picture ID, offering the Title of Ownership and a letter of permission to take possession of the vehicle. If you notify us of any changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel, you will be charged a fee.