Vehicle Logistics

Vehicle Logistics

Learn About The Steps Required To Transport Your New Car From Japan To Your Door Or Nearest Port. Importing Cars Are Easy!

Vehicle Logistics

Vehicle Logistics


Greetings and welcome to the vehicle logistics and importing information page. You are here because you have simply found the page or have been directed here because you have recently purchased a car using our auction agent buying service.


Yes we know that you have just bought your car or thinking seriously about buying a car from the auction service and that's why your here.

But we must inform you that we have some serious logistical hurdles and hoops that ALL Auction Agents and Vehicle Exporters must jump through before that vehicle gets near a ship and here we explain.


So Just What Is Required And How Long?

There are a number of procedures that we as vehicle exporters need to fulfill on your behalf to get these cars to you in reasonable time depending on firstly the location of the vehicle here in Japan. Secondly the type of vehicle to be transported and lastly the destination. Lets start by tackling the items 1 by 1. 


  • Deposit
  • Type Of Vehicle
  • Searching
  • Invoicing
  • Vehicle Location
  • Payment Time
  • Transport To Port
  • Port
  • Document Changes
  • Your Designated Country
  • Shipping Frequency
  • Shipping Rules & Contracts


1. Deposit

Prior to any auction agent lifting a finger to high in the sky they will more than likely require a bidding deposit prior to starting business with you. If you are a returning customer they may not request this but 99% of the time you will be required to pay this.

There is no getting around it as the agent/exporter is required to pay for your car if they are successful at auction. You actually have little risk compared to the exporter.


Get the deposit paid and the agent/exporter will start lifting their finger higher and things start happening including access to the car auctions and also USS Ninja if you are an Exclusive Member.





2. Type Of Vehicle

The type of vehicle you buy will play a pivotal role in the logistics here in Japan. We are all geared up to deal with normal car transportation but as types of vehicles change in size and categories so do the inland transport requirements and charges.

For example we can book a normal modern car today and have it at the port in 2 to 3 days depending. However if the vehicle is for example a firetruck it may require manpower and need to be physically driven. A large American car will require a special transporter while an exotic car will have to be negotiated in price and limited to a small number of transport companies.

Auctions are scattered all over Japan and movements take time as there are thousands of vehicles being transported around Japan 24/7. To get the car from auction to the port is normally 3 to 5 days. Inland auctions 4 to 8 days. From Sapporo the vehicle must travel 1,800 klm to Tokyo region which is the nearest port. 5 to 10 days.

There is never a fixed time as transporters need to be booked and they often have a hub where they switch vehicles from truck to truck or simply waiting maybe required.

The type of vehicle you buy at auction is important so ask about transport time from the auction to the port first.



Transporting vehicles around Japan



Searching For Cars

Your search for a car maybe exceptionally fast or painstakingly slow depending upon your requirements. We will guide you as best as possible and help speed things along but keep in mind that buying the best vehicle is better that buying the wrong car to fast.

Now you have bought that car dont expect it to be at the port with a ship waiting for it the next day because we have to transport it to the nearest port as mentioned above and then we have the administration side of buying this car or vehicle to attend to while we are waiting for payment, ship and everything else. The process has just started.



How much is it to ship my car from Japan




So we have now bought a car together and its time to send you an invoice to have the vehicle paid as we have already been debited for it by the auction. We are fully aware that it could take 3 to 6 days or so for the payment to arrive and we have made allowances for that on your behalf.

As long as your payment is under way it will not hinder your vehicles logistics here in Japan. While we are waiting for your payment the car is being transported to the port and we can make tentative arrangements for the first available ship as long as the paper work is in order from the ex owner and it arrives on time.


Remember The Vehicles Original Location Is Important




Payments and Invoicing



Payment Time

We mentioned that your payment will not slow things down and too the larger extent this is correct. However keep in mind if you slow down payment purposely for reasons undisclosed to us as your auction agent this may very easily stop the wheels of progress moving forward.

Some people are buying cars for friends or family and waiting for their money, or a more agreeable exchange rate. These issues are not your agents problem and if the payment is delayed due to this we may also delay shipment. So please be transparent from the very beginning and everything will roll along smoothly. (It always does)

We normally allow up to 7 days max for payment. We do not penalize late payments but your shipping maybe delayed as you have not disclosed everything and the funds have simply not arrived in due allowable time. Our payment terms are very generous compared to many agents.


Talk To Us Directly Before Buying If You Have Payment Issues



Bidding on cars at Japanese vehicle auctions




Transport To The Port

As we mentioned earlier there are quite a few factors to consider when picking your vehicle at auction and your choice determines how fast this vehicle gets to the port. Did you buy the car on a Friday? If so its unlikely we can arrange transport before the following Monday due to the weekend and the transport company may also have prior commitment's.

Keep in mind that there are thousands of cars being transported around Japan everyday and these transport companies are exceptionally busy. If the car is coming from another Island it will also prolong things as there are only a handful of ports that handle roro ships.

Main ports to consider when you are searching and want quick transport are Yokohama, Kawasaki, (both Tokyo ports) Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Kyushu. Check the map and see where your vehicle auction is in relation to these ports. The further away the auction is the more time its going to take to move your vehicle to that port. 

You can also check our auction location page here.


Ships Do Not Depart On Time. There Is Often a 2 to 3 Day Difference



What paper work is required to buy a car from Japan




Ok so its been 3 to 5 days now and your car has arrived at the closest port. Here the port staff will start processing the vehicle for its departure from Japan. They are limited to what they can do though as they need to wait for paperwork from us. We must wait for the official documents to be sent from the auction to us.

The ex owner has up to 10 days (yes) to send these documents during this time. If they are late they are penalized $100 per day so its in their advantage to get those docs moving quickly. The normal waiting time is about 3 to 6 days which is about the same time as the transport to the port from auction.

Once we have the docs and we have done our part we courier these docs to the port so that they can continue processing the car and prepare the BOL (Bill Of Lading) This will have your name on it as Consignee. Once completed and checked the BOL along with the Export Certificate (The Vehicle Official Title) will eventually be sent to you once a ship is confirmed and shipping is paid.

Now it must be strongly noted. Ports are not like airports where there are planes leaving every 2 minutes (non covid time) No indeed. We must wait for the next available ship and to most countries there are at least 1 per week or 2 per month. 

The shipping agent needs 5 days prior notice to book and ship any car. This means that if your paperwork is not ready within 5 days of the ships departure we must wait for the next ship. There is no exception to this.


By This Stage The Entire Process Has Taken 6 to 12 Days 


There is no auction agent with a special magic wand who can ship a car faster than another so don't be fooled.

We all use the same shipping agents and the same ports. We are all on a level playing field.  




Is roro shipping cheaper than container



Document Changes

Now everything is well underway and we have received the vehicle documents from the auction within due time we can do our part.

We must gather all the paperwork such as Shaken, (registration title) Recycle, and Insurance and submit these documents to the official government office. This must be done manually which requires us to drive to our nearest government vehicle testing station and submit the documents for the vehicles export.

We can only go twice a week as these documents arrive from auction randomly. The government office will update these documents or keep some and then issue us with an Export Certificate for your vehicle. Once back at the office we will then send the new export certificate to the port where the port staff have been waiting to create their BOL.

There is no hesitation with this and we try to send these documents the very same day we have returned from the government office.


By This Stage We Are Still Within The 6 To 12 Days As Mentioned Above.




Your Export Certificate and BOL are your ownership to your new car from Japan. Hang on to them like gold as there are no more copies.

Once these documents have left Japan the Japanese Government wipes their hands clean. We keep photo copies only. Once we send them, you are in control. 




Vehicle export certificates



Your Designated Country

Now everything is moving along nicely and we have completed the paperwork within the 6 to 12 days as mentioned all is looking great. We have also managed to book a ship for you that leaves in 7 days (example)

But now comes the long hard yards. Which country are you in? Quite simply put, some countries are faster to ship to than others. New Zealand around 2 plus weeks. Vancouver 10 or so days. Hong Kong 4 days. Bahamas 5 to 6 weeks. Germany, Poland, and France 4 weeks. 

Some ships go direct while others must go through the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal. Some countries are land locked and the vehicles must firstly go by sea and then by train.

You country is the largest factor determining how fast your new car from Japan arrives on your doorstep. You cant change country just for the car so you will have to wait. Good things come to those who wait, right!

While the ship is underway and you have paid your shipping fee we will send you the copies of your documents.


Its A Process That Everyone Does. Normal Time is 12 to 18 Days from Auction To Ship. 


No matter who your agent is and no matter what crap they tell you for obtaining your business. It will not go faster than this. Its as speedy as it gets. 




quality cars in Japan 



Shipping Frequency And Rules

All shipping companies who are in the business of transporting vehicles from Japan must tender their business to the new car companies such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda etc. They are forced to take an undetermined % of new cars over and above used cars. So basically speaking, new cars go first and used cars are wait listed.

Its like being in a supermarket checkout. Everyone goes or starts at the back of the checkout counter. This is what we have to deal with. In the front are new cars and down the back, us. There is no pushing in. If your drop out of the line you must go to the back. This means that if we miss the first ship we are at the front of the line for the next. So its not all bad.


Our goal is to ship your car as fast as possible. We actually dont want it here. :-) as its taking up space for the next car that needs shipping. We move as fast as the logistics allow and the funds are flowing. Lets get those cars shipped!



Shipping cars from Japan



Remember Its Not Actually A Supermarket But the Checkout System Is Similar.



Its really easy and we will guide you along the way. Ask us anything and be transparent about everything and we will be with you. Lets get started.




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