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  • How Long to Ship Your Car from Hawaii?

    It is one thing to ship your car via ground transport; it is quite a different matter to transport your car via container ship across an ocean.

    If you want the quick and dirty answer to the question, "How long does it take to ship a car from Hawaii," we will be the first to tell you that there is no simple answer. Because shipping a vehicle across the Pacific Ocean is a complex matter, bear with us as we provide you with some important background.

    Shipping Car from Hawaii: Like Going to New York, But Worse
    One favored port to ship vehicles to and from Hawaii is Long Beach, California. The distance from Hawaii to Long Beach is 2,550 miles, give or take a couple of hundred miles. Now you are probably wondering about the variation in distance. Already, you can see that things are not simple and clear-cut when shipping vehicles across the Pacific Ocean.

    If you laid out this distance overland, it would be equivalent to shipping a vehicle from Long Beach to Buffalo, New York. But we're not talking about a simple 5-day trip. Imagine shipping your car on a truck with several hundred other vehicles through desert, rainstorms, sleet, blizzard-condition snow, over mountain passes, and through large metro areas.

    Yet even that does not approach the conditions that container ships encounter on the Pacific Ocean when shipping your vehicle from Hawaii. But hopefully you get the picture.

    Best Case Scenario: Time to Ship Car from Hawaii
    Given perfect conditions, the time it takes to ship your car from Hawaii is between three and four weeks. This assumes that the ship leaves its Hawaiian port on time. Some favored Hawaiian ports include Honolulu, Oahu; Hilo, Hawaii; Kahului, Maui; Kawaihae, Hawaii; or Nawiliwili, Kauai.

    Worst Case Scenario?
    When tropical storms sweep across the Pacific to Hawaii, you can easily double the time that it takes to ship a car from Hawaii.

    There are many reasons for this. First, if the storm is severe, the container ships may need to lie in at port. Second, if the ship is able to leave port, it may encounter severe conditions which can throw off the expected arrival date by another two weeks.

    So, a more reasonable estimate of the time it takes to ship a car from Hawaii would be between four weeks and six weeks.

    In extreme cases, do not be surprised if a ship takes as long as two months to transport your car from Hawaii, depending on the time of year.
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