How to ship a vehicle to Egypt in 2019

So you are thinking about exploring the East coast of Africa but the question is how to get there or you are finishing your trip North and are now looking into options how to get to Europe. This is the article for you!

The old route through Syria is at the time of writing not a safe option due to the civil war that is still going on. Also the old route via Tunesia and then through Libya is not safe enough so let’s discuss the possibilities that there are. The short answer is that depends largely on what you want and what vehicle you have.

  1. RORO - from Alexandria EGYPT > Pireus GREECE no passengers allowed
  2. FERRY - from Port Sudan SUDAN > Jeddah SAUDI ARABIA
  3. RORO - from Salerno ITALY > Ashdod ISRAEL passengers allowed
  4. FERRY - from TURKEY > Haifa ISRAEL questionable if still running
  5. CONTAINER shipping from/to any port you want
  6. BONUS for motorcycles - fly from Sudan to Turkey

NEW DEVELOPMENT It looks like Egypt is cracking down on letting 4x4's overland through Egypt. This is a very recent development and I will try to update this blog with more information as soon as it is there.

FIRST OF ALL All the options that go through Egypt you will require a carnet, also referred to as triptych (triptik pronunciation) in Africa, for your vehicle

SECONDLY All these options including dealing with the shipping industry, which is a behind the time industry working with paperwork and no deadlines. Delays are common and frequent.

THIRDLY This report has been created to give you an overview of the options out there. I will be no means pretend this is a complete or 100% accurate report. Please share your experience or blog post in the comments below to help other travelers navigate this situation.

FOURT Getting into Egypt is a pain in the butt no matter from which direction you come, prepare yourself mentally and keep your head up.

LASTLY Now that is out of the way each option has it’s caveats, costs, advantages and disadvantages so let’s explain those.

1. RORO from Alexandria EGYPT to Pireus GREECE, no passengers allowed

Roll on Roll off usually turns out to be cheaper because the space on the ship can be used more efficiently. Shipping out of Egypt is usually cheaper then shipping in. Some people will use the word ferry for this line but there are strictly no passengers allowed so you will have to fly out to follow your vehicle.

Be careful to take all your precious belongings with you or lock it properly as they leave the car opened in the ports. Some people report they had things stolen so don’t leave anything that you cannot afford to lose or replace.

Read Emma's report with detailed step by step guide on what happens during the importation process.

Price

  • Motorcycle - indication $900 all inclusive (port costs on both sides)
  • 4x4 - indication $1200 all inclusive (port costs on both sides)
  • Truck - ?

Clearing costs Egypt

  • $400 outbound
  • $600 inbound
  • plus plane ticket
  • plus hotel costs

Time

  • Time sailing 6 days
  • Clearing into Egypt 2-5 days
  • Clearing out of Egypt 2-3 days
  • Clearing in European port 1-2 days

If shipping RORO get pricing direct from the carriers agent in Alexandria, (you can do this direct and pay for the shipping in their office) then approach an agent for customs clearing services it will save you a lot of $$ as some agents charge a large markup on the shipping element.

SHIPPING LINES

Grimaldi
https://www.grimaldi.napoli.it
Sailing schedule

They are notoriously bad in replying although I read some reports that managed to book with them wile calling often. Otherwise use one of the agents mentioned in the list below.

Neptune
Barcelona office
Luisa Marce
+34 933170005
luisa@neptune-bcn.com
http://www.neptunelines.com/trade-areas :
ship so Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece.

Agent in ALEXANDRIA: Evge Egypt Shipping Agencies & Maritime Affairs S.A.E
Tel: +20 3 4868052 / +20 3 4872416 / +20 3 4874544 / +20 3 4872962 / +20 3 4872964

Email:
operations@evgealex.com (operations)
alexterminal@evgealex.com (terminal)

AGENTS

Marina Shipping Agency
Tel: +20 3 486 3647/485 6972
mail: sedky@smarina.com

Consolidated Freight Service (CFS)
125, Hurreya Ave.
El Radwan Bldg.
Bab-Sherk
Alexandria - Egypt.
Tel : 002 03 3914671 /2 / 4
Fax : 002 03 3914679
Mobile : 002 0122 240 4884
Website : http://www.cfsegypt.com/

Nermien Mamish (woman)
nermien_mamish@cfsegypt.com

Wael Diab
export1@cfsegypt.com

Interlog
Magdy Nofal
info@interlog.com.eg
+20 100 40 33 809
+2012 700 430 99

Nahas
nahas11@hotmail.com 00201223236752,
he is an independent fixer.

2. Ferry from Port Sudan SUDAN to Jeddah SAUDI ARABIA

If you want to avoid flying or any other reason you don’t want to go to Egypt then consider taking the ferry from Sudan to Saudi Arabia. Before you get all excited there are two important things to know. Saudi Arabia does not allow right hand drive vehicles; Sudan will not allow visitors with Israeli stamps in their passport (however the Israelis stamp a separate piece of paper so no need to worry ).

Getting a Saudi visa has proven to be difficult, most people get a transit visa, so make sure you have one before booking the ferry. Saudi recently announced to start issuing tourist visas and there have been a few reports of overlanders getting one yet it is not very common.

Time

  • 1 day sailing

Costs

  • Car $158
  • Passenger $63

SHIPPING LINE

Namma International Marine Services
http://nammashippinglines.com

Departure on Monday, Wednesday, Friday from Suakin (close to Port Sudan), Sudan. The ferry will arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tickets can be bought in Khartoum, Port Sudan and Suakin. First-class cabin per person – SDG 150 ($11) can be arranged on board at the reception desk. Motorcycle: It should be allowed to travel through Saudi Arabia by motorcycle

3. RORO from Salerno ITALY to Ashdod ISRAEL, passengers allowed

With Grimaldi you can also take the boat from Salerno (sometimes also from Pireus but I’m not really sure what the rules are here) to Ashdod in Israel. This is the same boat that would ship your vehicle RORO but the catch is that you are not allowed to get off in Alexandria. The only place you are allowed to go on shore is Israel. Read our full report on this route here.

If you don’t want drive to Salerno there are plenty of other ports where you can go onboard. All ports served are Salerno, Savona, Setubal, Bristol, Cork, Esbjerg, Wallhamn, Antwerp, Southampton, Malta, Piraeus, Izmir, Ashdod, Limassol and Alexandria

Time

  • Expect to sail anywhere between 5-10 days and as mentioned before it is not a ferry but part of the unreliable shipping industry so changes in schedule and delays are common.
  • Customs clearance in Israel 1 day, although Ashdod proudly announces that they are the only port in the world that does not operate 24/7. From sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday nothing happens and also customs is closed.

Costs

There are many agents you can book through and the price depends on the cabin you take, how many people and what type of vehicle.

  • €395 per passenger (including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect Italian cuisine so lots of pasta)
  • €395 per car up to 5m and 1,9m height
  • €625 per camper up to 8,5m, 3,4m height and 2,4m width
  • €175 per motorcycle
  • €0 per bicycle

This excludes the agent fees & port costs in Italy and Israel. We paid €204 agent fees and port costs for Salerno We paid in Israel €257 agent fees €87 port fee per motorcycle

TOTAL for 2 people and 2 motorcycles €1775

HOT TIP: Make sure to extend your green card to include Israel, this will save you a lot of money since Israeli insurance is very expensive.

You will also have to have insurance for yourself including medical evacuation for if anything happens on board.


SHIPPING LINE

Grimaldi
https://www.grimaldi.napoli.it
Sailing schedule

They are notoriously bad in replying although I read some reports that managed to book with them wile calling often. Otherwise use one of the agents mentioned in the list below.

Agents

  • CYPRUS
    Armata Enterprise Ltd.
    www.cruisecyprus.com
    info@cruisecyprus.com

  • FRANCE
    Catalina Cargo Conseil
    www.cargo-voyages.com
    catalina.da.silva@wanadoo.fr

  • GERMANY
    Seabridge
    www.seabridge-tours.de
    seabridge@t-online.de

  • ITALY
    GRIMALDI LINES Freighter Travel
    www.grimaldi-freightercruises.com
    gfc@grimaldi.napoli.it

  • SPAIN
    Grimaldi Logistica Espaa
    www.grimaldilogistica.com
    grimaldi@grimaldilogistica.com

  • UNITED KINGDOM
    International Vehicle Shipping Services
    www.ivssuk.com
    info@ivssuk.com

More agents can be found here http://www.grimaldi-freightercruises.com/en/how-to-book.html

Important to know before you decide

Once you are in the middle east you will want to head south to Egypt there are two options

  • Cross the border between Israel and Egypt at Taba
  • Move over to Jordan and take the ferry from Aqaba JORDAN to Nuweiba EGYPT

We personally tried to cross the border at Taba but were not let due to the intelligence officer unwilling to give us a paper to allow us into the Sinai. Officially motorcycles and 4x4 are not allowed into this part of the country due to a fear of them being stolen and used by the islamic terrorists. Especially traveling North to South I would recommend to go for option B

Taking the boat from Jordan to Egypt skips the first 75km in Egypt and the border officials seem less corrupt here then in Taba. There are multiple reports of people coming in through this border over the last year.

If you are riding from South to North and are considering this route your biggest obstacle will be the Suez canal tunnel. Once you passed this point you are likely to make it.

The strategy at the police checkpoints seems to be to tell that you are traveling to the closest tourist town, have a reservation ready if you want to be extra convincing or know at least the name of a hotel you are thinking of going to. Every time you reach a town, you pick the next tourist destination as your next stop until you get to Nueweiba or Taba.

Whatever you do, you cannot go straight through the desert as you will get into trouble with the police as far as they told us. So circumnavigate the peninsula, head down to Sharm El Sheikh and then back up.

Coming from South to North you might have trouble getting into Sinai but it might be wort a try. Book a hotel and diving in Sharm or Dahab as proof that you need to go there and let us know in the comments if you succeeded.

Turkey.png

4. Ferry from Iskenderun TURKEY to Haifa ISRAEL (or Damietta EGYPT)

This is not a popular route because the ferry company cannot guarantee a spot on the boat. However it seems that usually people do make it onto the boat.

Time

  • Turkey to Israel - 1 day
  • Turkey to Egypt - 3 days (only RORO service, no passengers)
  • Customs clearance into Egypt - 3-5 days

Price

  • Motorcycle ?
  • Car USD800
  • Truck USD900

Port fees

  • Turkey US60
  • Egypt US205


Agent

CATONI MARITIME AGENCIES S.A.MERSIN OFFICE
İsmet İnönü Cad. Bulvarı Klas Plaza No:78 K:9
Mersin TÜRKİYE
Tel: +90 324 237 50 50
Fax: +90 324 233 06 04
E-mail: catonimer@catoni.com.tr

Best is to contact Selo. He is very helpful and speaks good English. His phone number: +90 535 443 98 27

Report

Detailed report on this route from 2014 when the line was still going to Egypt. I haven't found anything more recent so I'm not sure if this is still a viable option. https://cruise-the-planet.ch/info-for-travellers/

5. Container shipping from/to any port you want

Shipping your vehicle inside a container is sometimes the only option but not the cheapest. It could be the way to go for you if you want to go home fast or change to a new continent. The added costs give you the benefit of flexibility to ship anywhere you want.

Shipping companies that can do container shipping

  • Magdy Nofal of InterLog out of Damietta, Egypt

6. BONUS - ONLY for motorcycles and bicycles

Fly from either Egypt/Sudan to Turkey/anywhere really

If you are on the bike then you have the extra option to fly, there are multiple reports from people who did not want or could not go through Egypt.

Price

  • USD 500-800 per motorcycle all inclusive

Time

  • Flight time 24hours (Layover in Nairobi)
  • Customs and prep 2-3 days
  • Customs in Turkey 1 day

Report

http://oneroadoneworld.com/cheap-shipping-airfreight-motorcycles-from-sudan-to-europe-or-turkey/

Conclusion

There are options, but I guess that 95% of the people take the RORO option from Alexandria. It is all in all the fastest and cheapest option. Because you have to take into account that even though taking a different shipping option might look more affordable, but the detour you have to make will add up in the end. The most flexible is container shipping but if you are really set on not flying then you can take one of the options that are accepting passengers. Like I said in the beginning, it all depends on what you want.

Old routes

Off course normal route used to be through Syria, an amazing country with a lot of history but since the civil war not a place to be. Another old route was the ferry from Italy to Tunesia and then cross through Libya. At the moment of writing this is also unsafe and there are reports that the border between Egypt and Libya are closed for foreigners anyway.

Leave your comments, helpful blogposts and tips down below