AfrikaÄgyptenEuropaGriechenlandReisenReisetippsVerschiffung / ShippingWorldtrip 2019

Shipping a car RoRo from Piraeus / Greece to Alexandria / Egypt

Piraeus Port

Piraeus / Greece

Shipping Partner: Minoan as shipping agent in Piraeus / Greece

Carrier: Grimaldi

Vessel: Grande Ellade

Total Costs Piraeus: 618 €

Contact was made with Xanthi Nannou (nannou@minoan.gr) and Georgios Michalakis (stratakis@minoan.gr) via e-mail approx. 4 weeks before shipping. Information about departure of the vessel was received 2 weeks before shipping.

Original quote

Please note our offer as follows:

POL: Piraeus
POD: Alexandria

1 x used vehicle – empty – self-propelled
Dims: 5,70 x 2,12 x 2,30 – weight: 2900 kgs

  1. S/F Piraeus -> Alexandria: € 300 per unit
  2. Stamp BL: 2€ per shipment
  3. Loading and admin fee: € 115 per unit
  4. days port storages, ISPS: € 60 per unit
  5. Customs assistance: 80 € per unit
  6. VAT 24% to be applied on items 3,4,5.

Remarks :

  • Free in/Free out
  • 3-4 sailings per month
  • Transit time about 3-5 days

Basis that you, as the owner of vehicle, should deliver it by yourself. No personal effects are allowed by Carrier. No passengers embarkation is allowed from Piraeus. Booking to be realized one week before vessel’s arrival at Piraeus under carnet de passage.

How to prepare the car

Officially the car needs to be free of any personal effects. Meaning it should be empty. This is of course not possible as we are carrying all our overlanding gear for a multi-month journey. We tried to ask Minoan about this beforehand but this was a question they never really answered.

We packed all our stuff (boxes with tools, spares, sleeping bags, etc.) in our camping cabin which luckily can be separated from the driver‘s cabin by a small locked door. This door we additionally bolted to make it even more difficult to break through. Everything that can be removed from the driver‘s cabin was taken out: Garmin with mount (incl. wiring), Radio, RAM mount for mobile, floor mats, windscreen wipers. This area of the car was completely empty. As a last step we put a bottle of Ouzo in the glove box. No idea if this helped but nothing was vandalised or damaged.

The camping cabin was packed with all our ‚personal effects‘: Bedding, cooking gear, food, clothes. Anyhow we tried to make it look as unsuspicious a possible: All cabinets closed, no loose items, boxes with spares and tools hidden under a tarp. We tried to take as much of our valuable electronics with us on the plane to Cairo.

Process of handing over the car in Piraeus port

Prior to meeting in the office we sent over the required documents as pdf:

  • Passport of owner
  • Carnet de passage
  • Title of the car

We met with Minoan at 9 am as soon as their office opened, roughly 2 days before ETD (estimated time of departure). They will tell you the right date:

THERMOPILON 6-10 , PIRAEUS – GREECE
P.C. 18545
MINOAN LINES SA
1st FLOOR, RORO/CAR CARRIER

Parking can be challenging. We handed over the complete amount of money in EUR and received the mobile number of the customs agent we directly called. A few minutes later we met with him and drove together to the customs office. Here the carnet was stamped and the VIN of the car was checked. That‘s it. Nobody wanted to look into our camping cabin and we had the feeling that there is a silent agreement that you just don‘t talk about the content of overlander cars. Tank was roughly ¼ full and it should not be more. Additionally our car was quite dirty which nobody cared about.

The car is then parked in the secured harbour parking with the key in the ignition (the only key we left of course) and the doors of the driver cabin unlocked. A strange feeling…

Piraeus Port
Piraeus Port

Alexandria / Egypt

The car was on the ship for about six days. Use the various tracking websites to see where the vessel is at the moment. Before it reached Alexandria it called port in Izmir / Turkey and Ashdod / Israel before arriving in Alexandria. We used the time to do VISA business in Cairo (Sudan + Ethiopia) and to do some sight-seeing.

Customs Agent: CFS – Consolidated Fright Service
Costs: 870 €
Additional Port Storage costs: 136 € (payable in Egyptian Pound)

Contact was made with Nermien Marmish (nermien_mamish@cfsegypt.com) weeks before shipping. We also sent over the following documents as pdf:

  • Passport of owner
  • Carnet de passage
  • Title of the car
  • As soon as available: Copy of Bill of Lading which we received from Minoan via E-Mail.
  • The original BOL stays in the Minoan office in Piraeus, they send a release note to the Alexandria port

Process of getting the car out of port and customs in Alexandria

We decided to use the costly service of CFS in Alexandria. For the only available, ‚all inclusive package‘ we paid 870 € which was, considering the exchange rate and availability of Euros, the better choice than paying in US-Dollars.

Day 1:

One day prior to arrival of the ship we met in the CFS office (see updated adress in iOverlander) and paid. After that we went with Fathi, employee of CFS, to the passport authority in Alexandria to get a ‚residency stamp‘ in our passport which is free of charge. The Arabic entry date on my Egyptian visa was not readable but the nice woman asked me when I entered Egypt by plane. After that I got the stamp. We heart stories of people being sent back to Cairo to get a new and clear stamp. It was a bit annoying as I asked the immigration officer in Cairo already about the unclear stamp and he said: ‚No problem – it is only in Arabic‘.

Day 2:

On the day our ship arrived I met with Salah, the friendly agent of CFS who is the one handle all the process in the port and beyond. A really friendly guy with limited English. This doesn‘t matter as the process with its 40 steps is completely unclear. First we went to the Marina office in Alexandria to pay the port storage fee which was quite high (136 €) because of the size of the car. It is paid in Egyptian Pound so make sure to carry enough. After that we went to the port and could inspect the car for the first time. It was parked in the truck section of the port and was completely unharmed! What a relieve. After that the customs process started with the Carnet being stamped in the end and customs inspection been carried out. A brief look into the car was enough.

Day 3:

Again we met in the CFS office and travelled to port. Salah bought insurance, the car was again inspected: Chassis Number and Engine number. I had to remove the turbo-intercooler to show the engine number. They insisted to see it.

Chassis Number
Chassis Number

Right after Lunch I received my Egyptian license and the number plates which I directly installed. Make sure to have the correct tools ready. Also I received a very big fire extinguisher which is compulsory. At 2 pm I was ready to go. Final inspection of VIN and Carnet as we left port. Also I got a stamp in the passport to make sure I take the car with me out of Egypt again.

Egyptian License Plate
Egyptian License Plate

On this day we drove all the way to Cairo / Al Sorat farm as it was still enough time left.

We highly recommend the CFS service even though it is not clear what they charge for their service and what the costs in the port are. Our guess is they take around 300 € for the service which is ok, considering the amount of work. Only try to manage it yourself if you have time and an arabic speaking friend. Also keep in mind that it can be costly if you cannot remove the car from port storage in time. Every additional day in the port costs a lot of money.

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