How to export autos to Bangkok from the United States

Exporting American goods in style:

Are you in the mood for an express air freight quote? I know I am. We just finished exporting 19 brand new Teslas, and it got me started thinking about all of the different shipments we’ve been involved in over the years.

We have experience working with very small shipments, such as a single box door-to-door, like you would expect use something like FedEx or UPS for (while overpaying, of course). But we also heavy construction and manufacturing equipment, or as it is in this case, 19 brand new Teslas!

Every shipment is unique in some way, but easily managed through a process and network that took us 30 years to build. 

Here’s how this one went down.

It’s late on a Friday, so here’s a summarized version of our recent shipment:


Choosing the right path:

We’ve been air freighting since 1984. Under our IATA (international air transportation association) license, ETC International Freight System offers weekly flights to world destinations, and since expediency was important, air was the obvious choice.


Auto Air Freighting

We originated from the San Francisco area, and were shipping to Bangkok, Thailand.

We immediately retrieved the specifications on the vehicles such as the length, width, height, wheel base & ground clearance, then made personal contact with our prospective airlines that we knew could handle such a load at a reasonable price.

Pricing was also very important, so we extended our search to chartering services.


Optional Cargo Insurance

Most freight forwarders offer a total loss insurance policy for used vehicles. Insurers can give an all risk policy with a deductible, but, it is necessary to request the rate on a per case basis. The latter would be for new vehicles.


(MORE ON THIS: International Cargo Insurance)



Autos are considered dangerous goods, so Customs requires a dangerous goods certificate, the original title per vehicle for validation purposes, & prepping of the car, and even removing some of the fluids. So, we took care of that.

As a side note, for titled used vehicles being exported, U.S. Customs will not validate the original title(s) if the exporter’s name does not match the name on the title, or if the title has not been signed off by the previous owner with the exporter’s name/details entered in on the back.



ETC Intl. Freight System or the shippers can arrange pick-up & delivery of the vehicles to the airlines. Space restrictions exist because we were air freighting & flying 19 cars at once is mostly unlikely. We had to deal with 12 different airplanes. Coordinating the space with the delivery as well as the customs work can be a tricky business, which is why we were needed.

On a side note, customs requires the tax identification number for businesses, or an EIN # for a citizen shipping individually (obtain by calling IRS 1-800-829-4933), so make sure you have that. For foreigners, please procure your foreign issued passport number.


Estimated transit time

San Francisco / Bangkok takes 24 hours from departure.


The destination charges

In this instance, ETC Freight System quoted on a CIF Bangkok basis (cost of freight + insurance – more on that HERE). Any of the overseas fees were for the consignee’s account. Although, other shipments require a DDU or DDP (delivery duty unpaid or delivery duty paid), in this scenario, the buyer was from Bangkok & opted out of the Thailand landed fees.



If you’re interested in shipping a single box or 19 Teslas overseas, give us a ring for a free freight quote; we’re happy to apply our 30 years of experience and network to your cause and get you the best pricing, the most flexible routes, and most comprehensive service offerings:

Also, download our free conversion calculator to make it easier to translate US measurements to the metric system:

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