Overland Shipping – Container Shipment from Malaysia to Argentina


Edited to Add, July 2019: If you want to ship TO Malaysia, check out this post on shipping by Toyotoro.

How to get your overland vehicle from one side of the ocean to the other side? It’s hardly ever as complicated as it seems, but it’s always good to bring a big bucket of patience, a great dose of humor, and I won’t get into any officialdom without bringing a book.

And when your overland car misses 2 shipments, well you sigh (or curse) and try again!

Our Land Cruiser is 2m70 but with deflated tires fits in a container. So here is the lowdown of our container shipment from Kuala Lumpur to Buenos Aires.

1. Container Shipment at the Malaysian Side – Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang, Dec ’06)

We spoke with Mrs. Wen Wan Wen and Mr. Daryl JES Ch’ng, two very friendly, helpful persons whom we are happy to recommend.


Level 11, Maybank-Assurance Tower
Dataran Maybank
No.1, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
phone: 60 3 2295 7888
email: [email protected]
website: www.cma-cgm.com
GPS Waypoint: 3.12650, 101.67800

The Maybank-Assurance tower is situated next to the LRT [a type of skytrain] “Bangsar”.

The Terminal [port]
The CMA Terminal is situated in the Westport of Port Klang, where you put your car in a container. The customs, where you get your Carnet de Passage stamped, is also located here.


From Kuala Lumpur take Highways E2, E11 and E5, direction Port Klang. Follow the signs “Pulau Indah”, which will be followed by signs “Westport”.
GPS Waypoint: 2.94895, 101.30643

CFS is a company situated at the Terminal, and they arranged for the container to be ready for us at the Terminal. CMA arranged the contact between us and:
Mr. Lim [tel: 012-2117030]
Mr. Wan [tel: 012-3822247]

Costs for the container shipment
At CMA we paid the following in US dollars [$] and Malaysian Ringgit [Rm]:

  • container $1250
  • BAF [transport costs related to the oil price, so variable per month] $ 297
  • SMK [kind of insurance, fixed price] $ 6
  • THC [Terminal handling charges] Rm 335
  • Bill of Lading Rm 110
  • costs DHL [to have the Bill of Lading sent to the Netherlands] Rm 68

At the Terminal we paid the following charges to CFS:

  • Trucking and haulage Rm 205

On the spot they also took care of the lashing of the car [including materials] without charging extra.

Recommended Books on Overlanding

(click on the images to look inside)

Mud, Malaria, Guns and Miracles – Graeme Bell

Hit the Road; Vans, Nomads and Roadside Adventures

My African Conquest – Julia Albu

Products from Amazon


1. At CMA-CGM in Kuala Lumpur a booking was made for the container and here we paid the bill. CMA gave us the seal for the container and also made the arrangements with CFS for us.

2. At Westport you first go to customs: at the reception you can ask for someone from the export department. Give them your Carnet and they will stamp it. It took Coen ten minutes to do this.

3. After customs you drive into the Terminal, where you put your car into a container. However, in order for a container to be there, it has to be brought from a depot and this is what CFS does. CFS also made sure there was a ramp and a compressor, so we could inflate our tires once the car was in the container.

Our car is so high that the tires have to be deflated for the car to fit underneath the doorpost [2.28m]. Once inside the container, there is enough space between the roof of the car and the roof of the container, so the tires can be inflated again. Next the CFS took care of the lashing.

4. After everything is ready, you lock the container yourself with the seal that CMA gives you.

5. The standard procedure means that after the container has been loaded onboard, you can pick up the Bill of Lading at the CMA office in Kuala Lumpur. But as we were flying to the Netherlands before that, we were left with two options:

a. CMA would send the Bill of Lading to CMA in Rotterdam where we could pick it up [costs € 25]

b. CMA would send the Bill of Lading directly to our home address in the Netherlands with DHL [costs Rm 68].

What went wrong?

The car missed two ships!

We still don’t exactly know why. According to the schedule, our Land Cruiser should have been on the ship leaving December 23. We were told that this sailing was canceled. On January 2, the car missed another ship. Many phone calls were made and emails sent.

To cut a long story short, apparently some sort of export document was missing. It remains unclear to us whether Coen should have taken care of this or whether the Customs had lost the export slip of the Carnet and thus failed to make the necessary document.

After yet many more phone calls, and after we emailed a copy of our signed Carnet, the car finally made the ship on January 7.

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2. Container Shipment at the Argentinean Side – Buenos Aires (Jan ’07)

Shipping agent CMA-CGM
We spoke with Mrs. Nadia Veuthey. She speaks English and is very helpful.

Emma de la Barra 353 – 1st floor
C1107BXA Buenos Aires
Phone: (54-11) 5556-1000
email: (of Nadia): [email protected]
website: www.cma-cgm.com

CMA-CGM is located in Puerto Madeiro, on the east side of Capital Federal, Buenos Aires.

This is a tiny office in a huge complex on the corner of Avenida de los Inmigration and Avenida Rámon Castillo. This complex is situated north of Puerto Madeiro and at walking distance (to the northeast) of the Retiro train station.

Opening hours are limited: 9.30am-1pm and 2.30-4.30pm

The Terminal (harbor)

Terminal 1, 2 and 3 are next to the office of EMBA. Payment has to be made in the building of TRP (Terminales Rio de la Plata), a little further down the road. From EMBA a free shuttle bus drives back and forth between the buildings.

GPS Waypoint: -34.58268, -58.36835

Costs of the container shipment on the Argentinean side

CMA gives you a bill in US dollars (US$) which has to be paid at a bank downtown. We paid CMA the following:

  • River Plate Toll US$ 90
  • THC Destino US$120
  • Logistics fee US$ 30.25
  • Delivery Order US$ 54.45
  • Total costs, including tax = US$ 294.70

At the Terminal (TRP) we paid the following in pesos. Strangely enough the bill is in US dollars, but payment can only be made in pesos!

  • Verification US$ 193.60
  • Cargo de seguridad US$ 9.68
  • Devolucion mty importacion US$ 24.20
  • Cargo manipuleo US$ 110.11
  • Tasas a las cargas impo US$ 3.63 per ton US$10.89
  •  Total costs, including tax: US$ 348.48 = 1081 pesos.

Travel Guides for Argentina

(click on the images to look inside)

Lonely Planet Travel Guide – Argentina

Lonely Planet Phrasebook & Dictionary – American Spanish

Insight Guides – Argentina

Products from Amazon


1. Two days before the arrival of the ship you can go to CMA to pay the bill, which you do at a bank downtown. Payment can be made in US dollars.

2. Payment at the bank.

3. With the receipt you go back to CMA, where they will then prepare the Delivery Order.

4. You go to EMBA with the following documents:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Delivery order
  • Carnet de Passage
  • Passport
  • Car registration papers
  • (international) driver’s license

EMBA makes copies of all these documents and adds some more of their own.

5. Nothing else can be done until the ship has arrived and your container is ashore.

When this is the case, then:

6. You go to the TRP building with all your papers and pay the TRP bill. Payment has to be made in pesos!

7. TRP adds some more papers and sends you to someone inside the Terminal. This was Damian and, as far as we understand, he is the guy that takes care of individual containers that are unloaded inside the Terminal.

8. Damian takes you to your container. A ramp is available, as are men to open the container and unlash your car. He also took us to a nearby place to inflate the tires.

9. The car has to be left near the exit of the Terminal. Damian has more papers, which you have to take to the TRP building.

10. At the TRP building they give you another paper and back you go to Damian, who (surprise, surprise) makes copies.

11. Now the Terminal procedure is taken care of. You go back to EMBA, to the Verification department.

12. Depending on how they feel, they will either sign your Carnet and some other papers (as happened in our case) or they insist on inspecting your car (as we hear from others). Again more papers need to be filled in. By the way, EMBA gave us permission to stay in the country with the car for 8 months, we have no idea if this is standard procedure.

13. With these last papers you exit the Terminal and hand them to the official in the booth.

14. Right outside the Terminal some officials are awaiting you, wanting to see your third party insurance, so make sure you have one (or something else that can pass for it).

Check it Out: the Landcruising Adventure Coffee Mug Collection

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4 thoughts on “Overland Shipping – Container Shipment from Malaysia to Argentina”

  1. Bill I just received for 20ft container

    Terminal handling 215
    container service charge 35
    port and terminal access 125
    delivery order 75

    total 450 usd

    I have to pay by pesos or by card, I don’t have dollars. Do you know if that is possible? Huub

    • Hi Huub, assuming you are in Buenos Aires, to our knowledge (this was in 2007) you can only pay with Pesos at the TRP (Terminal).

  2. I shipped to Buenos Aires as it seemed cheaper as Uruguay (1500 dollar in total done by agent) and in Argentina you can do it without agent. But I was wrong. Above process is pretty correct.

    1. 2 days in advance ask for bill at CMA CGM in Puerto Madero. Then you go to a bank to pay. You can pay everything to a dollar account or to a pesos account. The dollar is 63 pesos at the moment. But if you go to western union or to Florida street, you get around 74 pesos. So you will save a lot of money by changing dollars to pesos somewhere else or getting your money wired from western union. This was 450 dollar
    2. Emba does not do this anymore. The temporary import number is given by customs at Defense 135 close to Plaza de Maya. You don’t pay here
    3. At TRP you pay the scanning of the container, which was around 500 dollar. You also pay it as deposit to a bank.
    4. Basically you are running between above 3 companies, including customs at the entrance of the terminal and the bank several times. After finished, which took 2 weeks of work. I spent about 5 to 6 almost full days running from one place to the other, I got the end bill of another 1600 dollars. Which was not really fun as if I have to believe other stories, for 1500 dollars in total you can have an agent do it for you in Uruguay and I ran around for 2 weeks and spent over 2500 dollars. The first 1200 euro I got on a decent rate and the next 500 euro on a good rate as I found out how it works with Western Union. So in reality I paid about 2.000 dollars.

    The people are all very friendly and you get all invoices on email, so I did not feel that there was any corruption, this is just the price these days for getting a 20 foot container with car through customs. Crazy, as this was the same price as I spent on customs for the car to leave Pakistan and to be 2 months on several ships before arriving in Buenos Aires.


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