Vehicle shipping across the Darien Gap URGE

Vamos a cruzar de Panamá a Cartagena, la idea es compartir un contenedor para esta semana, la idea sería hacer el inspección mañana (29 de agosto) por la mañana en ciudad Panamá para el miércoles embarcar los carros en puerto Manzanillo Colón. Cualquier interesado comunicarse al +506 8848-1212 por whatsapp o por correo a

The entire network of roads in North, Central, and South America connect, except for a 50 km (30 miles) gap between Colombia and Panama known as the Darien Gap. The Darien Gap has been crossed a handful of times by international teams, but is now considered too dangerous to cross due to rebel groups.  We've got the lowdown on how to get you and your car across the Darien Gap.   Also check out related articles about traveling across the Darien Gap, vehicle shipping (excluding the Darien Gap), and detailed shipping instructions if you are using Barwil to ship around the Darien Gap

The Darien Gap

Crossing the Darien Gap by Air

If you are traveling by motorcycle, you can find air cargo freighters that will ship a motorcycle. Vehicles need to be transported by boat.

Yet to be confirmed first hand, there are apparently small local airports offering inexpensive passenger flights between Panama and Colombia for prices around $50.

Crossing the Darien Gap by Boat

While this may be the most frustrating border crossing, many people have done this before, so don't let it deter you from taking the plunge. You have two options for transporting your vehicle: using a cargo container or RORO, which stands for "roll on, roll off". Your car will not be placed in a shipping container, but instead will be driven into the ship. RORO will be less expensive, but you will need to hand over your keys. You will need to take everything out of the car, and remove anything from the vehicle that can be stolen. If your vehicle's height exceeds 2.7 meters you will have to use RORO due to the container restraints.

VW Vagabonds provide a wealth of information on different shipping options, including a list of questions and tips to complete your paperwork correctly. These intrepid travelers have shipped their car four times at this point, and have detailed information on shipping their vehicle from on a RORO from North America to South America, shipping vehicles from Costa Rica to Ecuador on a RORO.

''It should be clarified that container prices below are based on shipping two vehicles in a single container. While this is most cost effective, groups with only one vehicle unable to share a container with fellow travelers will have to double the below "per vehicle" container fee.''

Alex and Lisa from 2 people 1 life have put together a series of videos documenting their experience shipping across the Darien Gap if you're interested in a first person perspective. 

RORO from Panama to Colombia

There is a RORO service from Colon, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia as of April 2009. The cost is $55 USD per weight measure (cubic foot). To calculate this, according to Evelyn, you take the length x width x height of your vehicle and multiply it by $55 to estimate the cost. Usually it costs from $600 to $700 USD. If the vehicle's height exceeds 2.7 metres you will have to use RORO due to the container restraints.

NYK Lines, RORO from Costa Rica to Ecuador

According to positive reviews from THymeoff and VW Vagabonds, you can get your car shipped hassle free by NYK for $500 USD. Since it is a Roll On, Roll Off, you will need to hand over your keys. You can contact Milton Madriz who has an office in San Jose, Costa Rica. His email address is [email protected].

Josh from notes the below:

Previously (2004) this route was traveled at a cost of $250, but as of 2007 the fee appears to be $500. Additionally there is a $50 port fee on arrival in Ecuador. Another note is that it is not entirely "hassle free" as stated above - travelers should be careful to secure any cargo in their vehicles and not leave any items accessible inside that they don't want stolen. Thefts have been reported by several travelers on this route. Paperwork and receiving in Manta, Ecuador takes about a day, is straightforward, and Manta is a very nice place with a beautiful beach!

People have had mixed results in dealing with Milton Madriz in San Jose(the official NYK agent for this port), ranging from willing to unresponsive to actually obstructive. Better service has been received by first directly contacting the NYK office in Mexico, which is in charge of this route and where the shots are called.

Contact: [email protected]
Note: There is no Container Service via NYK Line for this route

Transit time: 6 days

$600 per unit

Full Liner Terms (FLT)
- From vessel's Ramp at Loading Port, to vessel's Ramp at Discharge Port
- Any Tax and / or Dues, Wharfage and / or any transhipment cost at Loading and/ or Discharging ports to be from shippers/ consignee's account
The following agent contacts can provide more information about additional fees, services they provide, documentation etc.

Pto Caldera, Costa Rica
Lucia Hernández G.
[email protected]
Customer service manager
Barlovento Agencia Marítima S.A.
San José, Costa Rica 

Manta, Ecuador
Ginger Rodriguez
Customer Service NYK
Telf: 2-598060 Ext 1332
Fax: 2-598060 Ext 1339
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]  

Also read this detailed report about shipping RORO from Costa Rica to Ecuador with Transoceanica.

Barwil Agencies, Container Shipping from Panama to Ecuador or Colombia

Barwil agencies has been recommended by a number of different sources, and they are extremely helpful. In general, they tend to be most responsive when you actually arrive in Panama City and meet with them in their office. They ship cars from Colon, Panama in either 20 or 40 foot shipping containers. 2 cars can fit in one 40 foot container, reducing costs somewhat. In general, ships for Guayaquil, Ecuador leave once every 15 days, while ships for Cartagena, Colombia, leave every week. The journey to Ecuador takes about 4 days while the trip to Colombia takes only 1 day. While Barwil does provide shipping services to both Colombia and Ecuador, Colombia seems to be preferable. Of the 203 cars they shipped in 2008, 200 were shipped to Colombia, only 3 shipped to Ecuador. The receiving procedure in Colombia is much more efficient and potentially less expensive. For detailed instructions describing the entire shipping process, see Barwil Shipping Instructions.

Costs in Panama:

$950/car, 2 cars in a 40 foot shipping container. Includes departure permits, 'stuffing' fee, ocean freight charge, stuffing materials, and any port fees.
$9/car customs/port charge paid in Manzanillo Port in Colon.

Costs in Colombia:

$150/car for 'unstuffing' fee

Contact information:

  • Barwil Agencia S.A.
  • Panama Pacifico (former Howard Airforce Base), south of the city
  • International Business Park,
  • Tower A, 3rd floor, Office 401
  • N08º 55.67’ W79º 35.57’
  • [email protected]
  • Phone: +507 263 7755; Fax: +507 223 0698
  • Panama, Republic of Panama
  • [email protected]


C. Fernie & CO, Container Shipping from Panama to Ecuador

C. Fernie & CO offers container shipping from Colon, Panama to Guayaquil, Ecuador. Their ships leave on a weekly basis, and it takes 4-6 days for the ship sail from Panama to Ecuador. They recommend using a customs broker to speed the permitting process in Panama.


For 2 cars in one 40 foot shipping container:

  • $600/car, shipping fee
  • $175/car 'stuffing' fee
  • $200/car customs clearance for export
  • $50/car police permissions

Contact Info

Tel. Panama: 211-9488

Tel. Colon: 433-8500

[email protected], [email protected]

Rozo / Marfret, Container shipping from Panama to Colombia

Another shipping company with an office in Panama City, shipping from Colon, Panama to Cartegena, Colombia. You can contact Mr. Martinez to get the ball rolling. His email address is [email protected].

Dan from notes the below:

"In March 2010 we searched and searched for the cheapest shipping agent for days in Panama City. Barwil quoted us $950 plus unknown costs in Colombia and Seaboard quoted $880 plus unknown costs.
For two vehicles sharing a 40' container we paid a total price of $770 per vehicle which includes every single cost on both ends - customs and all.
This is the lowest price I've ever heard of."

Website with price breakdown:

LostworldExpedition notes that:

As of December 2010 shipping through Marfret in a 40 foot container split with 2 vehicles the cost was US $781.00 each vehicle and it did not include some costs at the Colombia side. After all costs including cab rides and additional fees from the Colombia port authority and Colombian receiving shipping agent the total cost was close to $900.00.


WILHELMSEN Container from Cristobal to Cartagena or Barranquilla

Contact: [email protected]
Ph: (507) 263 7755 Mob: (507) 6674 6857

Weekly shipping
Transit: 1-2 Days to Barranquilla, 2-3 days to Cartagena

Rates: 20 foot container (didn't give info on 40 foot but I'm sure she will if you ask)
Ocean freight - $1350
Stuff/ Unstuff - $150
Doc. Fee - $50
Not including Customs and port charges
TOTAL (excl. additional fees) = USD 1550

There is also irregular RORO service for this route which leaves once or twice every 2-3 months, ask for quotes if interested.  

SEABOARDMARINE Container from Cristobal to Cartagena

Contact: Vanessa Degracia [email protected]

20 Foot Container (1 car) = $600 + $275 bunker + $50 Bill of Lading (BL)
40 Foot Container (2 cars) = $900 + $550 bunker + $50 BL

+ Stuffing on Cristobal = $162.50 Per Car + $75 for Empty Container
+ Un- Stuffing on Cartagena = $160 Per 20 foot container / $180 per 40 foot

Extra costs (not part of freight)
+ $17 Cargo por Seguridad Portuario Puerto Cristobal
+ $5.25 Cargo por Etiqueta "Warning"

Port to Port Service
Rates do NOT include taxes, customs papers, permissions etc.

THE ROZO GROUP Container from Manzanillo to Cartagena

Contact: Guillermo Martinez [email protected]

Transit Time: One day, shipping every weekend

2 cars in a 40 foot container

$750 Freight
$200 Stuffing of the cars in Manzanillo
$37.45 Agency fee
$6 CSC
$227 Unstuffing of the cars in Cartagena
5% of the net freight (minimum $35)
$15 Doc Fee (pay at destination)
$58 per car as terminal services, 3 days free storage after which you pay $3.50 per day per car

The export paperwork should be done by a customs broker
The booking and delivery of the car to the terminal will be coordinated with Guillermo

Many people have used Guillermo's service, including Lost World Expedition's Lacey and Luis in Dec 2010, and everyone recommends him highly.

* Note: HLAG does not ship household goods, which a private car is included under. You can also try Maersk Sealand, Libra, CSAV. Crowley does not ship to South America.

NYK LINE (Mexico) RORO from Balboa to Buenaventura

Contact: [email protected]
Note: There is no Container Service via NYK Line for this route

Transit time: 2 days

$500 per unit

Full Liner Terms (FLT)
- From vessel's Ramp at Loading Port, to vessel's Ramp at Discharge Port
- Any Tax and / or Dues, Wharfage and / or any transhipment cost at Loading and/ or Discharging ports to be from shippers/ consignee's account

Agent contacts below can provide more information about additional fees, services they provide, documentation etc.

Balboa, Panama
Katrina Wan
Freight Department - Import
Norton Lilly International (Panama), S.A.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Tel. (507) 431-4500 / 4548
Fax.(507) 441-8598 / 6057

Buenaventura, Colombia
[email protected]
Phone: (57 1) 2966315 Ext.2312
Fax: (57 1) 2966316
Bogotá - Colombia  

Tea is a shipping agent that can also help you arrange container shipping from Panama to Colombia.  

Container shipping from Colon to Cartagena with Everlogistic


Update July 2012: Costs have increased substanitally. Total cost for us to ship in June 2012 in a shared 40' container was $2100 in Panama (excluding plane tickets, hotels and taxi rides) and an additional $500 in Colombia for port fee and unstuffing. Not these are the total costs and were spilt by 2 cars.

Read our full write up on the process here:


Cost for a shared 40 foot container (per car)

  • Our cost is USD37.50 per Original House B/L per Car = 1 x 40´hq, USD75.00
  • CNTR. SIZE DOOR OPEN: Width 2.343m and Height 2.585m
  • USD 750.00 Ocean Frt. +
  • USD 200.00 stuffing at MIT,
  • USD 37.45 agency fee +
  • USD 6.00 CSC at MIT
  • USD 227.00 CSC IN Cartagena un-stuffing
  • USD 58.00 Port Cartagena Authority will pay in Cartagena, Colombia
  • USD 35.00 Terminal use. will pay in Cartagena, Colombia
  • USD 15.00 Local Cartagena Charge. will pay in Cartagena, Colombia

Cost for a 20 foot container

  • Our cost per 1 x 20´GP USD50.00
  • CNTR. SIZE DOOR OPEN: Width 2.343m and Height 2.280m
  • USD 600.00 Ocean Frt. +
  • USD 100.00 stuffing at MIT,
  • USD 37.45 agency fee +
  • USD 6.00 CSC at MIT
  • USD 172.00 CSC IN Cartagena un-stuffing
  • USD 58.00 Port Cartagena Authority will pay in Cartagena, Colombia
  • USD 35.00 Terminal use. will pay in Cartagena, Colombia
  • USD 15.00 Local Cartagena Charge. will pay in Cartagena, Colombia

Destination must be paid and do not appear in the B/L, also remember that they have three days free storage after that you have to pay.

Contact Information:

  • Gabriel Boris Jaramillo
  • General Manager
  • Ever Logistics, Inc.
  • e-mail: [email protected]
  • e-mail: [email protected]
  • e-mail: [email protected]
  • Phone: (507) 431-0390 / 431-0391 / 431-0392 / 431-0393 / 431-0394
  • Fax : (507) 431-0395
  • Cel.: (507) 6550-9961
  • Skype: gabrielboris1

Notes on this shipping agent from Jimmy:

I think we did things pretty fast we contacted the Boris at Everlogistic in Colon on Tuesday Mar 29. We went back to Panama city that day headed to the police station at 2:30pm and they told us to come back tomorrow morning for the inspection because they only do it in the mornings.

Mar 30, went back to police station at 930 to do the inspection finished at 10:00 but had to wait until 2 to get papers took another 1hr at that office

Mar 31, meet with Boris in Colon, he show us to the port and had a guy waiting there taking us to the 2 different customs office and finally to the port for final inspection we had to leave our keys because we're not allow to enter the container area. (its a new rule)

Apr 6 went to the office of Ami logistic in Cartegana they charge us $35 bucks made some photocopies and the bill of landing we proceeded to customs (note make sure if your shipping with someone get both names added to the bill of landing because customs turn us away) back to customs for an hour handed in our papers and than told to go to the port office just down the road to tell them we are picking up our cars. that took all our info. and told us to go to the big port holding our cars at 700 am next day and not to be late.

Apr 7, arrived a port 645 am the agent was expecting us and too our papers waited around 2 hours and paid $135 and told to go back to the custom office after 2 pm to get the permission papers. 130pm , early had a few beers waiting for their 2hr lunch break and when we arrived the girl that help us the day before told us we need more copies we got the copies an waited about 1 hrs for customs to give us the permission papers. went back to the nearby port office to get the release papers took another 1 hour. 430 pm now they told us the paper is valid for today only and we had to get car today or have to get the release paper again and pay late charge so we headed to the port that held our cars.

We found they same guy we dealt with in the morning he was about to get off but he called the workings in the port to drive our cars out took them like 2 hours to drive our cars out don't know why it took so long because they where out of container. finally got our cars at about 700pm. Apr 7. 

It think we did things pretty fast had our cars in Panama contained and out of driving in Columbia in 1 week thanks to Boris, but he did give us the wrong address in Cartegana office make sure if you choose to use Everlogistic get the address for Ami in Cartegana.

Over all I would recommend Boris very fast professional and the price is the best.  

Read more about how to find boat or air transportation across the Darien Gap, and also more about non-Darien Gap shipping options.   Also check out for additional international shipping options

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 16:43

Blue book/temporary import tax-Columbia

Thank you for ALL the information, it is great! However, i have been told there is an additional cost. On arrival at customs in Columbia you must pay for a temporary import tax, which is a percentage of the 'blue book' value of the vehicle , approx 20-30%. so not only are the shipping costs an additonal expence but this temporary import tax that must be paid on arrival in Columbia. can anyone please elighten me.

Thank you

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 20:08

Response to Blue book/temporary import tax-Colombia

We shipped to Colombia from Panama 4 months ago and there were no hidden fees or taxes at the port. This might be some kind of scam or just a rumor. The only fees we had to pay in Colombia was an agent fee of around $40 (might depend on the company you go through) and the insurance for the car. 

Sun, 04/24/2011 - 05:07

Blue book/temporary import tax-Columbia

Thanks very much for that info.

Sun, 04/24/2011 - 09:05

agreed - no blue book fee

When we imported our car we definitely did not have to pay a tax that had to do with the value of our car - we would have remembered that!  

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 08:37

RE: Temporary Import Tax

We are getting similar information (from a different agent).  Here's our "destination" invoice.  Note that we did not pay for any un-stuffing or similar to our agent in Panama.  Somehow this all comes out to ~$410 per vehicle.



Container "Un-stuffing fees"


Document Fee                 USD 67.00 / Documentation

EMISION BL                       USD 69.60 / BL ISSUE



MANEJO                             USD 52.00 / BL  / HANDLING

Vehicle Fees

Servicio acompañamiento aduanero de entrada USD 180.00 X vehículo / CUSTOMS ENTRY per VEHICLE

Si la salida es por IPIALES el servicio de acompañamiento de salida es de USD 180.00 X vehículo, si es por otra frontera se debe cotizar. / CUSTOMS EXIT per VEHICLE using IPIALES BORDER


Agent info (no english speaking staff):


CALLE 29 NO. 24-56


Mobile: 312-6883554 / 321-2040645

Tel.: 575-6608483


You can also contact Ana Sofia at the main office in Bogota to the following

Ana Sofia Arias

[email protected]

Traslados Internacionales Ltda

PBX ( 571) 4288800

FAX (571) 4284292



Tue, 05/17/2011 - 09:05

Cost to ship 1 Toyota Tundra

Cost to ship 1 Toyota Tundra Cartagena Colombia (shared a High Cube container, but costs here listed for 1 vehicle)

1 × 40 HC Shared

Port to Port Service
Handling: $87
BL: 25
Port Charges: 33
Documentation: 62
Blocking & Bracing: 150
Customs Exit: 62
IMO: 125
Ocean Freight: 550
Sub Total: 1,095
Sales Tax: 38
Total Linea: $1,133

Note: this doesn't include the "un-stuffing" on the Colombia side so is not readily comparable to other quotes


Julio C. Sánchez
Logistics Specialist | PSLI - Panamá Soluciones Logísticas, S.A.
Calle D El Cangrejo, Edif. 13 - Local
2 a lado Hotel Marbella (PANAMA CITY)
France Field, Colon Free Zone (ZONA LIBRE)
Phone.     (507) 223-8301 (507) 223-8302
Fax.         (507) 223-8295
[email protected]

Thoughts: Definately the more expensive option.  Julio speaks excellent English and will respond immediately to phone calls or emails.  He met us at our Hostel twice during the process.  We did run into issues and this was critical for us (due to the new port rules and our size).  Additionally he was there for every step in the process including rides to/from Colon.  He handled everything for us basically and it made the whole process a breeze.

In the end (after the destination charges) our shipping costs were ~$1,600.  Worth the extra cost? If you have any sort of off standard situation like we did with our truck camper dimension, probably yes.  Otherwise you can still get your car or truck to Colombia for under $1,000 easily without the service.



Wed, 06/01/2011 - 16:58

Panama to Ecuador shipping car as of May 2011


I can provide some updates for shipping a car from Panama to Ecuador --especially the Guayaquil end.  It is much more costly (total $2,700 US plus potential $2,000 cost) and time-consuming than we expected from internet info.
 We waited in Guayaquil for 9 days at the end of April to have our car released from port.  Semana Santa (Easter) slowed things down a bit for sure but there are also new import/immigration rules affecting tourist cars coming into efect May 1st,2011 and we seem to be victims of that (despite being in April).  These new rules were apparently instigated by Ministry of Tourism here to help tourists so maybe it will be better once they figure this all out.  
More importantly for others coming after us, apparently LCL (picking up your own car in port)  is not allowed anymore in the Guayaquil port.  We had to have an agent in Guayaquil (another cost) and there is additional cost with FCL (having the container moved out of port by truck to an agent's warehouse).  At this point we trust the agent we had in Panama City (Ever Logistics) and the one we had in Guayaquil (Logistics Unlimited) and that's what they say.  
Another wrinkle is that the shipping company we had was Hapag-Lloyd and they imposed a $2,000 "guarantee" in the form of a certified cheque to ensure that they get their container back undamaged.  It's very unfair as we can't go into the port in Panama to see the container before our car got into it and was shipped.  Nor could we see the container in Guayaquil port before it was loaded onto the truck to the agent's warehouse.   We have also questioned why the trucking company isn't insured for container damage but haven't got satisfactory answers.  They really have us over a barrel.  Our agent has issued the $2,000 cheque from their agency with us giving them $400 cash as guarantee.  We did receive our $400 deposit back from our agent but it was touch and go for a few days while our agent argued with Hapag-Lloyd about the condition of our container.  



Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:01


Sounds like a lot of deals and working with people.  Is there any chance you can get by speaking only English?

Fri, 06/24/2011 - 17:33

Panama to Cartagena

We shipped our 24ft motorhome between Colon and cartagena twice (once down and once back)

We went RORO using Everlyn at Barwil.

At the Cartagena end we used a local customs agent

It's a small family business named Enlace Caribe. Luis and Sonja are the owners. They charged about $200 and were well worth the money. Don't try to do the formalities yourself unless you speak Spanish.

Luis Ernesto La Rota R.
Enlace Caribe Ltda.
Manga, 3a. Avenida No. 26-47, Of. 103
Cartagena, Colombia
Ph +57 (5) 660 8960
Mob + 57 315 758 5872

I will edit this into the page at some point

Rob Blackwell


Sat, 11/05/2011 - 12:47 (Reply to #9)

Shipping from Colon to Cartagena 31 feet


I plan to ship my motorhome at the end of November 2011!
I saw that you have done it several times, could you give me an idea of the price

Thanks a lot


Sun, 11/06/2011 - 10:54 (Reply to #10)

Our vehicle was about 23 Ft

Our vehicle was about 23 Ft long, cost a little under US$3000. Don't have the exact amount.

Rob Blackwell

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 08:54 (Reply to #11)


No issues with break-ins??

Sun, 09/11/2011 - 11:19

Hi! I want to ship my car

Hi! I want to ship my car from Panama to Colombia ASAP. Can you help me? Anyone wanting to share the cost of a container. Regards, Ivan.

Wed, 06/26/2013 - 18:24 (Reply to #13)

Lots of sailboats leaving for

Lots of sailboats leaving for Columbia. What I would do is try to contact one of these before reaching Panama City and set up a date to sail. Hope this helps. buy instagram followers

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 17:04

Cheap flight from Panama to Colombia

Do you have any information about small local airports offering inexpensive passenger flights between Panama and Colombia for prices around $50??

emails, telnumbers or anything?


[email protected]

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:02

RO-RO from Panama (Colon) to Colombia (Cartagena) - Finally!!

Extracted from Expedition Portal


With each day that passes it really seems like the world is becoming more and more interconnected; starting May 10th, Panama and Colombia will also be making that step as Aventuras 2000 will be starting a ferry service between the ports of Colon, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia. Yes, that ferry service includes vehicles. For the longest time the biggest hurdle for overlanders wishing to drive the PanAmerican highway has been the Darien Gap. Some have tried to penetrate the jungle between Panama and Colombia, and with the exception of explorers such as John Blashford Snell, many have failed. It's natural that this ferry will quickly become the transport of choice for Overlanders, replacing the container or RO-RO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) methods of shipping.

Traveller's will initially have the choice of three departures from each port. The ship will leave Colon on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and from Cartagena on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday.

Prices for the overnight journey will range from $99 to $508 for a presidential sleeper cabin. There's no word yet on what it will cost to transport your vehicle, or if motorcycles will be allowed.

The Greek-manned ship, Nissos Rodos, has the capacity to carry 750 vehicles in it's garage with an additional 1600 passengers.

Information is limited, but we will bring you updates as soon as we get them.







Full article at:

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 15:24 (Reply to #16)

ferry xpress

The ferry is working already. It seems fantastic. Ferry Xpress. Cheaper! !!

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 14:34


If I did this again, and I will not, EVER, I would put all money in escrow acct to be paid upon the promised date of delivery.

I drove a dune buggy from South Brasil to Colombia via Venz. I shipped it to Houston from Cartagena to avoid machine guns and drug lords in Mexico.

What I was lead to believe, when talking to the shipper Luis at that it was to cost me 2400 to do this shipping in a 20 foot container.

Seems they forgot to mention a great MANY other charges. It has taken a FULL 30 DAYS and the car is still being held up even though customs was cleared a week ago. Keep in mind you that you have to be at the Colombian port to load into a container and you cannot pick your own car up at the port in the USA. They need to gouge you more by trucking it twice.

$2400 in Colombia for agent with all cost: stuffing, travel, customs, using one 20 foot container. Dec 23.
$330 Seaboard Truck paid to Seaboard 1/18/2013
$150 Demurrage (1/15 to 1/18) paid to Seaboard 1/18/2013
$ 50 Customs docs and coordination
$ 80 Request letter and coordination with EPA
$180 Pay to ALIEF SERVICES (once you pickup the car)
$150 US customs X-Ray fee
$3340 total cost for shipping a 20 foot container

His partner, Gaston Etchart at SamericaXplorer in Miami, Florida. U.S.A. [email protected] from Export/Import Adventure Logistics was not even IN HOUSTON but but in Miami... and he has other people, like in Houston, to jack up the other cost ...

I strongly suggest flying where you want to start your trip from then buying/renting a car once you are there. You can sell it or return it and save yourself a LOT of grief and waiting time. READ THE OTHER POST.. add a week to wait. I am on week 5.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:05

Warning against shipping agent Tea Kalmbach, Panama

Dear Travellers

Shipping our Campervan with RORO Colon to Cartagena January 2013

We can’t speak Spanish so we decide to get an agent to help us with the shipping.
We choose Tea Kalmbach to help us. She seems to be good so we trusted her and let her
do it all.
We got disappointed, at all the official office in Panama, there was no Tea Kalmbach  or people from her, who can speak English, we got help from other travellers both in Panama and Manzanillo ( Colon ).
When we come to Cartagena, we talked to other people, and they told us we have paid too much, so we checked the prices with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Here could we see that Tea had modified the official offer from Wallenius before she send it to us as an offer from Wallenius.

We have send exact the same information, as you can see in the link, to Tea Kalmbach and asked for her comments for almost 2 weeks ago. Tea Kalmbach has not answered us.

 We have paid 442 US$ too much for the shipment, without her fee 150US$

You can see the documentation here:

Have  safe travel
Marianne and Erik

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 07:22 (Reply to #19)



We had kind of the same experience with the agent Tea 3 months ago. By email everything seemed going pretty well, but once we got to Panama City everything changed. She never showed up, instead she sent 2 "helpers", one forgot abut us in Panama city and we had to figured out our way to get to the police station to begin with the paperwork. And the other helper never recieved a notification from Tea and we had to call him and wait for 2 hours.

Once we got to Colombia she barely helped us and we had to deal directly with the port and the evergreen.

Pretty bad service from Tea

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 16:42

Looking to share shipping Colon to Cartegena

Hi everyone, I´ve just arrived in Panama city and am looking to share a container with some other travellers to get me and my landcruiser to Columbia ASAP... I´ll be getting deep into the research phase tomorrow morning. If you want to share or have any helpful hints please email me at [email protected]

yours in adventure,

Andrew Rennie

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 07:15

Video - How to cross a vehicle from Panama to Colombia

Hi, 3 months ago we shipped our vehicle (VW combi 93) from Panamá (Colón) to Colombia (Cartagena). The whole process took us 14 days and a lot of money and patience. Here is the video how we crossed it including the paperwork you need, fees, places... and even how we got to Colombia (by speed boats). We hope this video may be helpful for those who are going to ship their vehicle.

If anyone needs help or wants more info contact us at


Mon, 03/25/2013 - 18:54

Panama Shipping (MAY 2013) to Colombia or USA

I've contacted a few places about shipping around the Darien from Panama to Colombia, we are looking for another vehicle to split a 40' container.  For size reference, we have a 17' Landcruiser. Alternatively, we are thinking about shipping home to USA for the summer. Please contact us at [email protected] or at  Thanks

Thu, 05/30/2013 - 10:05

from cartagena to panama !!

hi there! anyone wanting to share container from Cartagena to Panama? We're already in Cartagena looking for a shipping company also. Please let us know asap!! Mercedes & Diego . We're from Argentina, heading to Alaska, looking for people who work serving others for love. Join us!!


Sat, 09/14/2013 - 21:13

Brazil-Alaska Expedition 2013- Darien Gap and USA toBrazil RoRo

I've just returned from a 4 month expedition from Brazil to Alaska, where I've crossed the Darien Gap in a Land Rover Defender using a 20 feet container at Cartagena, Colombia to Cólon, Panama.  We shipped back using Roll on Roll off from Long Beach, California to Santos, Brazil, and this route was so much more difficult than the previous one. Avoid the brazilians port! Chile and Argentina are best options, for sure. Even Ecuador is a nice place to ship your car. Doubts? Call me  +55 35 8846 8004   (  "+55" = brazilian internacional code)

If anyone needs information, it would be a pleasure to help with valuable informations from the ship brokers, prices, schedules etc...

Write:  [email protected]     We're also at Flickr : Brazil-Alaska Expedition 2013

Marcel Lippelt   - Brazil

Wed, 10/16/2013 - 09:25 (Reply to #25)

What company did you use to ship your car from Long beach, CA?

Hello Marcel,

I've written you a personal email (it may have gone to the spam/junk folder) with the question stated in the title.

My boyfriend and I are looking to ship our van (using RORO) from Long beach, CA to Chile, Equador or Argentina in Nov/Dec 2013, and drive back to the USA after traveling South America. So far I have found just one company who can do so, but they haven't quoted me yet. We would really appreciate if you could spare a moment and share your experience with shipping your vehicle from Long beach, CA to Brasil, and if you can give us an advice.

My email is: [email protected] 

Thank you,


Sun, 09/22/2013 - 18:37

Panama to Columbia

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how tall a vehicle the shipping containers will hold? We are planning a trip to south america next year. We need to buy a camper van, and I don't want to get something that will be too tall. Thank you in advance!

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 19:04

Recently succeeding shipping the car with RORO

Hey guys,

If you're looking for comprehensive directions on the Panama and Colombian side for the shipping process check out our blog below for pictures, maps etc. It's a shit fight of a process and hopefully this will help you and simplify it a bit :)

We spent hours taking photos and documenting the process, but ifyou have any tips for us please letus know what we can do better as we're hoping to make it down to Chile so there'll be a few more border crossings before we're done!

Kind regards and bien viaje!

Sunny and Lexy

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 00:50

FOB Shipping to Latin American from China/Asia

Hello The Valueable Friend&Client&Partners

Good day !

It's so pleased to talking with everyone again . This is Andy Ma from China Wisdom-Win Int'L Logistics LTD .we can provide the competitive ocean and Air cost and Service to Latin American /Worldwide from China(Hongkong/Shenzhen/Guangzhou/Shanghai/Ningbo/Tianjin/Qingdao/Dalian/Xiamen/Taiwan(Kaoshung/Taichung)Chongqing/Wuhan/Foshan ) ports /Asia. welcome to enquiry ,skype:amoupll ,MSN:[email protected];


For any query ,pls let me know for free .


Andy Ma Commercial Manager 



RM703.,7/F.,No3 Building,Nanmao ,Nanxin Rd,Nanshan,





msn:[email protected]

email:[email protected]

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 07:58


[email protected] for SEABOARDMARINE Container from Cristobal to Cartagena


[email protected] for WILHELMSEN Container from Cristobal to Cartagena or Barranquilla

are no longer valid contacts (i got auto responses emailing them for shipping quotes/info.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 15:04

WARNING: Seaboard Staff Stealing from Container Shipped Vehicles

A note for those considering using Seaboard Marine. Seaboard (or port) personnel in Panama stole a camera, three cell phones, and our toll-paying cash from the glove compartment of our vehicle in Colon. Seaboard doesn't let you stuff your own container, nor do they require a packing list as they take photos of the contents of your vehicle at inspection. So they have your keys and an incomplete record of the contents of your car. Adding insult to injury, they left the interior light on in our car, completely draining the battery so the car had to be jumped for removal from the container. We have filed a claim with them; perhaps they will make things right. We loaded on April 16, shipped on the 21st, retrieved our vehicle on the 24th, using Tea Kalmback to arrange transport.

Happy travels,


Fri, 04/25/2014 - 22:10

Some recent e-mail contact and crossing log Colombia -> Pana

Dear roadtrippers,

while searching Colombia -> Panama transport for our van, I've run into two (spanish written) blogs depicting the procedure, both including contact infos.

and  (this one is a bit older)

Using Google translate, you should be fine getting the important infos.

Have a great trip


Fri, 01/09/2015 - 15:19

Panamá Ferry Express

Octubre 2014, Panamá opened a ferry between Colon, Panamá to Cartagena, Colombia. It's cheap a good way to avoid the Darien Gap. Twice a week the ferry goes to Colombia. In 18 hours ypur are in the same boat with your car. The page web is It's fantastic.

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 11:57

Good, useful info here. I'd

Good, useful info here. I'd like to add that if anyone is coming from the U.S. this company is a good option: They actually arranged for crossing the gap and took care of it (in addition to the cross country & international aspects of the shipping). Definitely liked what they had to offer and would use again. 

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 21:23

Share container from panama to colombia?

Hi! We are planning to ship our van from colon to cartagena in the beginning to mid february 2015. And we were wondering if anyone would be interested in sharing a container with us to make the cost lower? Thanks for any answer!

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 14:46 (Reply to #35)

Vehicle shipping Panama to Colombia

Hi, my partner and I are looking to share a container from Panama to Colombia in early March. We just started looking for agents and shipping companies. Any info would be greatly appreciated, have you found someone to share your container with yet? 


Wed, 12/16/2015 - 16:02

Vanlife - there are a few of us shipping in Feb

I started a small Facebook group so we can all exchange information - there are at least 3 other vehicles planning on crossing in February.


Ask to join the group -

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 14:51 (Reply to #37)

Vehicle shipping Panama to Colombia


We are planning to ship our vehicle from Panama to Colombia in early March. We are looking for someone to share container with. Any info/contacts would be greatly appreciated. 


Wed, 12/16/2015 - 23:32

Share a container from Panamá to Cartagena january 18th 2016

HI people, we are about to start our roadtrip and before to press the speed we want to leave the Dorian Gap Issue done. We would like to share a container by January 15th or 18th. If you are looking for the same partners write us at [email protected]. Greetings. :)

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 15:18

SO much information found in

SO much information found in this post and resulting comments. Very useful for us folks looking to do just that!

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 13:37

By-passing Costa Rica?

Very good information. As we are driving a RHD vehicle and do not want to bother with the hit-and-miss to enter Costa Rica on our way to Panama, we are looking at the option of shipping it to Columbia directly. Is this an option, from where (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras?), and what would be cheapest? We would hate to miss out on some countries but cost is an important factor if we want to cross over to Columbia relatively cheap. Thanks for any information.

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:57

Auto transport panama to Columbia

I have read this forum. Just wanted to know if anyone has transported their vehicle this year from Panama and which service they used. I will be in panama the end of February. 


Wed, 12/07/2016 - 06:56 (Reply to #42)

Darien Gap Updates?

<p>Hey Jack, did you find any good recent info on crossing the Darien Gap? I&#39;m heading down there in a few months and would love to hear if your research/experience was fruitful. Thanks!</p>
<p>planglois509 (at) gmail (dot) com</p>

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 19:16

Sharing container from Colombia to Panama in middle of January 2


We plane to ship our car (Land Rover Defender) by container from Colombia to Panama around January 15th.

If somebody is interested by sharing a 40' container with us, please contact us here :

[email protected]


Tue, 01/17/2017 - 07:05

Darien gap car shipping from Colon, Panama to Cartagena, Colombi

Hi Travelers,

I have a container reserved leaving this Sunday 22nd of January 2017. We are currently starting the inspection process in Panama City tomorrow.

We are looking for another vehicle no longer than 6.20m to share the container, a 40 ft HQ at the price of 2030 USD to share (1015 USD by vehicle max: all inclusive, tax both sides).
A biker is already interested and counted in the occupied space.

Contact me ASAP if you are interested.
David at [email protected]

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 10:46

Shipping Colon to Cartegena

I will shipping my Toyota the weekend of February 25. Want to load into a container Wednesday feb 22. I am using Boris for a broker. If you are interested in shipping at the same time contact Boris. 

I have a little Spanish. If anyone has a received good assistance at Cartagena, I would like contact info for an assistant in the receiving process in Cartegena.



Mon, 03/13/2017 - 16:22

recent updates

I see the wiki info at the top seems to be a bit dated.  Do any of you with more recent experience have details on pricing, etc?  I have a high-roof 170 WB sprinter which may just fit into a container but I'm considering RORO and maybe just installing a cage.  Anyone have any recent info?

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 16:39

Shipping from Colombia to Panama in June 2017

Hey guys,

we would like to share a container for our motorbike from Colombia to Panama at the beginning of June.

if anyone is interested please let me know.



Sun, 05/28/2017 - 23:52

I have been in contact with

I have been in contact with this agent, they are shipping us from Europe to Monvtevideo but can also arrange the shipping from Colombia to Panama. They say there have quite a few vehicles shipping from Panama to Colombia with 3 shipping this week.

They have been very responsvie so far and provided us the prices.


Sat, 06/17/2017 - 09:41

Container share Colombia to Panama end of August

We are looking for other overlanders to share a container from Colombia to Panama around the end of August. You can contact me on [email protected]
Enjoy your travels!