RoRo Shipping From USA To Nigeria

RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria: Move your fleet of cars on a budget


RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria can be quite confusing because there are many seaports in Nigeria, but only some support RoRo. In addition, the Nigerian Customs is quite strict, and their import policies keep changing all the time. However, with AFL having global shipping partners in all West African countries like Benin, Togo, Senegal, and Ghana, the customs process for RoRo shipping will be cleared in 2-3 days. Whether you are shipping cars to Nigeria or heavy machinery, rest assured that we’ll handle it with kids’ gloves. 

Introduction on RoRo shipping

Nigeria is the biggest importer of used vehicles from the USA, as buying a car in the country could cost a lot. While some would ship a fleet of vehicles in Nigeria to sell it further, others wish to import it for their personal needs. That is why RoRo shipping from the USA to Nigeria has become so popular. It is the most economical and fastest shipping method out of all other modes of transport shipping companies offer. In addition, you can ship several vehicles at once, irrespective of their weight and size, and bulky items, which are difficult to ship with other methods. 

RoRo ships have built-in ramps that can be lowered to the ground to help the wheeled cargo roll on the deck. Moreover, the shipment doesn’t need to arrive at the port early. The wheeled cargo may arrive just before the ship’s docking as the process involves no loading or unloading by crane, which saves time in cargo handling.

Also, the process is more agile and speedy as the vehicle can be driven on the deck, strapped securely, and covered with a trampoline throughout the journey until it is driven off the vessel at the destination port. 

Other methods of shipping cars to Nigeria 

Other than RoRo shipping from the USA to Nigeria, heavy equipment and vehicles can also be sent with other shipping methods if you wish to have a private space to ship your car or goods. This method is also advantageous and provides extra security if you are sending a vintage or sports car to Nigeria.

Container Shipping

Container shipping

Container shipping is another commonly used shipping method that consolidates small shipments where multiple cars or goods can be combined to fit in one container. With this method, you can ship anything non-functional, like furniture, inoperable vehicles, or machinery, because the process involves loading and unloading the goods via crane.  The shipping company usually offers 20ft and 40ft containers, and you can ship a maximum of only 3-4 medium-sized vehicles with this shipping method.

However, if you are sending a fleet of cars, choosing RoRo shipping would be a good choice. There are two more methods in container shipping, which you can utilize according to their availability, your budget, or the size and weight of your shipment.

Full container load

This shipping process involves loading your vehicle and any other goods you wish to ship in a container. Your items won’t share the space with anyone, but you would have to pay for the whole container, which can be expensive. Nonetheless, this shipping method is also fast and secure for non-operable machinery or vehicles. 

Less container load

This shipping method could also be used for non-functional equipment and cars, and you would only be required to pay for the space your items will occupy in the container. So it will be cheaper for you if you are under budget constraints and don’t mind sharing space with other people’s goods. However, if you require quick delivery, this shipping method might not work as the container needs to be filled entirely before it departs the port.

Popular ports for RoRo shipping in Nigeria

Nigeria has many seaports but not every port is built to support RoRo shipping. However, two of the principal seaports of Nigeria, the Port of Lagos (Apapa Quays) and Tin Can Island, are famous for handling heavy cargo from RoRo ships and can support up to 1.5 million TEU at one time. They are both recognized as international ports and are built to handle an annual 1 billion metric tonnes of Nigeria’s trade.

How to save on cost with RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria?

As mentioned above, RoRo shipping is by far the cheapest and fastest shipping method to Nigeria. Your vehicles will be simultaneously shipped to Nigeria on a single carrier. So, you can import hundreds of cars with this method as long as they are operable and can be wheeled on and off the deck when needed. 

Customs & Duty, Nigeria

Custom duty is different for every vehicle or item in Nigeria, and some may require certifications from relevant authorities. There is also a language barrier to consider. Without professional shipping agents to handle the customs clearance process, your shipment might get stuck at the port for several weeks. So, it is necessary to know about the different levies and taxes on the specific vehicle or item you wish to ship to Nigeria. 

Here we have outlined some of the custom duties & taxes for your assistance:

The levy ranges between 30% to 70% for vehicles, and for other items, it varies between 5% to 35%.

Prohibitions & restrictions on roro shipping from USA to Nigeria

Nigeria has the most strict customs laws out of all African countries due to the risk of smuggling, especially vehicles, to other African countries. Furthermore, these laws kept changing, so an individual with no prior shipping knowledge may face difficulty shipping to Nigeria. It is advisable to contact a professional shipping service and Nigerian Embassy to obtain the current information regarding the Nigerian customs laws prior to shipping. 

Prohibitions & restrictions

Here we have mentioned some of the prohibited and restricted items whose entry is banned in Nigeria.

Import of vehicles older than 15 years old is not allowed in the country, but there is an exemption in the case of tractors, trailers, buses, and trucks. In addition, only left-hand cars are allowed to enter Nigeria, failure to fulfil this clause in the customs law may incur double tax.

Further prohibitions include firearms, used clothing, pornographic material, industrial and toxic waste, pottery, and hardware. Restricted items such as food & drinks, specific drugs, and supplements may need a NAFDAC certificate for permission to enter Nigeria.

Documentation needed for roro shipping from USA to Nigeria

The RoRo shipping process is fast, and there is no wait involved. However, you would need several documents if you are shipping a fleet of vehicles or heavy equipment of every size and weight to Nigeria. Furthermore, you would also need clearance for each of them. However, we have mentioned some of the essential documents required for RoRo shipping from the USA to Nigeria for your convenience. 

  • Form M for new vehicles prior to shipping,
  • Nigerian driving license,
  • Marine & auto insurance document, 
  • Nigerian ID, and address,
  • Shipping order,
  • Bill of sale or original invoice.
  • Title of ownership with no Liens,
  • Power of attorney,
  • Bill of Lading,
  • Consignee form,
  • Emission certificate,
  • Proof of payment for VAT,
  • Vehicle details like VIN & chassis no, make & model.

Factors affecting RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria

Many factors could influence the shipping process, causing a delay or resulting in a raised shipping cost. We have brought up a few of them here:

Peak Season

The cost is raised automatically in peak shipping seasons, as only a few shipping methods are available. Furthermore, there are also fewer vessels at hand for shipment. The peak season for Nigeria usually begins from late August and can go on till October. Sometimes it even lasts till December or January.

Volume & weight

If you are shipping several cars at once of different sizes and weights or goods alongside them, it will raise the shipping cost as they all will occupy more space. 

Method of shipping

The shipping method may also have an effect on the overall shipping cost. Such as, RoRo shipping may cost less than hiring a private container for 

Distance between ports

The distance of ports between the original country and the destination can cause changes in the shipping cost. If you are shipping from the port of New York, USA, to Lagos, Nigeria, the distance between them is 6516 nautical miles. So the shipping cost will depend upon this distance.

How to find the right company for RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria?

With the USA being its major trade partner, Nigeria often imports machinery, heavy equipment, and used vehicles.

If you also wish to move a fleet of your vehicles or heavy equipment to Nigeria from the USA, you would have to take the assistance of a professional US-based shipping company. So they can take care of the long documentation process needed for customs clearance. With AFL, this process could easily be handled without causing any bother.

Professional RoRo shippers

Luckily, our company has mastered the art of shipping several fleets of vehicles securely at once. We usually ship hundreds of cars and heavy equipment every week via RoRo shipping from the USA to Nigeria. Moreover, our RoRo shipment is insured, so you can be assured that your cargo will be safe from the time of its collection until delivery to your doorstep. 

NVOCC shipping to Nigeria

AFL is an NVOCC shipping company offering exceptional handling of your cargo. We have global shipping partners in all West African countries such as Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Benin, and also Nigeria. Whether you wish to ship one car to Nigeria or a fleet of vehicles purchased from the USA, you can rest assured that AFL will book your shipment at an economical rate as we only look for the convenience of our customers. We will handle all your shipping problems and will only give you the best experience possible in return.


FAQ's Shipping Cars to Nigeria

How many cars can I ship with RoRo to Nigeria?

You can send as many cars as you wish with RoRo shipping. Moreover, you can also ship heavy machinery, tractors, trucks, or buses simultaneously on one vessel with this method.

Will RoRo shipping from the USA to Nigeria be costly for heavy machinery?

No, RoRo shipping is very economical and the fastest shipping method for everything ranging from vehicles to heavy machinery. You would only be required to pay for the space they will occupy on the vessel’s deck.

How long will it take for RoRo shipping from USA to Nigeria?

It takes an average of 3 weeks for your shipment to reach the main port of Lagos, Nigeria. However, many factors can cause a delay, such as shipping season, customs clearance, or weather. But with a professional shipping company, there is less risk of shipment delay. Our company AFL strives to make the shipping process as fast and easy as possible for you.


If you are moving heavy machinery or household items along with your vehicle to Nigeria, you may never know which are prohibited or restricted items. Also, there can be so many complications with the clearance process if you are unfamiliar with the Nigerian Custom Laws. Moreover, there is a massive influx of used cars in Nigeria, giving rise to smuggling over the years. That is why the Nigerian government has imposed so many restrictions and taxes on importing vehicles into the country. 

In addition, there is a lengthy documentation process to handle. Even one missing form could result in a hefty fine or your car or other items getting banned from entering the country. So, it is advisable to choose a professional and experienced shipping company with experience in shipping to Nigeria and have its agents installed in the country to clear your customs process instantly.


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