Hey guys n girls:
You've all been so helpful, I thought I'd add to the incredibly helpful and famous post that we all use once our cars are loaded on the ship in Gothenburg.
What this tip is about, and who it's for
Once your car rolls off the assembly line, it then makes its way (in a couple days) to the shipyard at Gothenburg. There are two status updates: booked and received at terminal. There's just a few days between these events.
However, there won't be any more updates until a day or two before the ship is ready to set sail, and this takes about a week from the last update (at least it did for me, and for several others I've spoken with).
Obviously, it's frustrating not to know what's going on, so here's how you can learn everything about your car's upcoming journey across the seas.
What you need
If you've gotten this far, you already have your VIN. If not, get it. Now, ask your dealer (or, if on the west coast of the US, ask GrecianVolvo) for your ETA in port.
What you do
1. Go to the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Schedules page
2. Enter Gothenburg for the departure city and your arrival port for the arrival city; also, enter your ETA in port date. You can leave the departure date as today's date. If for some reason this doesn't work, try bumping up the departure date a few days.
NOTE: the system seems to know which boat you're on as long as you select dates within several days of the true departure / arrival dates. If for some reason you're not getting results, just play with the days a little bit.
3. Click Search Routes.
4. On the left, you'll see your full itinerary, not unlike a flight itinerary. It will show you the start and end points of each leg of the journey, as well as the ship name, ports of call, and of course the departure and arrival dates (but curiously, no times). EDIT: be sure to copy the vessel number as it's the only truly unique identifier (searching based on name can produce multiple results).
5. On the right, you'll see the map of the Earth, with numbers corresponding to the various ports of call.
6. Now, click on the LIST or TIMELINE links at top-center of the map to see a specific breakdown of your car's journey. Very cool.
7. But wait, there's one more critical step: curiously, even the breakdown in Step 6 above does not show every stop on the way. I.e., even if it says something like "Departure: Southampton, Arrival: Port Hueneme," look closer, next to the WW logo, see that little "X ports of call" label? (For me, it says "4 ports of call.") Right. So, the departure and final terminal of your shipment count as 1 port of call each. So that means you have X-2 more en route; in my case, 2. Now, to figure out what these stops are, click the SHIP ROUTE NUMBER which should read something like CD612-ELX. This will show you information on the ship like where its home country is and, crucially, if you look at the map, every stop along its upcoming itinerary. Now click on LIST or TIMELINE as before, and you'll finally see the breakdown of the intermediate stop along the itinerary.
And there you have it!
Awesome! Now what?
Right, so now you have all the details of your shipping itinerary. Within a few more days, the original WW Logistics tracking site should update to reflect the information you found above. Now go to either VesselFinder.com or (better yet) MarineTraffic.com to look up your ships and track them, in real time! Remeber: use your ship number and not the vessel name to make it easier to find your exact ship.
PRO TIP: check out this page to get an alphabetical list of all ships in the WW fleet and their numerical identifiers. When copying the number code, only copy the numbers into the ship trackers; do not include any letters.
MarineTraffic is especially cool because, like FlightAware which shows airspeed and altitude, MarineTracker shows speed and draft (draught) of the ship. Very cool. EDIT: how to do this is not immediately obvious. First, click on your ship on the map if it's not yet selected. Then click vessel details. Then you'll see the tracking info with detailed information.
So what's the itinerary for our shipment?
Gothenburg --> Zeebrugge on the Tiger (24-26 March)
Zeebrugge --> Port Hueneme (via Southampton and Manzanillo, Panama Canal) on the Elektra (2-26 April)
Who's sailing over with us?!