With a staggering $140B worth of cars imported in the USA in 2022, it leads to the question, how many cars were shipped?

Below we’ll get into data that reveals the answer to this question and dive into how cars are shipped domestically and internationally.

Let’s get started.

Car Shipments in 2021 vs 2022 in the USA

With $139 billion worth of imported cars in the United States in 2021, these vehicles have to be shipped to the USA somehow. With an average cost of roughly $40,000, that’s roughly 3,475,000 that have to be somehow transported to the USA.

With an import growth of 1.29B from March 2022 to March 2023, we can assume that $140B was imported to the USA in that time. With an average vehicle cost of $40,000, that would mean 4,000,000 cars were shipped in that time, adding another 525000 units that were transported in that time.

What we aren’t getting from these numbers are the total domestic shipped vehicles per year. This number is going to be nearly impossible to get as many companies are private, like A-1 Auto Transport.

In 2021, roughly 3 million cars were sold (According to Statista). This number doesn’t include trucks, but it does point out that each day, there are tons of vehicles moving around the USA. In 2022, only 2.86 million vehicles were sold (not including trucks).

This means that from 2022, there was a drop of domestic car shipments as the vehicles that are sold need to be transported to each dealership in all parts of the country. These numbers are huge, and seem even more significant once you take into the account that the cars get to their destination safely and in a timely manner.

If you’re looking to have your car shipped in a safe matter this year, you can opt to go with a well reviewed company like https://www.a1autotransport.com/. They are able to ship your vehicle to 190 countries and have shipped more than 2 million cars themselves since inception.

How are Cars Shipped?


Domestic car shipping is primarily done by trucks with open transports. You’ve likely seen a truck hauling cars out in the open, around 6-12 at a time. This is the cheapest way to ship around cars, and is how most vehicles are transported across the USA.

They can also be shipped in closed trailers, which means that you can’t see the car from the outside. This is for more expensive (luxury) vehicles as well as exotics and classics. Another form of domestic transport is railways and air, but they aren’t used as often as the truck driving method.


The most common form of international transport is by container shipping. You’ve likely seen big cargo boats that have 100s to 1000s of containers aboard. Cars are commonly shipped with this method, and it is a bit more expensive than the roll on/roll off shipping methods.

You do however get the benefit of extra safety for your vehicle and the fact that it isn’t out in the open will also prevent any damages. Containers are also sealed, so with proper insurance, your vehicle should be safe no matter what happens.

The other common method of transport is roll on/roll off shipping. This means that the cars are driven directly onto the ship one by one. There are problems with ro/ro shipments because they are trans-ships, which means they don’t ship directly to the destination.

You also have more specific requirements, like not being able to ship anything within the car and nothing that’s on the exterior as well. While ro/ro shipping is cheaper, most prefer to go with the ease of cargo shipping.


In conclusion, the car shipments in the USA saw some interesting trends between 2021 and 2022. In 2021, there were approximately 3 million cars sold, while in 2022, that number dropped to 2.86 million. These figures indicate a decrease in domestic car shipments, as each vehicle sold needs to be transported to dealerships across the country. However, it is worth noting that these numbers only account for vehicles sold and do not include trucks or other types of vehicles.

Overall, car shipments play a crucial role in the automotive industry, ensuring that vehicles reach their intended destinations safely and in a timely manner. Whether it's for domestic or international transportation, choosing a reputable shipping company like A-1 Auto Transport can provide peace of mind, as they have a proven track record in handling millions of car shipments worldwide.