We get visitors from around the world at the Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show… so we get a lot of questions about shipping cars home. Sometimes home is just a few states away, but sometimes it’s across an ocean. No matter how far you’ve come, if you buy a classic car on the lot, you’ll need a way to get it home. That’s where Chris Ortiz and Direct Express, Inc. come in. (You can find them at every show on the Main Aisle – Space D19.)


Pomona Swap Meet:  What’s your name and title?
Chris Ortiz:  My name is Chris and  I’m the CEO at Direct Express, Inc. We provide shipping services from the USA to Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, England, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world.

PSM:  When and how did you get started in this industry?
CO:  I got started in the industry back in 1997, with a humble start from an entry level position. I had one goal in mind – to be successful and overcome adversity in order to accomplish and achieve my dreams, visions, and plans.

PSM:  What’s the best part of your job?
CO:  I enjoy getting up every morning and knowing that every day is different. I am very fortunate to deal with unique and special vehicles, never knowing ahead of time what will show up in our location and need to be transported. I also have the opportunity to deal with customers from around the globe, with different cultures and languages. I have been blessed by God with the opportunity to do what I love and what I am passionate about.

PSM:  Have you always been interested in classic cars?
CO:  Dealing with classic cars on a daily basis peaked my interest, and as the years passed by, I started developing a passion for them and what the classic car represents in our industry. It’s a childhood dream or memory that each of us is hanging on to.

PSM:  Do you currently own a classic car?
CO:  I’m currently working on my dream car. It’s yet to be completed… further details to follow. One thing is for sure though, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world, as the feeling that it gives me is irreplaceable. 

PSM:  If you won the lottery tonight, what’s the first classic car you would buy?
CO:  That’s a very difficult question to answer. I would love to own a complete collection of classics varying from Ferraris to Mercedes, especially a Gullwing.

PSM:  Any favorite memories of the Pomona Swap Meet that you would like to share with us?
CO:  The family oriented and friendly environment. When all of our friends, customers and potential customers join us during BBQ time. Sitting back, enjoying a Coke, and having a few laughs under our shipping tent. Just enjoying the view of the classic car lovers and enthusiasts passing by with each of their dream cars.

PSM:  Ford or Chevy?
CO: Why stop at Ford or Chevy? How about Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, Volkswagen, you name it, they are all a dream that I hope to accomplish and acquire in my life time!



PSM:  How can customers contact you?
CO:  Direct Express, Inc. encourages our customers to contact us at any time, for any questions or concerns that they might have. You can request a quote online through our website, and our highly dedicated staff will be glad to assist with your inquiry. You can email us at [email protected] or call 001-310-324-2100, and we’re located at:

230 W. Carob Street
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

Our website is www.shipdei.com.

PSM:  How long has your company been in business? Tell us a little about your company’s history.
CO:  Direct Express, Inc. is fully licensed and bonded and has been in business since 1986. A true entrepreneur and pioneer in our industry! We have been in the auto shipping industry for 30 years (!!!) and are known for consistently innovating and leading the auto shipping industry. We specialize in the transportation of vehicles worldwide, and we have offices and warehouses strategically located in Los Angeles, Houston, Jacksonville (Fla.), and New York.

We offer a wide variety of services, including door to door services.  We have the capabilities to collect vehicles from anywhere in the USA, whether the vehicle is a restoration project (non-running) or an immaculate concours vehicle. We’ll transport the vehicle by open car carrier, flatbed tow truck, or in an enclosed trailer. It all depends on the customer’s needs. Once the vehicle is received in our warehouse, we ship it via container to its final destination across the sea.

PSM:  What is your company’s main focus? A simple mission statement, if you will.
CO:  To provide the best possible professional service to all of our customers at a reasonable and affordable price from the first time they contact us to the time their vehicle arrives at its destination, all the while enjoying the result of knowing that the customer just got their dream car delivered safely to its new home.

PSM:  Aren’t all car shipping companies pretty much the same? What differentiates you from the competition? What makes you special?
CO:  Direct Express, Inc. focuses on providing good customer service, with honesty and integrity. We understand and realize that our customers are what make us. This is why we take pride in what we do. We offer prices that are reasonable in the market, and that allow us to do our business in a professional manner, day in and day out.

We are always enthusiastic, positive, and friendly. By no means are we perfect, but we remain humble and grounded and we’re always committed to each of our customers. If a situation arises, we always encourage our customers to contact us so we can find a mutual resolution for all parties involved.



PSM:  If someone buys a car in Pomona, what’s the process for shipping it across country?
CO:  We have services on-site at the Pomona Swap Meet. All that needs to happen is for the customer to come by our location, Space D19, to provide us with the original title, the complete details of the vehicle (year, make, model, VIN), and information about the vehicle’s condition (running or non-running).  If the vehicle will not be transported from the Pomona Swap Meet, we’ll also need the complete details of the location where it needs to be picked up from. We’ll have our professional flatbed towing company, Lucky’s Auto Transport, transfer the vehicle to our headquarters, and from there we’ll arrange final delivery to the customer’s desired destination.

PSM:  We obviously have a very international crowd. What if someone needs to ship a car internationally? Can you explain that process?
CO:  Shipping vehicles internationally or overseas is one of our specialties. You might feel this process is overwhelming, but at Direct Express, Inc., we make it as easy as enjoying a BBQ at Pomona. We provide several options to our customers. One of them is to transport the vehicle from the Pomona Swap Meet, via Lucky’s Auto Transport, to our warehouse in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. The other option is for the customer to personally deliver the vehicle to our warehouse in Rancho Dominguez.

Then, the process to export the vehicles is two simple steps:

1) Direct Express, Inc. POA/SLI (Power of Attorney): we provide this form. It asks for details about the exporter, the receiver, the vehicle, and if you wish to insure the vehicle.

2) POA from US Customs: we provide this form, as well.

Additional documents that we’ll need are the original title for the vehicle (required by US customs), a copy of the passport for the receiver, and the bill of sale.

Once we have the above information and documentation, Direct Express, Inc. will make all of the necessary arrangements and preparations for the vehicle to be safely exported and delivered to its new home. In addition, we have agents in each of the countries we service. Our agents will assist our customers with the import process, such as unloading the vehicles from the container, customs importation, duties and taxes, etc.

PSM:  How long does it typically take to ship a car from coast to coast? What about to Australia? And what about to Europe?
CO:  Shipping a vehicle from Los Angeles to Miami, or from Los Angeles to New York, usually takes from 9-11 days once the vehicle is in transit. The time can vary depending on the weather and road conditions.  

Shipping a vehicle overseas takes a bit more time, as we have to make all of the proper arrangements for export. It takes about 1 week to load the vehicle in a container and to process the export documents. Once the vehicle is safely loaded in a container, the container is returned to the port so that the carrier can load it on board the vessel for the vehicle to continue its marine journey.

The transit time is different depending on the origin and destination of the vehicle. Transit time from Los Angeles to Australia is usually between 24-28 days, with direct service. Transit time from Los Angeles to Northern Europe, such as Antwerp in Belgium, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Bremerhaven in Germany, Le Havre in France, or Southampton in the UK, is normally from 30-35 days. These shipping estimates are based on the vessel sailing from Los Angeles without port congestions, CBP port examinations, port delays, port strikes, or other delays that would be considered an act of God.

We offer weekly shipping from Los Angeles, Houston, Jacksonville, and New York to the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other destinations upon request.


PSM:  What are some things that people should consider when choosing a shipping company? Anything people should look out for?
CO:  Ensure that the company you are considering and communicating with provides you with a very detailed and clear picture of what’s included in their offer. The majority of shipping companies will initially provide you with a very attractive price for shipping. However, once you receive their invoices, you might see all types of hidden fees, or once the vehicle arrives at its destination, their offices may demand exorbitant charges for the services provided at the destination – for unloading, dray, handling, documentation, customs entry, duties and taxes. Additionally, some shipping companies may not take the time to explain or communicate with customers about the possibility of additional charges, such as US Customs x-ray fees, US Customs exams fees, US Customs inspections fees, congestion fees, and other charges. We clearly identify these in our quotes, and in our terms and conditions.

Direct Express, Inc. quotes and prices are very reasonable and affordable. Our offers clearly indicate what is included and what is not included. Of course, the customer should always take the time to read and understand all of the terms and conditions provided. Our terms and conditions are provided in our SLI/POA and are accessible via our website www.shipdei.com.

PSM:  Just how expensive is it to ship a car? Is car shipping just for rich people?
CO:  Car shipping is very affordable and reasonable. Most of our customers have a passion and dream for vehicles as much as we do. Many of them have owned classic cars for many years, and others have been looking for their dream vehicle for a life time. Spending the reasonable amount of funds to safely transport your dream car is worth it, and it is very affordable. Please contact us immediately for a free quote via our website www.shipdei.com or telephone at 001-310-324-2100

PSM:  What needs to be done by the owner to prepare a car for shipping?
CO:  The owner must ensure that the vehicle has the proper amounts of engine oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid and, most importantly, that the vehicle has antifreeze in order to ensure that the engine does not get damaged while it sits parked inside the shipping container, under extreme temperature variation. Any mechanical failures during transit are not covered by the insurance carrier, if insurance is purchased.



PSM:  How long have you been coming to Pomona?
CO:  I’ve been coming to Pomona since 2005, and Direct Express, Inc. has proudly been attending and providing services onsite since 2011.

PSM:  Do you offer any special swap meet deals or discounts?
CO:  If a customer books the vehicle at the Pomona Swap Meet, we provide a 15% discount on the towing/transport from Pomona to our location in Rancho Dominguez, California.

PSM:  Anything else customers should know about your company or the shipping process?
CO:  I always encourage customers to ask questions. It doesn’t matter how silly the question might seem. It is extremely important for customers to be properly informed in order for them to understand what is required from them, and what the customer can expect from us at Direct Express, Inc. during the shipping process. It’s also crucial that each customer understands what is expected from them once the vehicle arrives at its final destination in regards to destination charges, customs clearance, duties, taxes, customs, and import regulations.

If you’re coming to the Pomona Swap Meet and Classic Car Show from out of state or from out of the country, and you plan on purchasing your dream car… make sure you contact Direct Express, Inc.! You can find them on the Main Aisle in Pomona, on Space D19, or you can call them ahead of time at 001-310-324-2100 for a free quote! Travel safe, and we’ll see you soon!