Updates November 30, 2019. Having purchased two new BMWs myself, I have been in situations where I looked up several resources on how to track my new BMW from its early ordering stages, to production status, ship tracking and all the way to being loaded on the transport truck.
The process can be quite obsessive, but truth is that I had tremendous fun seeing the car going through all these stages. Just to give you an example how obsessive this can be, I will just mention the fact that I have been tracking even the vessel that my car was loaded on.
Then every day, I would follow its course and even looked up weather reports on the sea to determine if there will be any delays. Yes, I am that big of a BMW enthusiast!
Now what I haven’t done was to setup a complete obsessive exciting guide that will provide all the resources needed to track your newly ordered BMW. But, another BMW fan and owner comes to my rescue and provides, by far, the most complete guide I have ever seen. And believe me, I have seen quite a few on several BMW forums.
Jeff G. truly is an enthusiast and you will see that rom his BMW Ordering Guide below. I can only imagine how much time it took to dig out all these resources and then even more, to put them all together for the BMW community.
So, sit back, take notes, bookmark the page, share it with others, print it out. Whatever you need to do because this article will remain as one of the most important and useful articles ever posted by us. I have no doubt that you will learn a lot from his experience.
BMW Model Ordered
2009 Silver, (E92) BMW, Twin Turbo 335i X-drive, M Sport Coupe, in late April.
What it takes to start a guide like this
The car was scheduled to be delivered, and awaiting my pick up at the dealer by June 15th, 2009. I figured out, I wouldn’t be driving my 335i home from the dealer on that date. The car had been sitting at the “port of exit” in Germany, awaiting shipping for close to 2 weeks.
I decided, after I discovered the delay, to find out where my car was, and when I would eventually get it. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to do that.
How to track your new BMW through the production and shipping cycles in the modern age of information:
(NOTE: This only works for BMW and MINI Vehicles. This write-up is primarily focused on East Coast delivery options)
The car I ordered:
Tracking your car is a process in and of itself. You can sit back and relax, or you can drive yourself crazy with obsession. Either way, it’s a fun ride.
The Basics First
BMW now offers the option to call the BMW Genius 1.844.4GENIUS (443-6487). The BMW Genius team has access to the same information as your dealership and it’s there to help you. They can also guide you through some of the codes you might see thrown around, like Status Code 111 (Order Accepted), or Status code 112 (Scheduled for production) and Status Code 150 (your VIN).
You can also track your car using the My BMW site with your production order number and the general 1-800 BMW number, but that info seems to be slightly behind.
BMW Status Codes Guide
- 0 Order deleted by BMW NA
- 17 Order not Specified
- 37 Order is at BMW NA
- 87 Production Week Assigned
- 97 Order sent to AG
- 100 Order deleted by AG
- 101 Error in data transmitted
- 102 Special Order (no Production Week)
- 105 Order out of Production Period
- 111 Order Accepted at AG
- 112 Order scheduled for Production (You can still make some changes to your BMW order)
- 150 Production Started
- 151 Body Shop Started
- 152 Paint Shop Started
- 153 Assembly Started
- 155 Production Completed
- 160 Released to Distribution
- 168 AG Stock
- 170 Waiting Workshop
- 172 Planned for Workshop
- 174 Workshop Entry
- 176 Workshop Complete
- 180 Waiting for Export Dispatch
- 181 Waiting for Domestic Dispatch
- 182 Schedule for Carrier
- 190 In transit to port of exit
- 191 Returned to BMW AG
- 193 Arrived at Port of Exit
- 194 Selected for Shipment
- 195 Shipped from Port of Exit
- 196 Shipment Arrival at destination port
Timeline of Events
It’s the Build Week that determines when your car goes into production. That’s the first thing you need to remember. Also, if you go the BMW Individual route, that could add some delays to your BMW. The timeline below focuses on Priority 1 cars for the U.S. market and it can vary for each car.
- Build start (150) to build finish (155): 1-2 weeks
- Build finish (155) to Scheduled for Carrier (182): 1 day
- Status 182 to 190 (Transport to Bremerhaven port): 1-3 days
- Status 190 to 193 (At port awaiting): 1-2 days.
- Status 193 to 195 (loaded on ship): 3-5 days for East Coast delivery, 5-12 days for West Coast delivery
- Shipping time from Bremerhaven to East Coast: 12-17 days
- Shipping time from Bremerhaven to West Coast: Around 30 days
- Offload at port: 1 day
- Processing through customs: 1-2 days
- Process through BMW Vehicle Processing Center (VPC): 2-5 days
- Shipping by truck to delivery dealership: 1-4 days
Tracking my BMW 335i
1.0 Get your VIN
First: you’ll need the vehicle “VIN” number from your dealer, or a vehicle production number.
As soon as the dealer officially orders the car through the BMW allocation system, they’ll get the VIN number, and then you
can get the VIN number from the dealer -just ask them.
Here’s my Vin: WBAWC73569E06XXXX
1.2 What my VIN means
WBA WC73 5 6 9 E06XXXX
WBA= BMW AG
WC73= Model code of my 335i
5=Safety restraint identifier, indication of seat belts, duel advanced airbags, rear/side airbags, curtain airbags, ect.
6= check digit determined by vin
9= model year, “9” code indicates a 2009 manufacture date (see the code in the chart below)
E= Plant code, “Regensburg” Germany (A=Munich)
06XXXX= Sequential production number of my car.
1.3 – BMW VIN Example
2. Use the MyBMW website
You can then get “rough” update on your cars progress from BMW of North America. The production status is listed in the secure member’s area of the BMW website. You’ll need the VIN number to sign up for the members area. This information can be 48 hours (or more) behind the actual status of the car.
This is the status of my 335i as shown in the BMW USA Member’s Area Website : “Awaiting Transport.”
And, another view of the status: “Awaiting Transport in the timeline view”
How to track the car status via phone with BMW of North America
(This information can, as well, be more than 48 hours behind the actual status)
- Call: (1-800) 831-1117
- Say “Vehicle Production Status” when prompted… or at any time after the recording starts
- You will be asked for your production number, or last seven digits of your VIN
- The last seven digits of your VIN. In my case: E06XXXX, (Read as, for example: E, Zero,6,ex,ex,ex,ex.)
- Carefully enunciate the Es, Ts and Bs – the system is voice recognition based, and sometimes gets confused with Es
and Ts and Bs.
- Say “Yes” when the voice reads it back – if correct… if not correct say “No,” and repeat… (you can get it wrong 3 times,
and then the system kicks you to a live human, if you’re calling during business hours… if not, BMW will give you their
operating hours for the office. Hang up, and try again if they’re closed.)
- Say “partial VIN number,” if not a production number when asked.
- The system will give you the status of you vehicle production within the last 24 hours
UPDATE – November 2019
Do you hate having to call the BMW Call Center for order status on your vehicle? Create the following contact on your iPhone, and save it as BMW Order Status.
NOTE: Make sure to change 1234567 to your production number when putting it in your contact
- -Each comma’s represent a 3 second pause
- 2 gives the option for vehicle order status
- 1234567 represents Production Order Number
- 1 lets them know it’s a production order number, not a VIN
Now you can just call this contact, and it will give you the production status, without the need for you to fumble typing it in, or memorize any numbers.
3. The Shipping Process
Once the vehicle is listed as “En Route,” you can begin following the progress in detail by other means. Once on a ship, BMW status on their website will no longer provide a detailed update, but you can still continue to track the vehicle.
3.1 – BMW ships with several cargo lines and carriers, depending on the destination.
• Wallenius&Wilhelmsen (parent company for several ship lines listed below)
• EUKOR – a division of Wallenius Lines
• UECC – another division of Wallenius Lines
• A.P. Möller – yet another division and ship line owned or operated by Wallenius Lines
• Mark 1 Shipping – owned or operated by Wallenius Lines
• K-LINE (Usually BMW West Coast deliveries only, but sometimes ships to NY/NJ as NYK-Line) K-Line is not a W&W company
• ARC – Often operated by, or under the direction of Wallenius Lines
4. Shipping from Bremerhaven
Most BMWs are shipped out of the port of Bremerhaven Germany, known by the faithful as “Bimmer Heaven”.
Port Location: Latitude: 53.5715° (decimal), Longitude: 8.546° (decimal)
Port: Bremerhaven Germany
5. Typical BMW Shipping Ports of Call
Here’s the typical Europe to North America ports of call for the weekly car transport vessels run by Wallenius & Wilhelmsen. The destination listed on your ships itinerary will likely be the next port, and not your cars final destination.
East Coast Delivery:
- Bremerhaven (port of exit)
- New York (actually New Jersey)
6. Which Ship Is My BMW On
The easiest way is to ask your dealer or BMW Genius. They will have a detailed day by day track of his allocation shipments. Just call, and they’ll give you the ships name. In advance of that, you can get a good idea of your ship’s name by backing up the schedule you were given when you ordered the car, and finding the ships who’s schedule aligns with the approximate final port of entry arrival date.
BMW uses various shipping companies:
http://www.kline.com/ Then click on schedules > RORO
6.1 The typical BMW transport schedule
- Car to be picked up by you at the dealer on “X” date, for example: June 25th
- Subtract 1- 2 days at the dealer to detail the car, and install any remaining dealer options : June 24
- Subtract 2-3 days in transit from the port to the dealer, so: June 22, 23, in transit via truck to the dealer from the VPC (Vehicle Preparation Center.)
- Your transport time will vary based on your distance from ports of arrival.
- Ground shipping on the East Coast is commonly carried out by: “Bavarian Motor Transport,” in Enclosed Freight Liners
- Subtract another 3 days, the car will typically spend June 19, 20, 21 at the VPC, at the port of entry
- Now look for ships who’s itineraries list your port of arrival on, or close to that date, in this example, the Port of NY/NJ arriving sometime around June 18th.
6.2 Ship Schedules and Tracking by VIN
The shipping schedules are posted at the Wallenius Wilhelmsen website, and changes, but look for the Westbound schedule chart. Your VIN will show up in their search page about 2 days after your car has left the port.
Simply go here and enter your VIN into the Cargo ID field. Status will be displayed once Wallenius has taken taken possession of the car and selected it for shipment. So, if you end up on a ship that is not with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, it won’t ever show up on the WW tracking page.
NOTE: My car never was displayed on this tracking site although Wallenius Wilhelmsen is listed as the logistics carrier, and agent for my ship, operated by ARC.
7. How to read the ship manifest
This is the ship my 335i was actually on:
SHIP NAME: INTEGRITY
PORT OF DEPARTURE: BREMERHAVEN
DEPARTURE DATE: 06/06/2009
PORT OF DESTINATION: NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK, NY
ARRIVAL DATE AT NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK, NY: 13/06/2009
(RESCHEDULED: 18/06/2009 while in the port of Bremerhaven, RESCHEDULED: at 11:25 am EST June 14th by Port of New Jersey to 6/19/2009, arriving at 12:00)
PREVIOUS SHIP NAME: AKA – M/V OTELLO (Re-named Integrity in 2005 as part of the U.S. Maritime Security Program.)
AVERAGE SPEED: 13.8 Knots
DAYS IN TRANSIT: 12
VOYAGE NUMBER: EB914
IMO NUMBER: 8919934 (International Maritime Organization ship identification number)
MMSI NUMBER: 367063310 (Maritime Mobile Service Identities – This number reflects a U.S Flagged ship.)
CAPACITY: 5,870 cars
LENGTH: 190 m
BEAM: 32 m
FLAG: USA. The ship is in service for ARC, (American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier) flagged as American in 2005
YEAR BUILT: 1992
SCHEDULED PORTS OF CALL:
BREMERHAVEN – 06-Jun (Germany)
ANTWERP – 08-Jun (Belgium)
ZEEBRUGGE – 09-Jun (Belgium)
SOUTHAMPTON – 10-Jun (UK)
NEW YORK, NY – 19-Jun (USA, Although shown as NY, the BMW VPC is actually in the port of New Jersey)
CONTINUING ON TO: BALTIMORE, MD, CHARLESTON,SC, BRUNSWICK, GA
ITINERARIES HISTORY: Baltimore, and Southampton
PORT OF NEW YORK – NEW JERSEY ARRIVAL DATA:
Terminal: Public Berth – NJ
Berth #: 1419 – INTEGRITY
Cargo : Autos
Estimated Arrival: 6/19/2009 12:00
Estimated Departure : 6/19/2009 20:00
Agent Name: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Agent Telephone: 973-985-8456
Information Updated As Of: 6/9/2009, 11:25
8. Ship tracking live – status of ship locations and speeds, with ship pictures
8.1 – Once you know what ship your car is on, you can follow the ships progress
- http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ – Search by Vessel Name, Port, or Ocean Area.
- Click on the port from the list: BREMERHAVEN http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/dat…ENT&level0=300
Another site for Information on your ship (tracking requires Sign In):
Another way of tracking the ship: by name and call sign
For Sailwx, enter the port latitude, and longitude of Bremerhaven, the port BMW usually ships their cars out of.
Latitude: 53.5715° (decimal)
Longitude: 8.546° (decimal)
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
NOTE: sailwx data usually appears out of date by several days, if not months. As opposed to marinetraffic, which is updated about every two minutes. The sailwx site however, is the only service that will follow your ship through the open ocean of the Atlantic.
• Ship tracking around the UK seas only, and lots of picture of the ships:
The “Marine Traffic” website often loses the ship when off the coast of England. The ship is shown as “out of range.” There is a blind spot for their tracking in this specific area, but you can follow it in this area of transit via this site when the Marine
Traffic site goes blind:
This site can at times fall behind timely tracking – “Integrity” showed a “last signal” that was 48 hours old.
An excellent and accurate site for ship tracking around the UK:
Port: Bremerhaven Ships Currently in Harbor, live feed of information refreshed every 90 seconds:
Ships in port BREMERHAVEN now, and the expected departures and arrivals within the next and last 24 hours:
Select from the list:
BREMERHAVEN, DE for port map, or in port, or departures, or arrivals or ships expected in the next 24 hours:
9. Live webcam
See the live webcam for Automobilexport”in Brevenhaven, “Osthafen/Whendebecken” harbor loading area,
South of “AmNordhafen” Access road:
9.1 – Live from Breverhaven Germany, April 6th, 2009
If you look to the North of the The “Osthafen/Whendebecken” harbor loading area on the aerial map, you’ll see a bridge that runs over the railroad automotive arrival tracks. When you look at the webcam view (below 2 photos), you’ll see the bridge, looking back towards the loading area to the South.
This is updated about every 2 minutes. If you have two windows open on your browser, both the webcam, and the Marine Traffic site will align telling you what ship you’re seeing in the webcam by virtue of the aerial view of the port on the MarineTraffic.com site.
Examples from 9, and 9.1 above – Faust and Maersk Wave
This was a live webcam shot of the two car transporters in port at Bremerhavern that aligned with the above tracking, the Maersk Wave at left below, and the Faust, marked on the side of the ship as Wallenius Wilhelmsen, below right.
Tracking my ship, the Integrity
Many BMWs are loaded onto car carrier ships in the “Automobilexport” port sections in Breverhaven. Look for the
“Osthafen/Whendebecken” harbor loading area, it is a common staging area for BMW’s awaiting export, South of “AmNordhafen” perimeter road.
Integrity’s movements, June 1st through June 6th:
- MarineTraffic, shows Integrity as in port at Bremerhaven Germany, West of auto export “Whendebecken” harbor loading area as of June 1, 2009.
- In port, moored in the “Osthafen/Whendebecken” harbor loading area of Bremerhaven, June 4th, 10:00am EST
- Shown as moved in port at 7:20 pm EST June 4th to a new loading area to the South, now in “Kaiserhafen ll” harbor, Bremerhaven.
- Moved out of port as of June 5th.
- Shown docked again back in “Kaiserhafen ll” area at Bremerhaven Germany, June 6th, 7:32am
June 4th – The Integrity docked to the South of the MV Faust at Bremerhaven
June 6th, 7:32am – Below is the “Kaiserhafen ll” port area at Breverhaven, South of the more common “Osthafen/Whendebecken car loading area shown above. This picture shows the movement (shown as a green line) of car transporter “Integrity” from the Whendebecken location in port to Kaiserhafen ll .
• Other live webcams, 6 views of the port at Bremerhaven:
• More webcams:
• Collection of webcam port views at Bremerhaven:
• Webcam views of Southampton Port GB:
• Panning views of Southampton: http://www.cowesharbourweather.com/webcam.aspx
VIDEO: Here’s a video tour of the inside of a typical W&W car transporter, shot with an in car camera:
10. The day by day shipping journey of the Integrity, and my 2009, BMW 335i M Coupe:
The Integrity, (AKA: M/V OTELLO) in service for ARC (American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier) Bremerhaven Germany
June 6th, 2009, departs Bremerhaven Germany for Antwerp Belgium, the first port of stop of four on it’s way to
the port of New York/New Jersey.
June 9th, 2009, 10:09pm UTC, the Integrity is photographed by “RW68” who lists his location as the port of Bremerhaven, 6/9/09
June 9th, approximately 2:45 pm UTC, a photographer named Stan Muller takes three pictures of the Integrity while underway leaving
the port of Antwerp on June 9th, 2009.
My 335i is on this very ship, in the port of Antwerp on June 9th.
The ship photos in the pop-up window on MarineTraffic show the Integrity as green, not blue – the ship was repainted blue in 2008.
June 9th, 1:05pm EST, ( about 5 hours after leaving the port of Antwerp,) the Integrity is now moored in the port of Zeebrugge Belgium, “Verbindingsdok” port loading area. Zeebrugge port records indicate that the Integrity arrived in port 4:00pm UTC
Watching the Integrity enter the port of Southampton – Live.
Live Webcam Sequence Capture: June10th – 11:47 UTC (45 minutes after the above mapped position)
Integrity, as it passes in transit between Fawley and Cowes in the UK, entering the port mouth of Southampton:
June 10th – Integrity Moored in the port of Southampton
June 11th, 6:56am EST, Having left the port of Southampton, the Integrity is underway off the coast of England, South of
Porthleven/Penzance, near the “isles of Scilly” traveling at 17.3kn, – ETA New York is listed as; 9:00 UTC, June 19th.
June 12th, 9:00am EST, Integrity is tracked via its call-sign, WDC6925, in the Atlantic. Last known position mapped below is 13 hours and 4 minutes out of date as of this track, located at position N 47°54′, W 010°48′.
June 13th, 7:53am EST, Last known position reported June 12th 6:00 pm UTC, at N 45°30′, W 016°54′.
Bearing towards the Azores.
June 16, 6:30am EST – Last position tracked at 1:30am EST June 16, N 41°18′, W 046°30′. There were two position updates in the last 23 hours.
June 18th, 6:50am EST
June 19th, 7:00am EST – Integrity enters the Port of New York New Jersey, shown moored at NEAT, (North East Auto Terminal) port records list arrival time as 6:11am. The Integrity is moored in Berth #: 1419.
NY/NJ AIS Port Traffic:
Final Destination, VPC New Jersey Port, shown below is the Northern NEAT (North East Auto Terminal) dock.
BMW VPC, SouthWest Docks,
VPC New York/New Jersey:
Once your ship arrives with your car, the cars are driven to a large parking lot for staging and processing through customs. If you have a car shipped via WWL you will be able to see status update on the tracking site using your VIN to see when your car clears customs.
BMW VPC/VDC (Vehicle Distribution Center)
After clearing customs, the BMW will be at a staging parking lot/area. At this point as far as BMW knows, the car still is “shipping” and you won’t get any update until after your car gets to the VPC.
The car will spend up to 2-4 days being prepped for the North American market, and being repaired to factory specifications should damage have occurred in transit, in my case, none did. Priority 1 cars are bumped to the front of the line and processed first. If you did European Delivery, this process can take longer.
Ground shipping and truck tracking
East Coast Deliveries are made by Bavarian Motor Transport, in Enclosed Freightliners. This is a BMT truck and they are known to use several carriers. One of the most common right now is United Road. You can search for your VIN here if you want. http://www.unitedroad.com/search-by-vin.php
BMW Genius will be able to tell you what carrier you are on and the estimated date of arrival.
Home at last
The BMW 335i (back left hand bay) moments after arriving home from the dealer.
That’s the entire journey.
Special thanks to GarageJournal for being the first to host this ordering guide and of course, many thanks to Jeff for allowing us to post his “state-of-art” BMW ordering guide.