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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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  #1  
Old 2 Jul 2013
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Shipping a vehicle out of SA end August?

hi there,

My carnet expires 31st August so I'm planning ahead a bit and finding out the best options on shipping my motorbike back to UK. I'll need to be starting the shipping process around about 21st apparently in order to clear customs etc in time, and am wondering if anyone else is planning on shipping any vehicle back to UK at the same time? Perhaps you are driving a 4x4 and wanted someone else to take up space in a container, or perhaps you're on a bike and want to see if you can get a cheaper price for being with another bike?

Either way, would love to hear advice on the best ways of getting the bike back to UK as am keen not to spend more than I have to!

Thanks
Claire
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Old 3 Jul 2013
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Speak to Toll Global in Cape Town. I shipped my VW T 5 to Hamburg in June.They were cheapest I could find by far.
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Old 4 Jul 2013
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Excellent, many thanks for the tip!
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Old 4 Jul 2013
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You could also look at MACS shipping.
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Old 8 Jul 2013
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You can also try ECONOTRANS. Ask for Wayne! Trustful, honest and professionals!!
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Old 9 Jul 2013
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No problem if your Carnet expire, you can get a short extension on it from the SA AA. I think it is a three month extension.

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Old 21 Jul 2013
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Shipping to UK

I sent mine back from Joburg to UK (Manchester) by air freight.
Cost-wise there's not a huge difference between air and sea if you take everything into account.
Sea freight arrives in the South and you need to get there, then unpack and get back: that all costs.
Plus takes time.

One hassle with air freight is you now need to drain and flush the fuel tank. I did that myself (just used water). Then wrote a letter on a nice looking letterhead and signed it saying it had been done (BMW Tank Flushing Services seems a nice name...). But perhaps your agent can do this paper-work part for you. But flushing with water is no problem: doesn't hurt anything. Need to take the tank off the bike though to do it.

And they do not let you send the battery with the bike, even disconnected. Or else it's classed as a higher hazard and costs a bit more to ship.

Another issue is your crate. In order to reduce size for the air freight, I made my own crate, and reduced the size of my bike by taking off front-wheel, handle-bars etc. But is a hassle, as well as harder to hold upright securely. And costs money to make a strong crate. Better option is go to BMW and get (even buy if they ask) a used crate that a new bike has arrived in.
Is a bit bigger, and thus costs a bit more, but if you have extra stuff you can pack that in.
You have to pay to get your crate fumigated.
To do all this you need a shipping agent: but as you can see there are lots.

Clearing in UK needs an agent, but you can pick that up the day you go to get the bike. Just visit the freight depot, find an agent (there are LOTS of companies), give them the paperwork and they clear it right away. You then take your crate to the Customs guys with your Carnet and with me they just stamped it in. Didn't bother to inspect it.

I found it easier to rent a small van to load the bike crate in and then drive away with it. The freight forwarder has a forklift and can load it in: make sure you get a big enough van heightwise to allow that.

The other end you can stop off at a place with a forklift to repeat the process of removing the crate from the van. Then unpack everything, rinse petrol tank with petrol to get rid of water traces, install new battery and is good to go. With a bit of help you can put the bike back into the van and drive all of it to wherever the van needs to go. Or else need a 2nd driver.

Alan
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Old 22 Jul 2013
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Thanks Alan - really detailed response, very much appreciated! :-)
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