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Old 24 Jan 2008
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Post New York Customs

I would like to send my BMW1150GS to New York City from Dubai, UAE, to travel North and South America. It is a South African Regestered bike with a valid Carnet. I would like to send it via sea freight in a wooden box. To find a shipping agent is easy, but to find a company to clear customs and transport the crate from the port to a friend's house in NYC, who is willing to store the bike untill we arrive is not that easy.

Does anyone know of such a person or agent who will be able to clear the bike through customs and transport the crate to a given adress? Or do I have to clear it myself as the owner of the bike? If so, then Air freight makes more sense.

Also, the person whos adress I have does not have space in a warehouse or a garage and the crate will be standing outside in his yard, if you know of someone who has a safe space under a roof for my trusty GS, please let me know.

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Old 25 Jan 2008
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I used this company:


to ship my bike from the US to the UK, and they have a partner at the UK end who sorted customs clearance (such as it was) for me, as part of the deal.

Express Air have an office in New York, so I'm sure they can sort that aspect for you, if not the whole shipping package (you might need to use a local agent for the outbound journey).

I'm not saying they're the best by any means - indeed a 1-2 week schedule tunrwed into four weeks before I actually got my bike (this afternoon - at last!) - but to be fair a lot of the 'problems' were out of their control...

All I would say, based on my (admittedly limited) experiance of air freighting, is to leave plenty of time from when you actually want it there...

JennyMo xxx
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Old 26 Jan 2008
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Thanks, I will look into unsing them.
Luckily I have plenty time on my hand to get my bike to NYC. I only need it to be ready by mid-end May. That is why I am considering Sea freight, as it will be a lot more cost effective than Air. I would like to save as much as I can on freight, as the freight from Argentina to Australia will surely be expensive, and then I will not have as much time as now.
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Old 26 Jan 2008
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Air vs. Sea

I'd get some quotes for both - you might be surprised how similar the costs are, especially when you add up all the 'extras' you often get with sea shipping (see what Chris Scott says in the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook).

I got a quote of £690 shipping by sea UK to the USA - although that was RoRo with Whalimus Whilhemsun (sorry about the spelling), whereas I paid $1400 (£700) by air (British Airways cargo) going USA to UK.

Of course air is also (typically) far quicker, and tends to be simpler customs-wise too... unfortunately in this instance customs delays, lost paperwork and tech problems with planes (and only one flight a week) meant it also took a month to get my bike to the UK... however, flying is usually only around a week...

That's why I can't stress enough the need to get your bike shipped in good time, and be prepared to adjust your itinerary to compensate for unforseen delays...

JennyMo xxx
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