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  #1  
Old 20 Jul 2011
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Bike as cargo through China from Mongolia

I was wondering if anyone has experience in having a bike freighted by train or truck through China (e.g. Mongolia to Laos)? I heard some people did that succesfully.

BTW, I am aware of all the restrictions on going into China yourself with the bike but this is intended as cargo arranged by a shipping agent.

Cheers, Tijs
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Air freight instead

I tried to arrange this unsucessfully in the other direction from the Mohan border at Laos. The problem was the customs officer pulled out the customs bible and to our minds chose a random prohibited goods category 'Used electrical equipment' (with all it's contraditions) and in no uncertain terms refused our motorcycle entry on the back of the truck. Basically if deemed as prohibited goods regardless of the category the object (our motorcycle) has to have several levels of authorisation. These are typically not written anywhere and at best are arbitrary and confusing even for fluent Chinese. Basically it boiled down to the customs officer suggesting that we go through a Travel agent as you would normally if you wanted to ride the bike through. Perhaps we were unlucky with the Customs guy but we did speak to two of his colleagues and his boss and still got nowhere.


My recommendatation is to fly the bike over/around China. Forget your idea about overland freight, save your money, come back to reality and cut your losses. It'll save you a lot of time, money and hassle that won't get you anywhere. Let's face it, the potential consequences of getting caught with contreband in China are not worth it, unless you have a purely egotistical objective to write/sell lots of books...

I don't say it's impossible, but what are you actually thinking you'll achieve? What's your bottom line? I guess you wouldn't consider overlanding the bike unless you had the intention to ride it in China. So if you only want to transport it, then fly the bike as air freight. If you want to ride it, don't pretend and lie about it, it won't help your cause.

Good luck with which ever path you choose.
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Thanks for that, good to hear what you encountered on the other side.

Basically I just think it is ridiculously expensive to fly it from UB to Bangkok and I was looking for a cheaper option. Probably that is only via Vladivostok and South Korea by boat.

However, I did hear several people about the train cargo through China. Not first hand though (as these things go).

Tijs
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groott View Post
Thanks for that, good to hear what you encountered on the other side.

Basically I just think it is ridiculously expensive to fly it from UB to Bangkok and I was looking for a cheaper option. Probably that is only via Vladivostok and South Korea by boat.

However, I did hear several people about the train cargo through China. Not first hand though (as these things go).

Tijs
I doubt that the time spent preparing documentation for land freighting the bike through China would be cheaper than air freight. With the air freight quotes are you doing the crating or is someone else? its usually a lot cheaper if you do it yourself, that way you can build the crate to the exact dimensions of the bike. You should of course reduce the cubic volume as much as possible as the air freight will be based on cubic volume and weight.

Then again if you could get hold of someone who actually did the land freight and had experience in this dept then it might change things. But as it stands I don't like your chances.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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