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I tried the shipping database, the BETA shipping database, searched HU, rummaged through this thread, and I still can't find any relatively recent (i.e. less than 3 years old) reports on recommended shipping agents.
I plan to ship (by airfreight) my bike back to the UK from South India in less than two months' time, so if you have any pointers/information/tips, please do share.
Thanks for the reply pecha72, it's a good reference and makes me relax a little bit to know what will be required (certificate of non-objection etc).
I wonder if/why one needs an agent to do this - would it be unrealistic to just walk into the airport's cargo area and talk to airline people directly? I think involving too many people in this entails risks.
Shipping agent near Panjim, Goa.
Last year I used Mathew Dias of Lynn Packer and Movers to send the Geezer back to Oslo. His paperwork, and customs connections, were impeccable – he came well recomended. These formalities are often a source of delay, and extra expense, if your man is not experienced.
However, it is best you crate the bike yourself, or at least supervise the job. His people are not good on bikes, to get the front mudguard off they broke the brakeline. Unbelievable. The ”crate” they built out of scrapwood had no structural strength, and was enormous, but I shipped by boat. There was some problem with corrosion, deck cargo on a submarine? There were a lot of extra charges, most of which were dropped, one by one, when I complained, at the Norwegian end, this is less of a factor when air-frieghting.
Mathew Dias 09321241212 and lynnlogistics-at-vsnl.net
I have just read your ”blog”, well done, you have a sharp eye, it was a fascinating read.
Peter, in Oslo
would it be unrealistic to just walk into the airport's cargo area and talk to airline people directly? I think involving too many people in this entails risks.
You can try, but it´s likely they will assign you a cargo agent anyway... and I think the Dangerous Goods paper, that your bike needs to get airborne, has to be done by someone, who´s got the certificate to issue it. So shipping by air - the short answer is you probably cannot do it 100% yourself. We even had a separate customs agent! Plus we spent a nightmarish 10-12 hour day at the Chennai airport cargo side waiting for all clearance procedures to be completed.
It all did seem quite complicated, even though most people spoke English... but on the other hand, it was the first time I´ve ever shipped my bike, and later on in Indonesia, when I shipped it again, I had a much better idea of what the hell was going on - even though much less English was spoken!!
Thought I'd post a little update, since I'm stuck in Mumbai waiting anyhow... *grumble*
After talking with 5-6 different freight forwarders, shipping agents, packers, shipping companies, customs experts etc I have established the following, all from the Mumbai, India point of view.
1. Airfreight is EXTREMELY expensive. I've been consistently quoted prices close to USD 3,000 to send my bike from Mumbai to Athens or London. There are also fun regulations like "you need to certify that all ENGINE OIL has been drained from the bike" - PAH! Of course no petrol whatsoever in the tank (they don't care how you get petrol in a bottle at the other end) and battery disconnected and poles isolated.
2. Seafreight seems more reasonable. The cost of everything (packing, insurance, port taxes, handling fees, customs clearance, transportation to/from port, loading, the transportation itself) seems to float around USD 900.
In light of the above, and given that this is the end of my trip and I am not sending the bike somewhere where I will need it pronto to resume traveling, I go with sea shipment hands down.
Will let you know about more details as they come in.
PS: There is an interesting option on the table for people who might want to benefit from the low cost of sea shipment but still have some reliability when it comes to delivery times - TNT has a weekly shipment from Mumbai to Tilbury Port (right next to London) which takes 21 days, at a quite reasonable cost.
Hi Apapadop, be aware that the handling agent at the end of the sea voyage is not bound by any agreement you made in India. It is more expensive to get your bike on land, through customs and out of the warehouse in our part of the world than it is to ship halfway round the world.
The MTA handling agents wanted, in Norwegian kroner, which are about 10 to the pound and 8,50 to the Euro
THC (Terminal Handling Charge) 970,-
LCL service charge (Less Container Charge) 226,-
ISPS(Int.Surcharge Port Security) 100,-
Far East Additional 485,-
Handling Fee 595,-
This gives a total of 3976,- to which comes VAT at 375,-, so there is an additional Nok 4350,- to get your bike back. There were even more charges like Suez Canal Surcharge and Stowage which they dropped when I got angry. Please bear this in mind when you are working out your costs.
Make sure you leave India after your bike has been shipped, the paperwork in India must be in order, otherwise nothing happens, and your bike stays collecting warehouse fees.
I have also heard that shipping by air from Nepal is cheaper than other places, but that is a long way from Mumbai. I think you have to use an agent, he knows what to do, and which palms need greasing.
Peter, in Oslo
Havent send a bike by air from India to Europe, but 3000 USD (~2200 EUR) does sound a bit high, I think. In Jan-2008, we airlifted ours from Chennai (via Kuala Lumpur) to Bangkok for about 600 euros. That was two flights, and a total flight time of about 5 hours. I´d expect to be able to ship by air from India to Europe for around 1000-1500 euros. You´ll just need to find the right cargo company, as you´ve already probably noticed, their offers can vary a lot.
I remember being quoted around 2200-2400 euros to airlift from Sydney via Frankfurt to Helsinki (I ended up choosing seafreight, which cost less than 1/4 of that!)...... But I do agree with the previous post - collecting fees at the receiving end in seafreight can be a pain, and they are pretty hard to calculate exactly, until you´ve actually done it.
For me, it cost nearly 200 euros to pick up my bike (no extra storage time) in Helsinki. The freight itself was less than 500 euros, so all in all I was satisfied with the price, but the percentage that I had to pay at the receiving end was still ridiculous.
Yesterday I found another shipping agent (the guy who Enfield uses to ship bikes out of India) and he quoted EUR 350 for seafreight to London and EUR 1100 for airfreight to Athens.
Before mentioning the airfreight possibility, I asked him about the port collection fees on the other end, he called a buddy of his and it turns out that to collect my bike in Felixstowe (port near London) I would be charged approx 400 EUR on the spot!
Given that the bike runs much more risk of being damaged by exposure to salty water (or just plenty of salty moisture that over 1-2 months that it'll be in transit can ruin it), I am now leaning towards airfreighting.
It's a very young bike (2007 model), so I think it's worth paying 300 EUR more and have it airlifted, out of my hands for roughly a week (including all loading/transport/storing time), instead of having it rot for two months in the worst possible conditions...
Will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice, you have already steered me away from a 400 EUR mistake!
The really-experienced-I-know-what-I'm-doing-guy (Mr. Ramdas) had given me a quote of 1100 EUR (all inclusive) for airfreight from Mumbai to Greece and an appointment for today to crate the bike.
I ring him today (just to reconfirm the appointment) and am told "bad news, Turkish airlines doesn't accept cargo heavier than 250kg" (first time I hear of this) "and other airlines will be more expensive" (bullshit, when I was in his office he was assuring me we had maaany carrier options and the quote could only have downward price fluctuations). "So it looks like we're gonna have to ship by sea." ARGH!
On the day we're crating the bike, two days before it would supposedly be cleared through customs and loaded on a plane, the guy has the nerve to change the whole plan.
And this is the guy who Enfield uses to send bikes overseas. He is indeed the best I've talked to so far, but seriously, I've had it with India. I'll end up looking out of the window when someone says "good morning"...
Hi Apapadop, sounds very strange to me, maybe you should ring Turkish and find out if there is a self imposed weight limit. You pay by weight/volume, they are in the transport business.
What I feel you must avoid is a confrontation where Mr R looses face, give him an out with some chat about misunderstandings and special circumstances, and tell him he is on internet, lot of potential customers on HU with Pak/Iran instability.
I think he is trying to screw you for more cash because you were ready to leave......India! Got to admire them for sheer cheek.
Peter, in Oslo
One would think the restrictions would be with size, not weight (when we´re only in the region of a few hundred kilos...)
Then again, when shipping from Indonesia, I was told by the freight agent, that Garuda had a 50kg limit per package. Don´t know if it was actually true or not. And since you´re doing it in India, I wouldnt be surprised at all, if the answer depends on who you ask - or when
I believe sending from Mumbai may be a lot of work (shipping from Chennai certainly was, and it´s like a town compared to Mumbai!!) but I´m sure you´ll get it all sorted in the end!
Just for the record, for anyone looking for a shipping/clearing agent in Mumbai, I have been happy with Aubrey D'Suza. Here are his contact info. Just wanted to throw that here in case someone is looking for info on the subject.
J P INTERNATIONAL
VAJU KOTAK MARG,
NEXT TO DEVEN MOTORS,
BALLARD ESTATE, MUMBAI 400 001.
TEL: 022 66333261/66333263
E-MAIL: jpintl [AT] rediffmail.com
Can you please tell me how you finally managed to ship from Mumbai??? I am also interested in shipping my transalp to Athens and am looking for cheap ways. Any info would be great,
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