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Old 18 Apr 2005
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US to OZ and NZ

For the past two months I've been dealing with the frustrations of getting bikes from the West Coast of the US (preferably Seattle) over to OZ. TO date I have contacted over 30 international shippers who just can not get it done or can only do it with great amounts of pain.

I now have one company who will ship a full container ($ 2,000 to OZ) and since I have two bikes its probably a fair deal. BUt the lead time is eight weeks minimum.

But I sure would appreciate anyone who can give me insight to a shipper who they used. I'm certainly not the first or last person who wants to do this.

I've looked over a number of post on this board. I see people say they were quoted $ 2,000 air freight from LA to OZ. BUt the only quote I could get was closer to $ 3,500 when all was said and done. (those litle extra cost and fees they tell you about after you book.)
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Old 18 Apr 2005
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Have you checked out the link "Shipments by
Travellers" on the left? What about Motorcycle Express, link up & left on this page?

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,


Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 18 Apr 2005
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I've tried every lead that has been posted, listed or otherwise provided by someone. I've worked with boards on four different site and asked this same question. Lots of folks seem to have discovered the same problem with shipping to OZ. THe only places that seem to be able to do it are air freight outfits. Prices range from $ 2,000 to $3,000 each way for a basic bike. Leave my side car on and the price doubles.

It seems that almost all the shippers that deal with motorcycles are setup for going to and from the US to Europe, South America or a minimal number of other places. Apparently going to OZ is just to complicated for them.

I've got an entire email folder filled with correspondence regarding shipping to OZ. (54 comminication remaining in the folder] Most shippers refered me to another shipper who in turn refered me to another shipper, etc.

I do have one container provider who can do ship a 20 foot container. That seems to be the best lead. I'm just hoping that someone else may have been able to use a shipper who actualy did what they promised.

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Old 1 May 2005
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Try Worldwide Animal Travel in Vancouver, BC. Their phone number is 866-302-6688 and ask for Jenny or Bruno. They just shipped my bike by air from Vancouver to Europe, but when I dropped off my bike, they mentioned that they shipped to Asia & Australia as well. They specialize in shipping animals, but have shipped many motorcycles too.

They did a great job for me and I would highly recommend them. Even though they only ship by air, their price may still be competitive. My shipment to Europe was about $1150 US and hassle-free. If anything, they may at least be able to get you some leads.

Let us know what you find out.


[This message has been edited by davidmc (edited 01 May 2005).]
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Old 2 May 2005
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thank's for the lead. I'll at least call them.
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Old 22 May 2005
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I've just booked airfreight going the opposite way....Melbourne to Los Angeles...through Yusen Air & Sea Service. Price is around AUD$1950 plus handling charges at either end. Yusen has an office and warehouse in California, close by the airport.
The bike's actually going on a United flight, direct to LA, and I can't imagine seafreight being that much cheaper. Price is based on AUD$4.60 per kilo, plus .50c security & fuel surcharge. (I'm guessing at 380kg for a fully loaded GS1150 plus crate)
Good luck with it, sounds like the seafreight is a nightmare....and the docks in Australia are expensive too.
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Old 27 May 2005
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o: Mr. John Parker, Kodiak, Alaska
From: Kevin Graham, YAS Seattle

Dear Mr. Parker,

Motorcycles (particularily used motorcycles) are an extremely difficult
commodity to ship from the U.S. except in full containers. It used to be
that we would be able to find a freight consolidator willing to accept a
crated motorcycle to load in a container with other freight, however none of
the freight consolidators are willing to accept this cargo anymore.

There are several reasons but the main one is that motor vehicles registered
in the U.S. must be documented for export with U.S. Customs to prevent the
export of stolen vehicles. U.S. Customs requires the original title be
submitted to them prior to export for their review. They have the option
of requesting verification of the VIN# prior to export. Any crate must
have a hole cut in it so that U.S. Customs can verify the VIN# prior to
export. Consolidators have found that these inspections can delay
departure of the container with other freight in it.

As I said it is still possible to ship a motorcycle in a 20' ocean
container, but this can be very expensive. I can make some inquiries if you
are interested, but estimate that ocean freight from Seattle to Brisbane for
20' container is somewhere around $1600 + fuel surcharge (currently $220 per
20' container but likely moving to $310/20' on July 1)

In addition, our handling fee is $100 plus $75 fee for processing vehicle
export paperwork with U.S. Customs in Seattle. As I mentioned above, we
would require the original title for the motorcycle in order to process.

There is also $185 for a round trip container dray from the piers in Seattle
to our facility and return once motorcycle is loaded.

We can either arrange to pick up motorcycle or you can arrange to have it
delivered to us. Cost for pickup will of course depend on current

Motorcycle would have to blocked and braced in the container to prevent
damage during transit. We would probably use inflatable air bags to wedge
the motocycle into the container and prevent shifting during transit. I
cannot estimate total cost of loading and bracing until we see the bike, but
estimate $100-$150 including cost of the air bags.

If the motorcycle has ever had gasoline run through it, it may require a
hazardous goods declaration as well. We would have to contract with an
outside vendor for that declaration as freight forwarders cannot legally
fill out hazardous declaratons for their customers. We can provide the
names of at least two vendors who provide this service if you want to
arrange this on your own.

I do not want to discourage you from shipping this motorcycle, but want you
to be aware of the approximate expense involved.

If you would like me to pursue this and provide a complete quote, I will be
happy to do so, but you should be aware that the total cost to ship a
motorcycle by ocean will likely exceed $2500.

If you can provide weight and dimensions and other specifics of the bike, I
will be happy to look into the option of sending this by air. It goes
against all logic, but it might be cheaper to send by air than by ocean.

Please let me know how you would like me to proceed.

Our office will be closed on Monday, May 30 for a U.S. National Holiday If there is any export related emergency please call 206 290 8423.

Best Regards,

Yusen Air & Sea Service, (USA) Inc.

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Old 29 May 2005
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Looks like airfreight is the best option!
Good luck with it,

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Old 29 May 2005
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Originally posted by Big Red:
I've just booked airfreight going the opposite way....Melbourne to Los Angeles...through Yusen Air & Sea Service.
Any gotcha's ? Let us know your expereince "after" the fact, probles etc

I am tentively planning to do the same thing next year. Probably ex-Brisbane if possible. (closest capital city)

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Old 24 Apr 2006
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It's not easy is it? We are currently trying to organise Brisbane to Vancouver return and getting similar results. Seems to be that used motorcycles "dangerous goods" are just too hard for the money involved for them. Estimates are about $3500.00 AUD per bike return which seems fair and reasonable for sea freight. Air is approx. double that. We are currently discussing setting up a system in Brisbane where we sell a bike to travellers and buy it back at a guaranteed price. I have to wait and see what the demand for a service like this is.

Feb 2014, currently travelling the America's on a Tiger 800XC

Live every day like it's your last, one day you'll get it right!!!
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Old 27 Apr 2006
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Here is some info that could help. we are in Mexico on our way to californis and are trying to organises the freight of our bikes back to Brisbane from LA without having to hang around at the end. Have managed to proceed okay so far via the internet.
VanguardLogistics Services were the receiving agents when we freighted from England to Miami in January 2006. The person who looked after us was Simon Hawkes (he rides a Honda) He is now getting their LA office to do a quote for us. He was very very helpful when our bikes arrived in Miami and we would be happy to use his firm again. They also have an office in Brisbane and in Sydney (and I think in NZ but dont quote me on that one.) Jed is the name of the person in Brisbane.
Their web site has their e mail details.
Tell Simon and or Jed that you have been talking to us and hopefully you will do okay.
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Old 27 Apr 2006
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The other person we are getting a quote off was reccomended to us by Dave Milligan from GetRouted motorcycle freight in Melbourne. It is Josh at Freightmovers. Their office is in Sydney but they can do the work to and from Brisbane and from Sydney can organise our shipment from LA (their suggestion...we just said west coast anywhere) to brisbane from their Sydney office. You can contact Josh by e mail
Contact us direct if you want more info on how we are going with our freight plans.
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Old 16 May 2006
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I maybe far too late for you, but I used a guy in Germany who seems to have extensive vehicle and motorbike shipping contacts around the world. He was extremely helpful when I used his company in December 2005. He had transport company contacts in the States to pickup a vehicle, so in all likelyhood he can sort something out for you.

Sven Gruber

Rolf G√ľnther GmbH & Co. KG
Phone +49 471 94598-12
Fax +49 471 412043
email sven.gruber@rolf-guenther.de
Make sure your bike is squeaky clean before crating - get all dirt off it otherwise the Quarantine service will charge you a small fortune to clean and re inspect.
Customs and AQIS (quarantine) are usually very helpful in making the import process as easy as possible.
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Old 10 Sep 2006
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used bike IN Oz

In 2002 I looked at shipping a motorcycle Wisconsin to Sydney for a three month tour and in the end, I arranged online to buy a used bike in Sydney on a buy-back plan--Paid only AU$2000 for a Suzuki GS450, rode 3 months, 6000+ kms and returned it to the seller in Sydney the day before I flew to LAX. After 15 minutes I had AU$1000 back. I did the same in 2004 in Perth, but didn't like the DRZ350 for the distances, so after one month sold it privately for the purchase price. This last January I went back to the same Sydney used bike shop, bought a great 98 Kawasaki EN5 for AU$4000, and when I returned it, I got two bundles of AU$1000 each, no hassle, no questions.
There are thousands of good used bikes for sale in Oz, dealers with internet sites, plus they can help with local registration, licensing, and insurance. You have to really love the bike you have at home to suffer the pains of international shipping and customs officials.
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Old 10 Sep 2006
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I guess this is directed to all of you who are stuck with this problem. It may not be of much use but was just something that came to mind. Some years ago I was involved in 4 wheeled motor sport, mainly NASCAR, and there were regular shipments of cars and parts, backwards and forwards between the US and Aus. Several times that I know of, where there was room in containers, people were filling the spare space with personal stuff, for next to nothing cost wise, just to fill the container up. I now have lost touch with the people involved but it may be worthwhile tracking down people who regularly ship stuff backwards and forwards to see if it can be done. Would suggest contacting Sprintcar teams or similar as there is a big international meeting here around Christmas and a huge amount of stuff will be coming to Sydney. Another Avenue would be regular importers like Simpson products who ship a lot of stuff. You might get lucky and find someone looking to fill a half empty container.
And he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
(A. B. Paterson)
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