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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Unhappy Using James Cargo (or not)


im not sure what other experiences people have had but, for the cost, I found James Cargo lacking. Despite some very good initial advice the "execution" of delivering the bike was very poor. For example:

a) The bike arrived 5 days late in Guatemala when I only had just over 3 weeks with it in Central America. I was very very clear about wanting the bike there on time because of this. It missed the first flight because the flight was full apparently. It missed the next flight because it was put on a wrong flight to Panama City and pulled of that plane at the last minute. It became apparent, as I waited in Guatemala City, that James Cargo werent aware of the weekly flight schedule. When I reminded them I offered to send the bike well in advance so that this didnt happen, they told me there would have been a daily storage charge and hence it had been on the last possible flight. I would have been happy to pay this to ensure delivery on time. To make things worse James Cargo blamed Iberia and showed no contrition whatsover (JC were offering the service and so blaming a supplier is unacceptable).
b) On my return I was told the cost of the return trip which was much higher than I had expected. As it turned out the company had used the wrong exchange rates for the quote by some margin and whilst they made a small adjustment to reflect this it was nowhere near the difference.

Whilst they were polite there was a lack of acceptance of any blame or recognition that I should be annoyed.

Any other people had similar problems? Any other companies people can recommend? I realise that you have to have some flexibility as not all shipping goes to plan but this service surprised me.

I know James Cargo advertise/have an affiliation with this site so it will be interesting to see if this message remains!

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Old 4 Mar 2009
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You're right about a 'good', friendly service. We weren't disappointed until we went to pick up the tyres and got royally shafted by all the fees/taxes etc. It doubled the cost and I would not expect them to know what amount of extras we'd need to pay.
An explicit warning would have been nice though.
Maybe that's what this is....

Next time I'd use DHL for smaller (sub-bike size) because at least then you can go and blag it with some bloke in an office rather than be left guessing outside in the hot sun.
Find out details of my 2011 trip to Siberia on a lightweight dirtbike:
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
Next time I'd use DHL for smaller (sub-bike size) because at least then you can go and blag it with some bloke in an office rather than be left guessing outside in the hot sun.
However bad JC appear to be, DHL are the biggest load of sh*ts bar none, IMHO. See Chapter 17 The Big Trip

My impression of anyone involved in the freight/shipping industry is that you have to do the research, tell them how to do it properly and then get shafted by their fees.

Good luck!
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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I'd guess that there will be issues with any shipper, we used JC in 2007. Having them pack the bike for you is a plus.

We did have a disagreement over the agreed price as they tried to add insurance on top and their "quote" was not very informative.

The bikes missed the flight and were 24 hours late in New York, but then so were we as our plane was broken and the airline had to find another (FlyGlobeSpan ... shudder).

JC shipped the bikes via Heathrow (original flight was Manchester) at their own cost to get them to us.

On the return we shipped them back by sea to save money, it took 6 weeks and they went to London instead of Liverpool (hey it starts with an L).

Will I use them again, yes, providing the price is right.

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Old 4 Mar 2009
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it all depends

These are the things that you don't know about until you try to ship stuff around the world:

DHL Brazzaville - 2 front sprockets, less that a week, £30 delivered. No tax to pay. Polite. In and out in 15 minutes. Done.
DHL Ouagadougou - 1 box with oil filter and a few bits and pieces. Days of messing around, bribes, fees more bribes. (at least you knew who to talk to). Nightmare.
DHL Gabon - Oil filters. Inexpensive to send. Went to airport, sent into city to office. Tax and other charges to pay. Just another African adventure.
JCargo - 2 tyres sent to Noakschott, Mauri. No contact to deal with, no idea of where the tyres would turn up. Bribes to pay. Cost for 2 TKC80s - €200 in 'taxes' alone! Painful - and don't think it won't happen to you just because you put a note in the box from your Mum telling the nice customs bloke that the small shiny component is only worth 20p because he may decide to use you for a payrise today!
Find out details of my 2011 trip to Siberia on a lightweight dirtbike:
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Old 5 Mar 2009
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We used James Cargo to ship our bike from UK to New York last year. No problems at all, we picked the bike up and cleared the customs accactly as JC informed us. Price was GBP950.

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