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Old 27 Apr 2006
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What Does a Freight Forwarder do?

Does anybody know what service the above offers and whether I need to use one?

Am am trying to ship my bike back from Long Beach CA to Southampton and have a RoRo quote I am happy with from Wallenius Wilhelmsen, when I went to try to book the passage they suggested I might need/want to use a 'Freight Forwarder' but were not very clear as to what service they offer.


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Old 27 Apr 2006
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From a Gogle search I found


Note: Freight consolidators may give you a cheaper fee, but there maybe a time delay while more goods are sought and packaged for the final destination. Best to ask. Also not listed on that page is the Dangerous Goods Decleration.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 27 Apr 2006
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Hi Nick, often freight companies only want to deal with other companies not the great unwashed. A freight forwarder will have an arrangement with various freight companies, surface or air, and to access those companies services you need to go through a freight forwarder. Eg if you want to fly a bike from Australia to Europe just ringing the airlines wont neccesarilly get you what you want, but if you go through a company that acts as an agent for a few of them you will be surprised just who will carry what.

For air cargo motorcycles (used) are considerred dangerous cargo and so must be shown to have been prepared for travel in a particular way and signed off by a dangerous goods specialist...not leaking fuel.oil and battery acid and upright in a crate is usually about it! On ships I dont believe they are considerred DG.

You mention RORO so I assume you mean to travel on the ship with the bike like on a ferry, the people you are talking to may want the bike considerred as freight so you may need a Bill of Lading and customs clearance or even crating etc, freight forwarders often prepare this stuff.

If you search in the Planning section under shipping you'll find loads of stuff.

good hunting
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Old 27 Apr 2006
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Thanks for these responses. Sorry I should have said, yes it is a Roll on Roll off ferry service I am interested in. The ferry company have already confirmed I do not need to crate the bike as it will be driven on and off the ferry. The Bill of Lading/loading? and customs clearance sounds familiar with what they said to me.

Funny thing is I have been in contact with them for weeks getting different quotes re: routings etc, asked about crating and whether there were any additional costs etc and then at the last moment when I am ready to book they mention this issue!
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Old 28 Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by nickc
and then at the last moment when I am ready to book they mention this issue!
They are probably sick of all your questions and don't want any more? Best inital aproach is made after some absic web research, then put all the cards on tehtable and let them tell you what way is cheapest, and what is possible.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 11 May 2006
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This might be a bit late....

Dunno if you are still struggling to get your bike on a boat, but....

Gringo and Frank are spot on. Your bike is not interesting at all for the big companies. Your questions are only fun for the first day or two, after that it is back to business. This is completely understandable. If you want a more comprehensive service use a shipping agent that specializes in motorbike transport: eg. Peet from www.motortransport.nl

Peet has shipped a bunch of bikes to all kinds of places. He will listen to your stories, has a few of his own AND does not get annoyed by you rerouting every other day, or uncrating your bike on his doorstep.

It´ll cost you a bit more maybe, but it´ll also be a much nicer experience AND you can be sure your bike gets where it needs to go fast and in one piece.

Good luck shipping!
Everytime people see me it´s a KODAK moment!

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 12 May 2006 at 21:47. Reason: link corrected by Grant
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