Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Transport
Trip Transport Shipping the vehicle and yourself.
Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



Like Tree116Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 21 Mar 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Here are some tips (from the voice of experience) for those who plan to air freight a motorcycle into Canada:

1) Make sure that the motorcycle is immaculately clean! That means no bugs on the windshield, forks, etc., and no dirt of any kind on the tires or under the fenders.

The Canadian customs folks are not well experienced in clearing air cargo shipments of motorcycles into the country... it is an uncommon event for them. This means that they will try and think of all the possible problems that need to be considered, and one of those problems will be the potential impact on Canadian agriculture of any 'foreign soil' or 'insects' that might be travelling along with the bike. The customs officials themselves don't have the training necessary to evaluate dirt or bug guts, which means that they will call for an Agricultural Inspector if there is any doubt. That will delay clearance by a day (thus costing you another full day of warehouse charges), and there is a fee of over $100 for an agricultural inspection.

If the bike is immaculately clean, you can always say to the customs inspector "Sure, I appreciate that you don't have the training to evaluate dirt or bug guts, but you are able to evaluate whether or not there is in fact any dirt or bug guts on the bike... so, have a look, if you find anything, by all means call the agricultural inspector, but if you don't find anything and the bike is so clean that you could eat off it, perhaps you could let it through without calling an agricultural inspector?" I've gone through that routine 3 time now bringing my Canadian bike back to Canada, and every time, the customs inspector has looked at it, said "Damn, it's clean... you could eat off the tires, I guess there's no need to call the Ag guys."

2) Make at least 3 sets of photocopies of your passport, your driver licence, your motorcycle ownership documents, your licence plate documents, etc. and bring those sets with you when you go to customs to clear the bike. You will have to have the originals of everything with you, but the Customs folks really appreciate it when you can give them a nice set of photocopies of everything (stapled together, even) so they don't have to worry about losing one of your original documents as they move around the office, etc.

3) If at all possible, have your insurance documentation showing that you have proper insurance for riding in North America with you at the time you go to customs to clear the bike. Strictly speaking, the customs folks should not be concerned about whether or not the bike is roadworthy or correctly insured, but if you do have the insurance documents, and those documents are included in the copy-sets referred to in point 2) above, it greatly reassures the Customs officials that you know what you are doing.

4) Don't put anything in the panniers that could cause Customs headaches. This means no cigarettes, no booze (even if it is within your duty-free allowance), and for sure, no dangerous goods such as camping stove fuel, chemicals, etc. It's perfectly OK to stuff the panniers with clothing, helmets, that kind of stuff. The goal here is that you want the Customs officer to be able to make the decision to clear the bike out of Customs for you without having to go and visually inspect the thing. So don't complicate the process.

5) Be aware that the freight warehouses charge enormous, outrageous fees for storing incoming freight. The fees are based on a combination of the cubic size of the object and the weight of the object. For a large touring moto (BMW GS or similar), it's about $100 a day, and you don't get the first day (the day of arrival) free. So, as soon as you get your body through immigration and pick up your luggage, get your ass over to the customs hall at the freight terminal and try and get that moto cleared the same day you arrive.

6) Also be aware that the freight warehouses typically don't have road-level access on the public (meaning, non-airside) side of the building. They are all built with truck loading docks that are elevated about 1 meter off the ground, so that big trucks can back up to the dock and roll goods on and off. In the old days (pre-2001), the freight guys would let you ride the moto out the airside of the building and then around the building to exit through the gate that fenced off the secure part of the airfield. Those days are gone now. So, be prepared to go searching for a friendly truck-driver who has a liftgate on the back of his/her truck. You roll the bike out of the warehouse into the (empty) truck, the truck pulls forward 10 feet, you then put the bike on the liftgate and the driver lowers it to the ground. A $20 tip for that courtesy is appropriate.

7) Be sure you have a correct country identification sticker (white oval) on the back of your moto, indicating what country you are from (GB, F, CH, etc.). In Europe, it is acceptable to just have the country code on the left side of the (newer style) licence plates, but that is a relatively recent, Europe-only agreement. Here in North America, the 1949 road traffic convention still applies, and that convention mandates a white oval sticker to identify the country in which the bike is plated.

8) Be aware that the police in major cities (Toronto, Montreal, etc.) are not used to seeing overseas plates on vehicles, and you will likely get stopped a few times in the big cities. Once, I went out to the Toronto airport to help a UK rider (from here on the HUBB) clear his bike from customs, and on the way to my house, he was stopped by the police less than 5 miles into his North American tour. The police officer was adamant that it was illegal to operate a UK plated vehicle in Canada, and I was equally adamant that it was legal. I 'just happened' to have a copy of the 1949 Geneva Convention on International Road Traffic with me (what a coincidence...), and after 30 minutes of discussion, the cop phoning his head office, etc., we proceeded on our way.

Once you are out of the big cities, the cops will pay you much less attention, especially if you are on routes that overseas visitors frequent, such as the Trans Canada Highway, etc.

9) Whatever you do, don't use the electronically monitored toll road (Highway 407) that traverses the north of the city when you have European plates on the bike. The road is actually owned by a Spanish company that will have no trouble at all getting the toll money from you at your European address, but for any cop that sees you on that road, the foreign licence plate will be like waving a red flag in front of a bull... the cop will pull you over "for sure" because they will think you are trying to evade the toll.

Hope this info helps.

Michael

PS: So far as actually shipping the bike goes, a motorcycle is considered to be a "vehicle, flammable liquid powered" and is classified as UN number 3166. There is a packing instruction (I believe it is instruction 900) that explains that as long as it is not possible for the battery to tip over within the vehicle, it does not have to be removed or disconnected. Nor is it necessary to drain the fuel or the oil... just show up with 1/4 of a tank of fuel or less. It would be a very good idea for those who plan to ship their bike by air to visit the air freight facility a few days ahead of time, ask to have a look at the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations book (every office has a copy), and review the rules for UN 3166 (vehicles) and the packing instructions applicable to vehicles. Do not assume that the person receiving the moto on the day you show up to ship it will be familiar with the rules governing motorcycle shipments!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 21 Mar 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention above:

It is considered to be a really serious offence - on par with impaired driving - to operate a motor vehicle in Ontario without liability insurance. The minimum fine is $5,000, and the vehicle will be impounded immediately, which means it will be towed away from wherever it is on the side of the road at the moment you get stopped.

Vehicle insurance in Ontario is not cheap, this because in addition to the mandatory third party liability insurance, drivers are obliged (by provincial legislation) to carry a certain amount of insurance to look after their medical care, etc. if they are injured in an accident. This rule applies to all vehicles, not just motorcycles.

So, be sure you have your North American insurance in order before you get here. There are only a few companies that write insurance cover for out of country vehicles (tourist vehicles). It is not a common product, and it is certainly not as easy to get coverage for a European bike in Canada as it is to get coverage for a Canadian bike in Europe.

The good news is that once you obtain coverage in any one of the 10 provinces or 50 US states, that coverage is valid in all 10 provinces and all 50 states. Hence you don't have to buy the insurance in Ontario (and therefore you can avoid the obligatory medical coverage).

The insurance company will issue you with what we refer to as a 'pink slip', which is a form that is recognized in all 50 states and all 10 provinces. Insist on getting that pink slip, it is the only thing that the police accept.

Michael
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 21 Mar 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
...Where we fly at Air Canada Cargo - Nothing to New Zealand.
Air Canada does have direct wide-body service between Vancouver and Sydney, Australia. I'm sure that by now, you must have a bridge somewhere between Australia and New Zealand... heck, it's been over 200 years since those two countries got colonized.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 24 Mar 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: kent england
Posts: 11
This is part of the reply i got from motofreight

The special that Air Canada is currently running is based on you dealing directly with them and we would not be involved. It does**include:

*

Dangerous goods preparationDangerous goods certificationCratingCustoms paperwork at originCustoms paperwork at destination

*

It is also worth noting that the prices being advertised by Air Canada from their head offices in Canada are not the rates being offered from London to Canadian airports. Please feel free to get in touch with Air Canada directly to obtain a rate from them. Please be careful to make sure you obtain all of the costs involved, as there may be some unexpected additional charges that you should establish in advance of shipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stubdetoe View Post
Air Canada Motorcycle Shipment Insane deal!

Just got quoted shipment of my bike from Toronto to Heathrow for $1000 Cdn, all in on a pallet in the belly of a wide body Air Canada. If I was to book my flight the cost would drop to $700!! Two weeks ago I was quoted $3250 for the same flight plus about $400 in fees at either end. You can only book 30 days prior to departure, so get your guaranteed quote for the next year sooner than later. Apparently these prices will be in effect for the rest of 2015, and they will soon be adding more destinations world wide.

The outgoing flights must originate from Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver and go to many European and South America destinations, basically wherever AC flys wide body jets for similar rock bottom prices.

These prices can be booked direct with Air Canada Cargo in Toronto, or through one of their forwarding companies that they deal with regularly. I use Roddy Warriner​ at Motofreight in the UK--a fellow GS rider himself--he will treat you fairly and well. If you are shipping into Canada, see him first as he can get you the same deal and handle all the Dangerous Good papers at that end. He can also help with paperwork from North America destinations. He knows his stuff.
This is part of the reply I got from motofreight
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 24 Mar 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: kent england
Posts: 11
That last post is supposed to read "does NOT include" also does not include crating
So the price might not be as good as it looks?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 24 Mar 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
For starters, if you are shipping the bike on a wide-body aircraft, you normally don't need to crate it or palletize it - you just show up at the airport freight terminal with the bike, and the freight handler will tie the bike down inside a ULD (Uniform Load Device), which is like a large aluminum can. Or they will put it on what looks like a gigantic flat aluminum cookie sheet that has the same dimensions as the base of the ULD in the photo below.

The Dangerous Goods paperwork is relatively easy to fill out. What makes the process tricky (for someone who has never filled out DG paperwork before) is that by law, the person receiving the freight and the carrier who is transporting the freight are both prohibited from filling out the DG paperwork for you - you have to complete the forms yourself. But, they can certainly give you the blank forms, and will most likely loan you their office copy of the DG Regulations handbook to enable you to fill out the form yourself.

Best thing to do to put your mind at ease about the crating / palletizing process and the DG paperwork process is to go visit the freight shed (the folks who will accept the shipment) well in advance, and suss things out with them over a coffee.

For what it's worth, I've shipped my motorcycle back and forth from Canada to Europe numerous times, it is generally a pretty simple and trouble-free process. The paperwork is not that difficult to do. But, if you have never done it before, don't expect to simply show up at the airport on the day of departure and toss the keys at the freight agent. Instead, go see the freight agent many weeks ahead of time to find out what the process is, what your responsibilities are, etc.

Michael

Motorcycle in a ULD for shipment from Canada to Europe


Same motorcycle, on a pallet for shipment from Europe to Canada


The pallet (shown above) simply got forked into a ULD
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 24 Mar 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: kent england
Posts: 11
Thanks for that I will email air canada and see what they say
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 24 Mar 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 8
Damn, that is an incredible deal. May have to include London on this year's itinerary.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 25 Mar 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
I'm sure that by now, you must have a bridge somewhere between Australia and New Zealand... heck, it's been over 200 years since those two countries got colonized.
Where is the bridge from Scotland to Europe?
Or Italy to Africa .. etc?

Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11 Apr 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In my car
Posts: 33
There's a tunnel to Britain... Unless you own a bloody train it's ****ing useless!!!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 20 Apr 2015
Globetrotter's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 112
Not applicable for Europe to North America....

This is the answer I got from Air Canada Cargo today on the inquiry for an offer from Europe to North America:
-----------------------------
Good day Claudio,

Thank you for your interest in our Bike promotion.

Unfortunately, The Fly your Bike promotion only applies for reservations originating from North America at the present time. I'm including our Promotion package anyway for your information in case you may want to use our services in North America.

Best Regards,

Serge
---------------------------------------

That's very unfortunate... will have to look around for other options.


Greets

Claudio
__________________
-Challenge your Limits-
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 22 Apr 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London
Posts: 300
Funny that as last week they sent me an email showing capital cities they ship to and from europe to canada.....?

Or am I reading what your saying wrong?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 7 May 2015
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Rijeka, Croatia
Posts: 34
hi everyone!

email AC back and forth and get to the point where price is whit all their charges for the bike approximately 250 kg, (will be weight in prior loading) around 900 cad.

but that DANGEROUS GOODS DECLARATION , which i have been advised to contact james cargo for it, will cost 400 pounds. that was quick quote from the James Cargo guy via phone, 3 hours ago..

and they advise me to fly day later to give them enough time to clear the bike, which is additional cost as bike will stay for a day at the depo, so all together doesn't relay look as a good deal.

flights whit Air Canada are couple hundreds pounds different than skyscanner cheapest, so no much of wining there either...

i know that we can't go free over the pond, but those deals are always kinda more expensive and more hustle than strait to shipping companies...

Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 7 May 2015
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninothedude View Post
...but that DANGEROUS GOODS DECLARATION , which i have been advised to contact james cargo for it, will cost 400 pounds. that was quick quote from the James Cargo guy via phone, 3 hours ago..
Look around for another organization to help you fill out the DGR paperwork. Jeepers, it's nothing more than a one-page form on which you declare that the item being shipped is a "vehicle, flammable liquid powered", and you fill in the correct classification for it, and then sign the bottom declaring that you have packaged it in accordance with the packing instructions provided in the DGR book.

That an organization would charge you £400 to do this is outrageous. The DGR explicitly forbids the air carriers from filling out the form on behalf of the shipper (there are good safety reasons behind this rule), but, heck, all that one needs to do is read the appropriate sections of the IATA DGR book, make sure you comply, then fill out the form.

Michael
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 8 May 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 163
Im currently unable to give the company name but if you r willing to go to the iom tt they have great rate to nz , a few more than from oz
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Miami to Bogota Air Cargo info sought Sun Chaser Trip Transport 8 31 Jul 2016 01:10
Bike arriving in Canada by air. tatters North America 11 5 Sep 2013 04:06
air canada. calgary-sydney??!! wildlands1 Trip Transport 4 29 Jun 2013 19:42
Air freighting to Argentina, the definitive guide srileo Trip Transport 2 20 Oct 2012 03:38
Air Cargo from Ciudad Del Este Paraguay to Miami Armando Broncas Trip Transport 0 1 Jun 2012 21:24

 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

2025:

  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:39.