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Trip Transport Shipping the vehicle and yourself.
Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

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Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #1  
Old 11 Jun 2013
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Shipping by truck, East Med to North Europe?

I am planning to ride my DL650 from Finland to either Greece or west/southwest parts of Turkey in May 2014. Due to time constraints, I want to ship my bike back home, and fly back myself, at the end of May. Depending on where I can find the best solution, this shipping could originate from Greece, or western Turkey, or even Bulgaria. End destination would ideally be Helsinki, Finland, but other cities in Finland would be fine as well (or I could also think of picking up the bike in Stockholm, Sweden, or Tallinn, Estonia).

There are some readymade services by truck available these days, and I´m sure they offer good service, but they want too much money, like 700 euros one-way, and I´m just simply not gonna pay anywhere near that money for transport in Europe. At this point, I´m prepared to pay about 200-300 euros total for one-way transport, but could be, that I´m wrong, and I cannot get it at that price, so will end up paying a bit more (but still not 700)! Will be interesting to see, how much I´m gonna have to pay.

The best option for me would probably be to find a company, that operates a truck line between Finland and eastern Mediterranean, and be able to agree with them to put the bike into the truck. I´ve tried to locate such a company from here, but no luck so far. Plenty of lines going to more western parts of Europe, though.

The price thing rules out airfreight. I won´t be in a hurry to receive the bike after the trip, so basically I could also consider seafreight, I just think that a truck would be a much more simple solution for this purpose, if I can find a suitable operator. I could also arrange crating the bike, but would rather avoid that, if I can.

So, anybody ever sent a bike by truck (or by sea) from eastern parts of the Mediterranean to Scandinavia..?
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  #2  
Old 11 Jun 2013
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Hi Pecha:

In the freight business (be it air freight, truck freight, rail freight, the mode does not matter), there are really only two considerations that drive price: One is the mass of the object (i.e. weight in kilograms), the other is what is called 'cubic weight', which means how much space the object takes up.

A motorcycle, being an odd-shaped object, always takes up more space (relative to its weight) than the industry average. In other words, if you draw a box around your motorcycle (total length + total height + total width), you will find that it takes up a heck of a lot more cubic space than what a shipment of Coca-Cola, or cases of paper, or frozen food that weighs the same amount as your motorcycle would take up.

Hence, the price that you were quoted (about 700 Euro) sounds more or less reasonable to me. If you were shipping the moto along a very heavily travelled freight route (e.g. New York to Los Angeles, or Moscow to Frankfurt) - a route that would only involve one transport vehicle, with no movement of your cargo off of one truck and onto another truck at intermediate points - then you might be quoted a lower price. But, Finland to Greece is not exactly a heavily travelled route, your bike will likely need to be transferred from one truck to another several times, and there are costs involved in doing that.

For what it's worth, some years ago I obtained a quote to ship my motorcycle from Toronto to Vancouver (a very heavily travelled route, and one where there is a lot of price competition between freight companies), and the quote was $800. So, what you have been quoted does not seem out of line to me.

I doubt very much if you will ever find a quote in the 200 to 300 Euro range, unless you contact a consolidator who is putting together a 20 or 40 foot container to be shipped between (for example) Helsinki and Athens. But, the problem there is that the motorcycle has fuel and oil in it (even if only in residual amounts), and the consolidator may be reluctant to put a motorcycle in the same container as one that holds clothing, or foodstuffs, or other items that might be adversely affected by a fluid leak or vapours escaping from the motorcycle.

Michael
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Old 12 Jun 2013
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In east meditarrenean area, noone knows what will happen tomorrow..So better to tell you solution available in turkey just a few months before the shipment.May-2014)

Lets keep in touch...

All the best.
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  #4  
Old 12 Jun 2013
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ok, thanks. I should have mentioned, that I have shipped my bike by air and by sea before. Actually that is why I´m refusing to pay 700 euros for a truck service across Europe – I payed exactly that much to transport this very same bike by sea from Australia to Finland. Granted it was 5 years ago, but it´s about 15000 kilometers, and this is about 2500-3000 kms. 5 years ago my shipping was to the EU from outside EU, with the carnet used for temp import to Oz, and depending on route, my 2014 shipping could be fully inside the EU, so clearing and paperwork cannot be that bad.

I do understand, that when you send by sea, most of your money goes elsewhere than for the actual ship to move across the sea, and that it might make surprisingly little difference, if the sea route is long or short. I also understand, that freight costs will differ, and prices go up. But I cannot get it in my head, that it would now cost the same from Greece to here, than it cost from Oz to here 5 years ago!! It´s not like I could not pay 700 to do this, it´s just that I won´t. In that case I´d rather try to store the bike somewhere, and return after a few months to ride it back home.

And for 700 euros you get a service, where you can ride your bike into one truck terminal, and then ride it out from another terminal, and you do not have to worry about basically anything, no dismantling of the bike, except maybe panniers and windscreen. Those companies are in the business to make money. So certainly the sending part itself does not cost 700 euros, but if I don´t use a readymade service, then I have to be prepared to do some things myself, and that is fine. And as an individual person, who is just sending one bike once, I might not get the freight as cheap as a company, who do this regularly.

But although I´ve done this before, I´m by no means an expert on shipping. In fact I´m sure, that I will learn a lot of new things, when trying to sort this out. But luckily it´s just a holiday plan, so no need to sweat over it, and I´ve still got plenty of time to try to find the right connection.
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Old 13 Jun 2013
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Pecha:

I think you are missing the point I was trying to make, which is that to move an object from Finland to Greece, it's not simply "into the transport vehicle - make the journey - remove from transport vehicle". The object (your moto) will likely need to be transferred several times enroute, and I think that is what is driving up the price you have been quoted.

I have also shipped my moto intercontinentally in the past - both by air and by sea - and in each case, it was a very simple shipment: Into the aircraft (or boat), and then off the same aircraft (or boat) at the other end.

I doubt very much if you will be able to find a truck that is travelling all the way from Finland to Greece. Also, consider that because a truck has a smaller cargo capacity than an aircraft or ship, the cost per kilogram-mile will be proportionately higher.

Michael
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  #6  
Old 13 Jun 2013
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You´re right about transferring from one truck to another would make things more complicated and costly.

But I don´t think it is impossible at all, that there are some “non-stop” truck connections going all the way from eastern Mediterranean to Finland. There are certainly several truck lines going between Spain and Finland, for example, and that´s further away. My friend used to drive a truck from here to south of Spain for years, and a few exceptions aside, he usually did not load/unload the truck anywhere along the way. I believe the companies, who offer those readymade services for bike transport, mostly use ´direct´ truck lines as well.

I´m also thinking, if there could be a chance to get to talk to the actual driver of the truck, and see if he has space in the truck, and might agree to take the bike. I´ve done this a couple of times, but only here in Finland. And of course it may be not possible to know about something like this, until I´m actually there, and of course the truck will have to go the whole route inside the EU, or it becomes a whole different ballgame. Another issue is, that if the bike goes like that (sort of “unofficial” way), then I really need to trust that driver. Luckily the bike isn´t worth too much, so who knows, I might give that a try....

.....By the way: does it not sound a bit odd to you, that you are able to transport the bike literally half-way around the planet by sea for 700 euros (..Ok, five years ago, so that same service would probably cost, let´s say 900-1100 nowadays), but on the other hand, you´d now have to pay 700 euros just to transport the thing by truck across Europe? Sea shipment was about 5-6 times longer in distance, and it also involved clearing customs at the sending end, as well as entering the EU area at the other end. So the paperwork was much more complicated (there is close to zero paperwork, when you send inside the EU a vehicle registered in the EU, and it gets done all the time).

I know, that it´s not 100% comparable, different year, modes of transport, etc. But it still baffles me. So this is why I want to find out, how much I´m actually gonna have to pay for this, if I´m willing to DIY what I can. And if the truck option appears not feasible, then I´m probably gonna look into the sea-option, too.
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
You´re right about transferring from one truck to another would make things more complicated and costly.

But I don´t think it is impossible at all, that there are some “non-stop” truck connections going all the way from eastern Mediterranean to Finland. There are certainly several truck lines going between Spain and Finland, for example, and that´s further away. My friend used to drive a truck from here to south of Spain for years, and a few exceptions aside, he usually did not load/unload the truck anywhere along the way. I believe the companies, who offer those readymade services for bike transport, mostly use ´direct´ truck lines as well.

I´m also thinking, if there could be a chance to get to talk to the actual driver of the truck, and see if he has space in the truck, and might agree to take the bike. I´ve done this a couple of times, but only here in Finland. And of course it may be not possible to know about something like this, until I´m actually there, and of course the truck will have to go the whole route inside the EU, or it becomes a whole different ballgame. Another issue is, that if the bike goes like that (sort of “unofficial” way), then I really need to trust that driver. Luckily the bike isn´t worth too much, so who knows, I might give that a try....

.....By the way: does it not sound a bit odd to you, that you are able to transport the bike literally half-way around the planet by sea for 700 euros (..Ok, five years ago, so that same service would probably cost, let´s say 900-1100 nowadays), but on the other hand, you´d now have to pay 700 euros just to transport the thing by truck across Europe? Sea shipment was about 5-6 times longer in distance, and it also involved clearing customs at the sending end, as well as entering the EU area at the other end. So the paperwork was much more complicated (there is close to zero paperwork, when you send inside the EU a vehicle registered in the EU, and it gets done all the time).

I know, that it´s not 100% comparable, different year, modes of transport, etc. But it still baffles me. So this is why I want to find out, how much I´m actually gonna have to pay for this, if I´m willing to DIY what I can. And if the truck option appears not feasible, then I´m probably gonna look into the sea-option, too.
FYI:
BBC News - New bridge opening on River Danube

"From Piraeus to Hamburg
Route 1: Greece-Macedonia-Serbia-Croatia-Slovenia-Austria-Germany: 2,641km; cost for a 20-tonne lorry: 580 euros
Route 2: Greece-Bulgaria -(Ruse-Giurgiu bridge) Romania - Hungary - Slovakia - Czech Republic - Germany: 3,157km; cost for a 20-tonne lorry: 500 euros
Route 3: Greece-Bulgaria- (new Vidin-Calafat bridge) Romania-Hungary-Slovakia-Czech Republic-Germany: 2,780km; cost for a 20-tonne lorry: 460 euros
Calculations refer to a trip from the Greek port of Piraeus to the German port of Hamburg. Costs include road tolls and fuel, but not waiting. Source: Fanty-G Transport"

(Of course, assuming these estimates are accurate, it's a 'full-truck' load cost)
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Old 11 Jul 2013
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I would gladly ride it to Finland if you cover the petrol and tolls.
I have a friend there and I also would like to check out Greece.
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Old 12 Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by wheatwhacker View Post
I would gladly ride it to Finland if you cover the petrol and tolls.
I have a friend there and I also would like to check out Greece.
Thanks for the offer, but I´m confident I´m gonna find a suitable transport, and now also looking into an option of keeping it there over winter, and return next year to do the trip backwards.
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Old 18 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
Thanks for the offer, but I´m confident I´m gonna find a suitable transport, and now also looking into an option of keeping it there over winter, and return next year to do the trip backwards.
I like your idea of the return trip. Leaving your bike behind gives you an excuse (if you need one ) to return and continue your travels. I've left one bike in the UK and another in Alaska, so I'm forced to return. Well, that's how I explain it to my bamboozled wife.
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