I need to ship my motorcycle. What do I need to do?
Normally around this time of the year we start to get calls about shipping a motorcycle as folks are planning their vacations and motorcycle adventures.
To be honest, I enjoy receiving these motorcycle inquiry calls because it always had to do with someone either visiting our beautiful country and now returning back home or they will be traveling to a beautiful destination and need to ship their bike. It gives me a chance to chat with them about their travels, too! Which is exciting, as I am a world traveler myself. I thoroughly enjoy speaking to them about their travels and adventures before I get into discussing the “exciting” world of shipping dangerous goods.
Here’s All that is Involved with Shipping a Bike:
We can help you! It is a simple procedure and it involves very little stress.
1. You will need to complete the “Motorcycle Declaration Form”
This can be completely electronically in the comfort of your home. This form can be downloaded here (Kel-Ex Vancouver) or here (ICC Repacking). It’s a simple document which gives us the details of your bike (i.e., shipper and consignee address, how it will be packaged, weight, confirmation that the fuel tank will be drained to less than ¼ tank upon drop off). In most cases motorcycles are dropped off “as is” meaning you can just ride your bike to the airline cargo depot and the airline will take care of loading and securing your bike for transport.
2. Prohibited Items
Included within this declaration form is a “Prohibited Items Declaration Form”, which lists items which are/may be prohibited to include with your bike. Some folks tend to include a saddle bag to accompany their bike, but we want to ensure you are aware of certain commodities which may be considered prohibited for cargo transport (i.e., equipment containing lithium batteries, camping gear, money). We suggest contacting the airline directly to confirm what you can include with your bike.
3. Email Us
Email us the completed form and we will generate the dangerous goods document which is what you need to ship your bike. Either you can pick up the dangerous goods document from our office or we can scan and email you a copy; however, if you choose to receive an email copy you will need to print out 3 colored copies. Colored being the key word.
4. Packaging and Labels
If your bike isn’t packaged meaning it isn’t crated or boxed, no labels or markings are required; however, if it is packaged then we will provide the labels and markings and will provide directions on how to apply the labels and markings.
5. Other Info
We don’t need to see your bike in person. As long as you truthfully complete the declaration form and sign off, this whole process can be completed without you ever visiting us. Remember: the airline that has the final say.
6. Return Trips
If you plan on returning with your bike we have a solution for that, too. We can complete the return document for you, too. It costs a bit more and you will have to complete another section on the form but at least that’s one less worry on your return trip.
The final step, we can’t assist with is customs. We strongly advise to our motorcycle shippers that they try to contact the customs department in the departing and arrival countries ahead of time. Figure out what you need to do to ship your bike. The dangerous goods side, we got you covered but it’s customs that can give you grievance before your motorcycle adventure begins and/or ends.
Other than that, bon voyage!