Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shipping the bike

After a slightly concerning end to the prologue trip the bike got a new tube along with it's first service the next day. The week passed and Friday finally came when the first major hurdle was to be tackled, shipping the bike. I have found getting myself from country to country easy enough, but a bike is classified as a dangerous good and a whole minefield of paperwork must be overcome.

So after collecting a KLR650 shipping frame from the store i bought the bike from (for free) I proceeded to knock the bike down and pack it into the frame and bolt it all together. Getting to this point took an extra hour than planned, stress began to set in. Would I be able to get the bike packed into the frame and to the airport before the dangerous goods certification office closed at 5pm?

Luckily the packing went smoother than anticipated and Dad & I then loaded the bike into the trailer and headed to Mascot, arriving at the dangerous goods office with about half an hour to spare. The dangerous goods certification document turned out to be a very easy process and with Part 1 complete we then drove around the corner to the Qantas Freight Terminal for Part 2.

At the Qantas Freight counter i was politely informed that
a. i didn't have a proper booking
b. my dangerous goods certification did not have the correct description on it
c. i had not made an appointment with Customs to do an examination required for sign off on my carnet

My heart sank...

Thankfully the lady behind the desk was super helpful and was able to
- make a booking on the spot (bike now travels the 21st August)
- she also arranged to have my dangerous good certificate fixed

But I had to organise part c. myself. This involved running over to Customs House (well walk briskly, running through the Intl. Terminal car park may attract a raised eyebrow from security) and explain i was looking for someone from Customs to sign off my 4:30pm on Friday afternoon...the odds weren't in my favor.

Even though i was clearly stressed, I was able to speak to a customs agent pretty much straight away and she was nice enough to agree to do the examination as her last job of the day on her way home.

After an examination and interview back at the freight terminal with the customs girl my carnet was signed off and all the extra gear i wanted on the shipment x-rayed and approved to be consolidated with my shipment. I bid the customs girl farewell and offered to take her out for a beer, at which point i was informed she was busy tonight and that this may also be considered a bribe...

Feeling somewhat amused after flirting with the customs girl I focused back on the task at hand. With all documentation now in place i packed all the extra stuff into the frame and did final checks. This took a while but with all the major hurdles crossed i now just had to avoid being wiped out by the forklift drivers at the freight terminal who were busy preparing all the freight for flights the next day.

The bike is now weighed in and I pay for the consignment. Final cost was half as much as i was quoted by a freight forwarder and I feel a huge sense of satisfaction and relief that one of the hardest parts of the preparation is now finished.

Bike packed and ready for final weigh in
Final weigh in at 276kg
(but was only charged for 240kg thanks to a really cool forklift driver convincing the girl handling my paperwork that the extra pallet he used weighed like 35kg, yeh right! try more like 10kg.)

1 comment:

  1. A cool demonstration. Who would have thought really, you know, the contraptions that you can utilize and integrate into this process of packing? Especially when it comes to the shipping of motorcycles, with all its bits and pieces in tow. The next problem now is which freight mechanism to choose to handle these support structures, so to speak.

    Pedro @ Orbit