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Shipping from Bangkok to Amsterdam Part I

My last shipment from the USA to Bangkok went horribly.  I have notes from it and still need to do a write up.  Mostly so I can show other people who NOT to ship a bike and who not to use.

After my last time by going by sea, this time I’m using air freight.  So far it is going a little better, but we’ll not know until I actually get my bike in Amsterdam, since I really like to travel around in this city, since this is one of the safest cities in the world.  I’ve been working with TAC.  I found them online at random but apparently it is the only place listed on Horizons Unlimited so alot of bikers use them.  My experience with presales is OK.  The lady I’m working with, Kittima, writes English very well and speaks well enough to talk on the phone.  All the quotes seem to charge about the same per KG or volume, but can differ slightly in the paperwork prices.  TAC was a little bit higher in paperwork, but since I have 2 other friends who are shipping bikes with them now, I decided to go with them. The international shipping company also function this way with a few more procedures.

Last Friday, I was told to bring my bike to the airport warehouse for crating.  So today I braved the 1.25 hour drive through crazy Bangkok traffic to get there.  Unfortunately there was a huge miscommunication and all they wanted to do was measure my bike for crating.  I thought that my bike would on a plane tomorrow!  Good thing I didn’t buy my ticket yet.

The warehouse was great.  I know I’m supposed to have am empty tank every time I transport the bike. Usually I just try to keep it low and say it is empty.  But this time I have a transparent tank, so there was no way of hiding the fuel when it was sloshing around in plain sight.

I get to the warehouse and the guys at the warehouse talk to me and I try to talk to them back in ThaiDave (which is nearly useless).  I communicate to them that all the content of my tank are for sale at a steal of a deal of 10 Baht per liter when regular price is 35 or so.  A parking lot formed around my motorcycle inside the warehouse.  All the warehouse guys were crowded around me as I broke out my 2 siphon tubes.

While it was once only goods destined for faraway places, the warehouse was now full of scooters and gas containers

While it was once only goods destined for faraway places, the warehouse was now full of scooters and gas containers

Eventually the crate measuring guy showed up and I had to shew everyone away for a bit even though there was still fuel remaining in the tank.  One guy tried to get the gas out a little faster by blowing into the tank.

One of the warehouse guys is blowing into the tank to make the gas flow faster

One of the warehouse guys is blowing into the tank to make the gas flow faster

The crating guy and I measured the bike.  I took of the front fender, the mirrors, and the front wheel to reduce the volume as much as possible.  We started negotiating the crate price.  He started at 7,500 baht ($247 USD) and I counted to 6,000 baht ($198 USD).  I countered too high.  He took 6,000 baht.  Oh well, I should have tried 5000.  It still seems like a good deal to me.  The wood they use is all new and has the treated/fumigated stamp necessary for shipping.

The next hurdle is paying.  I wrongly assumed that I could pay by bank transfer before picking up the bike like in the USA.  Here in Thailand, they want money before service.  She’s trying to get me to show up at her office with the approximately $2,000 USD (in baht!) that I need to get the bike air freighted to Amsterdam.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  I might have the cash but I really wanted to save it for an emergency.  I’m not sure if this qualifies.  It’ll just mean that I spend more time in Thailand.  Now that’d be painful.

I’m still planning on catching up with the entries that I have half-done.  I did some great riding through Laos and Cambodia that I want to write about.  I just need time!

I spent quite a bit of time the last few months working.  You can check out the sites I did for Phil over in Chiang Mai.  He has a Biker Bar called Rider’s Corner, and is selling a GPS MAP for Laos.  If you want some web work done, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m desperate for work!  I’d like to not go home broke.



    Great to read about your Tom Sawyer experiences GLS

  2. […] Total cost was 150 Euro. I did a write up on the entire shipping process from start to finish: Shipping from Bangkok to Amsterdam Part I – daveg travels Shipping from Bangkok to Amsterdam Part II – daveg travels Shipping from Bangkok to […]

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