Shipping Across Darien Gap: Discuss

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Charles Seguin, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. chrisf14

    chrisf14 Been here awhile

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    This info is great and I saved it for my way back. I have a time issue on this trip. Would anybody have any info on a boat from western Costa Rica to Equador. I'm short on time and find the Panama cops a little bit of a pain when it comes to speed. (Sorry if this is off topic.)
    #41
  2. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I'll be on the Stahlratte chillin in San Blas drinking a cuba libre while you guys discuss the air shipping. :bubba
    #42
  3. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :lol3 :freaky
    #43
  4. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Mr. Crashmaster (Vince I think) and Mr. Markhaf,

    It is not my intention to make a case here about a shipping cost from Bogota to Panama or vice versa. I am really trying here to clear everybodies mind and protect Girag business and my business in particular among all speculations being said. I am architect by profession and I do logistics around the world for the bike community. I am not an agent, not a forwarder but again yes I give a service to hundred of souls to facilitate their adventure and not having the hussle for them trying finding ways to ship, beside the language barrier problems in Latin America.
    I get for them the best shipping rates in the market, the best service as possible , covering all those little details and a good advice for them and their pockets.

    Not everybody write a RR on ADV or the HUBB, not everybody have the time to read these forums and plan ahead. Hundred of travellers look for advice and guidance, logistics and way to do their journey more pleasant. Either you are in a Van, bike or flying. There are different ways to be transported and a good advice is always better. Taking somebody's vehicle from New Jersey to Fremantle Australia is not easy for anybody.

    After I publish the cost here , what I am considering a little reservation and with some permission of GIRAG seriously I am going to call them and explain what I did, just for the sake of protecting them for further speculations and stubborn people that keep hammering a fix obsolete cost.

    Shipping is the same that buying a plane ticket, you must shop around, air fares change day to day, month to month. Shipping is not so volatile but change. Rates are giving only for 30 days and 15 days in most of the L.A. countries.

    Again be advised everybody, it is recommendable to contact in advance any agency to get the latest rate whenever you want to ship. Rates change daily as well as schedules.
    Ship ports are sometimes diverted or canceled because of low cargo traffic. Same as Air Cargo.

    As an example and to finalize the speculations, this the quote from Girag released to me last week (not 3 or 4 weeks ago). There is any agent charges on this quote, not a markup from me or others. This is what ny client paid and take as realistic and fresh.

    I am also including what my clients answered after his experience with the transport and customs issues on both sides.
    Be noted, 2 bikes were shipped (Father and Son) and one (1) Airwaybill, recommended by me in order to save cost over duplication.

    Yes, both have to wait for the dogs (4hrs) at Bogota airport for the police antinarcotics inspection, Flight left Sunday 4:30 am and arrived at 5:30 am in Panama (5/29/2011).
    Panama Customs doesn't work Sundays but they retrieved the bikes on Monday very fast as they confirmed to me. The charges were $3.00 fumigation and no AMS charges by the cargo airline in Panama whatsoever. Most probably it was included in the whole cost by Girag.

    As far we were adviced (by GIRAG), only Tuesday and Sunday flights were available for last and this present week from Bogota to Panama.

    Here I am including the facts:

    Documents needed:

    4 passport copies
    4 title or registration copies
    4 visa entry copies
    4 temporary permit for the vehicle copies
    2 bike inventory list copies (if you like to be included)


    Once in the shipper office (they will provide forms in office):

    Letter of responsibility for Police
    Letter of Airline responsibility
    Original form for warehouse


    Girag quote 5/24/2011

    US$600 +DGR +100 + DUE CARRIER US25 es decir un total de 725usd; Tenemos vuelos de martes a domingo saliendo a las 04:00 AM.

    Total $725

    DGR=Dangerous Good

    Father & son bikes paid and said 5/30/2011:

    Hi Gaston,
    The bikes (we saw them at Girag) and ourselves are in Panama City now. . All went well on Friday except for a 4 hour wait for the sniffer police dog to arrive. Otherwise he whole procedure including police visual inspection and paperwork was no more than 2 hours. Girag staff.

    .....The collection of the bikes this AM went smoothly. The only charge was $USD3.00/bike for fumigation. Girag did not charge anything to release the bikes and, of course the temporary permits were free of charge. For future reference Girag and the aduana hours at the cargo terminal are 8:00 to 4:30PM weekdays and 8:00 - 12:00 noon on Saturdays.


    Remember these couple of guys were coming from Ecuador at the time I was contacted. From then on, we start looking for options not only air but maritime too.
    I've seen people stuck in one place for a week trying to get a way to ship. Is there when a good advice and plan ahead work , saving you money on hotels, meals and desperation.

    I think Crashmaster is very noble on giving tips and costs , good for that but , that's not the Bible to carry on. If anybody ask me now, how much it would be ot air ship a bike from Bogota ot Panama today....I must say between the $700 - 800 bucks. That is an average and the way to work for others.

    Thanks
    #44
  5. Mujeriego

    Mujeriego Adventurer

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    1. Cargo ships out of Colon prohibit passengers. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I spoke personnally to the Captains of 6-8 vessels including the Yicel, Don Juanez, Intrepid, Girar Sol to name a few. Each said that in the last year thier respective owners or companies implemented new rules which prohibit the tranpsort of any passengers. Supposedly these rules were adopted due to increased percieved risk of kidnapping or robbing of passengers by Colombians upon arrival in the ports of Northern Colombia. I offered bribes of up to $200 and there was no budging. I approached some captains requesting work as a ship-hand. No success. I speak spanish fluently and have lived or traveled in Latin America for 4 years. I am also a lawyer in the USA. I wish all of you the best of luck in proving me wrong, but it appears that Colon shipping vessels are no longer an option. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    2. Girag quoted me 901.25 to air ship a bike from Panama City to Bogota. It will arrive at 8AM the day after you put it in. The cheapest ticket on Kayak.com from Panama City to Bogota is $327.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    3. Portobelo and Miramar did not have any sailboats or tourist boats available this week. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Captain Jack's Hostel in Portobelo said that the sailboats were not attracting enough passengers or motorcyclists at this time. He did say that the sailboat "wildcard" recently made a direct trip from Cartegena to Portobelo with 7 motorcycles, but he said this was a pre-arranged 1-time trip. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I personnally visited the Docks of Miramar, and spoke with the Policia Nacional who worked the coastline from Colombia to Colon. There were no boats available at this time. The supply boats were too laden with cargo to carry any additional motorcycle. Even if the Captains agreed to make room for a bike and passenger, the supply boats from Miramar make numerous stops along the Panamanian Coast before reaching the Panamanian-Colombian border, and you still have to get a smaller second boat to reach Turbo. These trips can take from 9-14 days. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    In sum, I'm going to take a shot tommorow morning at a boat in Colon who has a Captain who is about to retire and doesn't give a damn about rules. If that doesn't work, I'm headed to Carti. If no luck there, I'm either selling the KLR-650 or riding bike. I had a great time in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. I am not going to pay 1300 bucks to ship a bike that I bought for 2800. If anyone has any concrete ideas please let me know.

    Good Luck<o:p></o:p>
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    #45
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Check SteelRat's website, some of the sailboats leave out of Carti if the Kuna toll road is open back to the South of Panama.
    #46
  7. snohobo

    snohobo Supermoto hippy

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    It's open - Fritz the cat has been sailing in and out of Carti for a few months now.

    Actually you just missed him - he sailed off on June 6th for Colombia.
    #47
  8. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    The best option for you right now is RoRo from Manzanillo to Cartagena. If you want to go there., because there are other options to Buenaventura and Guayaquil too.
    #48
  9. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    :lol3
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  10. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :lol3 :rofl :lol3 :1drink
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  11. deanosky

    deanosky Adventurer

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    I know this has been talked about over and over and over, but i am interested in looking for the other options that are out there either going to colon to look for some one/boat, or going the pacific side!!!!!!

    I am in panama city now heading to colombia!!! anyone near by want to search for a cheaper alternative together, safety in number i guess!!! Keep hearing stories of people doing it cheaper but i am yet to meet anyone or get any concrete evidence!!!!!
    #51
  12. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Well my friend, you have 3 options, either you sail in a bare boat at your risk and informal way of doing things, or you ship in a ship or you fly the bike.

    The budget in crescendo, swimming or shipping your stuff , it is that simple. The smart way to do it is shipping as far you can for the same price.

    Panama to Colombia is expensive by all means. For that cost you could go as far as Peru or Ecuador or Brazil may be.

    The is always a choice!
    #52
  13. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    RoRo guys , yes RoRo and no crating
    #53
  14. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    The rest of the year up to August
    #54
  15. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    From S.America to N. America

    In addition from the West coast to S.America via Manzanillo PANAMA
    Departure dates:
    Tacoma WA, June 27, July 21, July 25, Aug 20
    Long Beach CA, June 1, June 13, July 1, July 6, July 13, July 25, Aug 5, Aug 12, Aug 24
    #55
  16. Mujeriego

    Mujeriego Adventurer

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    you might catch a ¨lanchita rappida¨ from the puerto terminal in carti (it´s the at the end of the road from chepo.) I negotiated a rate of 200 bucks for the bike and myself to Puerto Valdia. However, I have to be back at work in 3 weeks, though, so I cut the trip short. The most honest of the lancha rappida workers that I met is Juan Gomez, email jgomezosorio@yahoo.com. phone 6060-9104. He only speaks spanish.

    I also heard from serveral captains that the Raya Miguel is going to be in Carti tommmorow and makes the trip in 2 to 3 days. I just missed the Algomera by about 2 hours which also makes the trip rapidly. There are plenty of slow ¨mercancia¨or coconut boats that make the trip snail-slow. If you have 3 weeks to burn, take a shot at one of those, and 120 bucks will probably get you there. Maybe 150. I suggest that you do not go to the islands, but embark a boat on the mainland at Carti. The selection of boats is greater there. The shore is loaded with hustlers, but safe.

    FYI, the highway from Chepo to Carti is good asphalt, even a road king could drive it. Take cash from Panama, though. No ATMs until Turbo according to locals. I think 400 to 500 should get you to Cartegena.

    Good Luck, you´ll need it.
    #56
  17. Archimedes

    Archimedes Adventure Researcher

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    Ever see what a $15k motorbike looks like as it dips into a salty wave on the front end of a 48 foot sail boat.:rofl
    Take the Stallratte or fly it, some things should not be done on the cheap.:lol3 IMO.
    #57
  18. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    I like the sound of a Road King making it the road comment! Oye Gaston hermano donde estar la repuesta a mi preguntar? Te voy llamar para joderte un poco manana! LOL!
    #58
  19. Lilbloody

    Lilbloody Adventurer

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    Hello there folks.

    My name is Heather.. I am riding south, in Mexico, expecting to land in Panama at the end of May or early June. Ferry Xpress is now finished, the Stahlratte is doing big Caribbean cruises over the summer (i.e. no Panama/Colombia runs), and flying the bike sounds difficult, much more expensive, and damned unadventurous..

    ..so I was wondering.. have any of you had experience with these guys or know anyone who has?

    http://independence-ms.com

    It's a much smaller boat, and it's not cheap, but it looks as though they may be fairly well set up to handle bike transport. Would love to get any second opinions though, if there are any.. haven't found any other current threads on this topic outside the one about our sadly departed ferry..

    Cheers

    http://thefrighteningandbeautiful.blogspot.mx
    https://www.facebook.com/TheFrighteningAndBeautiful
    #59
  20. OK Lucinda

    OK Lucinda n00b

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    Fantastic moto-related tapestries on your blog and video. If you get some exposure in the community for work of that quality and originality you'll do very well, IMO.
    #60