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Shipping: Japan to USA

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Motoholic, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Motoholic

    Motoholic Been here awhile

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    Oct 5, 2006
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    370
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    Arcadia, CA
    OK, so I've been trying for a month now to find a way to fly two bikes (R1200 GS-Adventure) from Tokyo to Los Angeles, and can't seem to find anyone that does it. :becca Any ideas? This is for two guys on a round-the-world trip, and I'm trying to help them with this part. Thanks for any info!
    #1
  2. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    SoOrange NJ USA
    "...can't seem to find anyone that does it"
    Who have you contacted and what have you been told?

    Have you tried simply calling the Japan Air Lines Cargo office at LAX,
    http://www.jal.co.jp/en/jalcargo/inter/office_int.html,
    http://www.jal.co.jp/en/jalcargo/ar/info/lax_index_info.html
    or
    Are the owner/riders with the bikes in Japan?
    Have they tried the same with JAL in Tokyo/ Narita:
    TOKYO International Cargo Reservation & General information & Export Cargo 03-5460-5747

    If JAL can't/ won't do it, there are many other aircargo services between Tokyo & LA; any good airfreight forwarder/ agent in either city should be able to advise you and make the arrangements.
    #2
  3. Motoholic

    Motoholic Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the reply. I contacted about a dozen bike shipping companies here in the U.S. and was told that none of them do it. Tried a few freight forwarders that have shipped bikes before, but they work exclusively USA-Europe. I was also told by a couple of them that shipping has to be organized in Japan and not here in the U.S., which seems like B.S. to me. I did get in touch with one guy who claims he can do it; I've been exchanging emails with him for a week now and can't get any specifics about the cost, etc., so I'm getting a feeling that he doesn't know what he's doing.

    I did contact JAL cargo here at the LAX; they told me I have to call JAL in Japan. Tried that; can't get through the voice prompts since they are in Japanese.

    Don't know any riders in Japan, otherwise I would have contacted them, so I thought I post here and see if there's anyone that had some experience with this. It's a long shot, but who knows…
    #3
  4. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    Suggestions:
    1. It's not total B.S. that at some level, the shipping "has to be organized" in Japan. You say the bikes are in Japan. Where? With whom? The bikes must be moved from wherever they are currently to a prep location at or near Tokyo/ Narita airport; they must be physically prepped by an agent for airfreight, either by crating or 'shrink-wrap' on an airfreight pallet, draining the gas tank & disconnecting the battery (bikes are "dangerous goods") ; airbill & perhaps Japan Customs export documentation must be prepared; the bikes have to be loaded on a plane (regardless of which airline/ cargo carrier). All that is clearly easier if the owner or a representative is onsite in Japan.

    2. Call JAL/ LAX back. Get them to give you the name and direct Tokyo phone number of an English speaking JAL rep in Tokyo, call or email that specific JAL rep for advice/ arrangements.

    3. If you can't get this level of customer service from JAL/ LAX, a simple Google search on "Japan Tokyo air freight forrwarders:
    http://www.azfreight.com/azworld/aw18405.cfm
    produces several companies with offices in both Tokyo & LA. One example:
    http://www.aifcompany.com/ (or any of several others from the above portal)
    Call their LAX office, explain the issue. They'll either take it from there or tell you what you need to do with their Tokyo office.

    4. You need to be very "patient," specific & detailed in explaining the current situation with the bikes, and in turn understanding what precisely any agent or airline can do for you. Airfreight agents and aircargo personnel are used to dealing with larger scale freight movement. Arranging airfreight of two personal bikes from Japan to the US is an unusal situation for them, particularly with the language and 'systems' differences between Japan & US.

    5. If you haven't already, try Berklay Air Cargo, located NYC/ JFK airport; they specialize in motorcycle air/seafreight worldwide, mostly originating USA/ East Coast but with contacts worldwide: http://www.motoship.com/

    PM me if necessary
    #4
  5. Motoholic

    Motoholic Been here awhile

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    Yes, of course the bikes have to be prepped & packed in Japan... I was just trying to get as much info about it beforehand. Here is the full scoop:

    Two guys from Croatia are leaving on a round-the-world trip August 1, trying to circle the globe in 60 days. They will be in Japan towards the end of August, and from there they need to ship the bikes (and themselves) to Los Angeles. What I'm trying to do is help them as much as possible so they don't waste a lot of time chasing shipping companies in Japan. If they spend two weeks in Tokyo trying to organize transport then that screws up their 60-day plan. So to make long story short, I'm trying to find a reliable company that can give me more info about the costs and that can organize the shipping (including the paperwork involved). This way the guys will have someone to contact once they are in Japan and hopefully complete the process faster than they would otherwise.

    I've done the search on the internet and contacted about 20 companies as of today. Half don't return their calls, the other half either don't do shipments from Asia, or are interested only in large and ongoing shipments. I know there must be someone that does it, hence this thread; I figure someone might have had experience with this and can give me a phone number or email of someone they've used.

    Last year a group of friends from Serbia travelled the similar route (round-the-world, fast) but the shipping was from Korea to the U.S. It was a huge hassle for them, and they were delayed two weeks because the freight forwarder was totally clueless and screwed up the paperwork. They ended up ariving to the U.S. thinking the bikes were already here, but the bikes were still in Korea; imagine dealing with that. I'd like to help these two guys from Croatia avoid that.

    Berklay… I contacted them and they will (hopefully) be helping me with the second part of the journey, which is shipping the bikes from New York to Europe once the guys have completed their tour of the U.S. I asked them about shipping from Japan, but it doesn't seem they can do it.

    I hope this makes sense. Thank again for the suggestions. I'll continue to make calls and will post updates here (I also started a thread on HU).
    #5
  6. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    sent you a PM
    #6
  7. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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    They (and you) should be on HU .. get them to join.. send a message to the local HU community ..

    See http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/

    edit arr you are already - good, not spotted it .. not my 'area' so to speak.

    and take a good long look at the stuff there .. do a search on things .. eg

    Rules for shipping by air - uncreated with fuel etc.
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-transport/2006-rules-shipping-motorcycles-air-21880

    One of the 'rules' is ...never ever leave before your bike leaves .. costs many people lots of $$$$.

    JAL is probably your best bet .. try email? I know it took SAA a week or two to respond to my email .. so it may not be fast. But it did work ..
    #7
  8. doc44

    doc44 Adventurer

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    Jul 4, 2008
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    13
    You could try asking on www.gaijinriders.com
    Someone will probably be able to point you in the right direction.
    #8