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How to Ship a Motorcycle Overseas

A motorcycle is among the easiest and cheapest type of vehicle to ship, which also holds true for shipping overseas. That said, there are some additional steps involved when shipping to another country. In this article, we’ll review the process and options for transporting a bike to another country. If you follow the tips and advice listed below, you’ll be able to save money and make the process as simple and easy as possible.

How To Ship A Motorcycle International

Overseas Motorcycle Delivery Options

The two main options that you'll have when shipping a motorcycle overseas are:

  • Port-to-port shipping


  • Door-to-door shipping.

If you choose port-to-port shipping, you will have to bring your motorcycle to an agreed upon shipping port in order for the auto transport company to ship it to the destination port overseas. Once it reaches its overseas port, you will have to pick it up through your own means and take it the rest of the way. Arrangements can be made to have it shipped to the port nearest the ultimate destination so that the final leg of the trip is as short as possible.

Door-to-door shipping is the more expensive option but is also much more convenient. Your motorcycle can be picked up from your front door or a location nearby, and once it reaches its destination port, it will be transported to the address that you provide. While the cost is slightly higher, door-to-door motorcycle shipping eliminates the need for you to pick it up and handle the final leg of the journey yourself. It provides the ultimate in convenience and is a service that is favored by our customers that ship classic and high-end bikes.

In deciding between which of the two options to go with, you need to factor in where it's being shipped overseas, as well as whether or not you live near a major port. If you live in the middle of the United States, for example, it would not be practical for you to drive it all the way to a shipping port yourself, in which case door-to-door transport makes more sense.

Furthermore, if your country abroad is landlocked, such as the countries in Central Asia, driving all the way to the shipping port in another country to pick it up can also be a time consuming process.

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International Motorcycle Shipping Methods

As far as the actual shipping process is concerned, you will be able to choose from a few different types of transport methods:

  • Container shipping
  • Roll on / Roll off shipping (RoRo)
  • Air freight
  • Crated transport

Container shipping makes more sense if you're shipping multiple motorcycles or want to also ship some personal items with the bike. Your motorcycle (or motorcycles) will be placed in a private shipping container and secured for transport, which is then loaded onto a ship. One of the methods for securing the motorcycle during containerized shipping is to crate the bike. During crated transport, the bike is strapped down securely to a wooden pallet, which is then fixed to the sides and floor of the container. Alternatively, some containers are outfitted with special tie downs so that the bike can be held in place without the use of crating.

Roll on/roll off shipping is an affordable method of shipping that involves strapping down the bike in a storage unit of a transport ship. For this type of shipping, the motorcycle is “rolled on” to the ship, fixed in place in the cargo area, and then “rolled off” when it reaches its destination. Roll on/roll off shipping is also referred to by the acronym “RORO,” and is one of the most common methods for transporting a bike overseas.

Air freight is another option and more or less mirrors the process of RORO shipping, with the exception that it’s done on an airplane. It should come as no surprise that this is much more expensive than other methods, but it’s also the fastest way to transport a motorcycle to another country.

Required Documents For Overseas Transport

The documents that you will need is dependent on the country that you're shipping to, but in general, you will need the following:

  • Certificate of Sale;
  • Bill of Sale;
  • Copy of Passport;
  • Copy of Driver's License;
  • Letter of Permission from Lien Holder (if the motorcycle is leased).

Overseas Motorcycle Resources

International Motorcycle Shipping - Looking for more information about shipping a motorcycle overseas? Our international shipping page explains the details and process.

Best Motorcycle Roads In The World - If you’re unsure of where your next international biking adventure should take you, this article has the answers! It includes 20 of the best roads to ride from around the world.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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