Shipping 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.
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.
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.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.