TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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The Perils of Bike Shipping Part II

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 22, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

After yesterdays disaster I had asked to get an early start today, apparently 7am is too early for MrT(Mr Tserendug from Air Cargo Mongolia), but we agreed on 8am. He was a bit late, but in the end we did get to the bike around 9am. On the way he was very smooth and wanted to take me on a tourist ride but I was not inclined that way, and told him my goal today is the bike. I also mentioned that maybe I could get a discount, maybe 10% off the price as there was a stuff up with his service. That went down like a lead balloon, LOL. The guard dog was impressive and looked large and menacing, not bad until he went ape at the kid in the next door window who was stirring him up, and spilled the bucket of petrol which was not sealed, no damage done though!!

But, they still had not built the pallet, so by the time that was done another 2 hours had gone by, I was very unimpressed. The battery drill was not charged fully, they did not have enough screws, all this took time while they went and got stuff! They did not have enough straps, the bubble wrap was not there like I was promised. It seems that MrT did not want to use the pallets from yesterday as they were a tad old and dried out, so we had to wait while newer ones arrived. He had told us last week that the pallets are heat treated, well yes, by the sun I reckon, but that is all. I may be a bit unkind in saying that but that is what he claimed. Anyway, once the pallet was made, to the right length this time, I could actually do something. So, the bike goes on the pallet, the front wheel comes off and over the next few hours I strap it down, and slowly dismantle and pack all the gear so that it fits. Once all that gets sorted it is time to wrap it in plastic. This is only the first wrap, they still have to build a frame around the whole lot, but they can do that.

While I was taking off the top box I noticed a bad thing, the rear bottom welded seam had cracked, that would explain why I had wet bits occasionally 😦

But, I guess it was caused by the fact it was not supported in that area, so I may have to think about a redesign.

It was now 1pm and the job was done, finally 🙂 MrT had been down and bought some beer to celebrate(or sweeten me up as I had not forgotten the discount, I mentioned it a few times 🙂 ) Because the job was done, we could relax and now I could become a tourist, so they(MrT and his brother who was driving) then took me along some back tracks to a tourist site which is the highest point in Ulan Batar, although it is looked down on by the surrounding mountains. The view was OK but the construction around the joint spoilt it a bit. The eagle was cute 😉

So, after this we grabbed a few more beers and he took me back to the Oasis. On the way he gave me a bottle of vodka, I think as another sweetener, but I still mentioned the 10% discount( I later found out it was the cheapest vodka around, I had been drinking the top shelf stuff). This discount never eventuated, but what I did get was my bonded storage for free, and I could keep another 2 weeks of free storage up my sleeve to be used by me or someone else. In the end I was just happy to get the bike sorted, I think I was dudded by a day. Would I use this chap again, maybe. He is more interested in importing cargo than exporting, this bike stuff is all beer money to him and the service I received reflects that at this time. In fairness to him, he is only just starting out, but practising on me is a no no, I don’t need the drama!! I did advise him to get a bit more professional, get the crates pre-built and have some in stock, get a Credit card machine to save all those extra hours playing with banks, and try and do one bike per day, because it takes too long with multiple bikes. Mind you, if the crates were there, and the credit machine was there, then it would probably run a lot smoother anyway.

OK, the above was written during the packing process. I have now received my bike in Bangkok, so the rest of the saga can be told. There were major paperwork issues with the sending of the bikes, I won’t go into details here, but once again, the service was less than professional. MrT will have to pick up his game, he is the cheapest apparently, but that will work against him if each shipment has dramas. One of my major complaints is that he is the professional in the shipping business, yet I was asked to supply details of which I have no knowledge, that is an area where he should be advising me. Another major point of contention is the initial information about when the bike is to arrive. Example, Lorraine specifically told him that she was arriving in Bangkok on the 30th September and wanted the bike there and ready for pick up the next day. What actually happened was the bike did not leave until then, the 30th and by the time it flew to Bangkok and was allowed to be processed through customs, it was the 3rd October!!! This pissed off Lorraine royally. Because I was tracking Neil’s bike which had been shipped(and stalled for a week) I was really on the ball and after many, many emails between MrT and an agent down here in Bangkok I did arrange my own flight and my bikes so I could access it the next day after I arrived. Neil waited a week, Lorraine waited 3 days, her bike was on the same flight as mine. Iain had been the first one and he also had to wait which I knew he was annoyed about, but he is off the net so I have no more information than that.

Cheers from Ulan Batar, Mongolia
TravellingStrom

2 Responses to “The Perils of Bike Shipping Part II”

  1. hi Rich,the bike looks different packed than when it left with Quantas,
    can you remember roughly the dimensions you finished up with,and did you just rest the bike on the bash plate ,im trying to sort our bike before we leave in jan,i scored a metal pallet to use,just needs a few mods,hope to meet up with you in asia somewhere if your still there
    cheers clive and chris

    • Hi

      I will be heading back home in the new year I think, you never know though 🙂

      The rear tyre has half its air, the front axle is trapped with a block of wood and the ratchet straps pulled it down against the suspension. Yes, in my case the bash plate grounded because the bike is lowered, but not all bikes will do this.

      Final dimensions were as follows. 2200x850x1200

      It was bigger than expected, I actually prepaid for less than that, his mistake not mine for making us pay before packing. It could go shorter by 200 by taking off the front mudguard, I decided not to as I did not want to muck with the ABS, but I was just lazy and he owed me money. Half my mudguard was missing anyway, so yours will stick out further

      Cheers TravellingStrom

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