Originally Posted by PDX Alamo
I'm toying with the idea , good for you on making the jump!! If I may ask what are the shipping rates by boat and air? Can't wait to read the rest of the adventure
I'm still waiting on the final quote for Air Shipping but it won't be more than $1900, possibly a bit less. However, the shipper told me today that we managed to make our crates the most "compact" that he's seen so that will save us money. We aren't shipping our panniers on the bikes (we will carry them with us as checked baggage when we fly) and we removed the handlebars which decreased the overall volume of the crate. (see pictures in one of the other posts on this thread). You pay mostly by volume so the more compact the crate, the better. You also are responsible for providing/making the crate for shipping. This can be a big pain and stressor. Thankfully my husband knows how to do some metal work so we were able to manage it ourselves. (wood creates are not the best idea because some customs agents will turn away wood product entering their country)
Boat shipping is going to be around $1500 because there will be 7 bikes sharing a 40 ft. container. Cost completely depends on the numbers of bikes sharing the container. The shipper we're using can do either 4 bikes in the 20 ft container or up to 8 in a 40 foot and it just so happens he's got four bikes already in Santiago who want to ship back to Seattle around the same time we're ready. Therefore, the $1500 per bike.
Air shipping is certainly more expensive but you don't have to find other bikes to ship with you to make it economical and you can be quite certain that your bike will arrive on the day you requested. This was important to me since we have a specific six week window for this trip and wasting a week waiting for bike arrival wasn't what we wanted to do. You need to make the reservation with the shipper 3-4 weeks prior to shipping but you don't need to get your bike to them until the week prior.
Boat shipping means you need to make reservations fairly early (because you're likely coordinating with other travelers). Boat shipping also just takes longer. For example, in order for our bikes to arrive around the 10th of December, we would have had to have the bikes ready to ship by the first of November. If you're boat shipping, you need a lot more time to plan than we had. If you're able to be flexible with your time and are planning well in advance boat shipping is likely the most economical and easiest way to get it done because you also don't need crates if you're doing RORO (Roll on Roll off). You'll just need to provide a few good straps.