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The Different Types of Motorcycle Shipping Carriers

A solution to your moving troubles

by Jason Mueller

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Planning a move to another city, state, or country? Traveling and experiencing new places is exciting and promising. Packing and organizing the move, on the other hand, can be pretty intimidating and stressful, not to mention time-consuming. 

A professional and reliable team of full-service movers can certainly make your life easier and make moving less of a nightmare. But what about your special items that require extra care and professional approach? Say, your vintage piano...or your motorcycle? Fortunately, there are plenty of shipping carriers that specialize in proper handling and transportation of items of every kind. You can find some of the basics in this 2016 piece, but keep reading for a more in-depth look.

In this article, we are going to look at different types of motorcycle shipping methods and carriers to help you better understand the process and your options. It is often said that the difficulty and cost of transporting a motorcycle makes it more practical to just ride it to a new place, rather than shipping it there. However, professional shipping companies that can handle specialized motorbike delivery might actually save you money and headache if you count all the potential damage and expenses such as packing, feeding, and gas. 

Besides, if you own a vintage vehicle riding cross-country with little to no breaks might not be an option for you, considering how much mileage it may add to the odometer. Motorcycle shipping is a common service, thanks to the increasing demand. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the number of registered motorcycles in the United States has been exponentially increasing each of the past 10 years and relocation is the most common reason to transport the vehicle. While it is generally similar to shipping a car, it is certainly best to work with companies who have special expertise and experience. 

What are the Different Types of Motorcycle Shipping?

First, think about how you want to ship your motorcycle. Do you prefer air freight, ground or ocean shipping? The latter would be the most economical but also the slowest. Take your budget, distance, and delivery timeframe into consideration. Specify your method when asking for a quote as this will determine the amount.

        Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: this is a perfect option for riders looking to save a buck, especially if riding a bike to a terminal for drop-off and picking it up from one, which might be a little out of the way, is not an issue. Just confirm with the carrier there are terminals in both areas.

       Door-to-Door Shipping: this is a popular option and is readily offered by shipping companies at discounted rates. Similarly, just confirm exact collection and delivery locations with the agency beforehand as there is always a chance that shippers may not be able to drop off or deliver at certain places, in which case, it might cost more to arrange additional transport.

       Enclosed Trailers: this is the safest way to ship your bike, ensuring maximum protection from damage and theft thanks to its shock-reducing soft-tie strapping system. It is, for this reason, also the most costly. It is an ultimate option for shipping vehicles long distance, especially highly expensive and vintage ones. Some companies can pack and ship more than one bikes together in an enclosed trailer.

       Open Trailers: also known as Open Air. If your motorbike is not expensive or fragile and the distance is quite short, then this is a good option. That is because motorcycles are attached to a flatbed truck or a tow trailer and, unlike the enclosed trailer, an open one does not have sides or a roof which leaves vehicles exposed to weather and other exterior conditions; hence, a much lower price.

       Crate Shipping: this is a popular option that ensures the safety and protection of your vehicle from any wear and tear. A bike is attached to a pallet and secured in a wooden crate before it is loaded on a truck. It is important to keep in mind that extra preparation is required for this kind of shipping. For example, batteries need to be removed and fluids must be drained. 

When choosing a motorcycle shipping carrier take different factors into consideration to make a weighted decision that is right for your situation. These include:

       Delivery timeframe and dates: do you have a specific deadline in mind?

       Weather conditions and season: inclement weather may call for more protection from rocks, rain, or snow, while off-season shipping may significantly reduce fees.

       Distance: the longer the distance, the more protection you’ll need.

       Motorcycle type: vehicles that are highly expensive, vintage, or fragile would be safer in enclosed carriers, properly strapped and shielded from external elements. 

How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Shipping Company 

Dimensions and weight, shipping method, distance, and pick-up and delivery locations are all determining factors when it comes to price. But each company can quote different amounts and while many customers might consider this the most important item in determining a carrier, choosing a reliable shipping company is extremely important and there are many other facts to consider.

       Motorcycle Shipment. Although it may be tempting to hire a generic vehicle transportation company, it’s worthwhile choosing one with proper experience and expertise in motorbike shipping specifically. Reputable companies like A-1 Auto Transport offer such services and are capable of accommodating virtually any motorcycle shipping requests domestically and internationally.

       License and Insurance. Review and choose a company with proper insurance coverage and liability. Per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration order all motorcycle shipping agencies need to carry a license which they should be able to provide a copy of upon request.

       DOT Registration. All vehicles and carriers are mandated to be registered with the Department of Transportation which issues them a DOT and MC numbers. Narrow down your options to companies that carry the required licensing as they would have the necessary quality and reliability.

       Communicate with carriers. Once you’ve identified your type of shipping, talk to companies and ask them questions. For example, ask about their delivery procedures, payment, specific policies and so on. Familiarize yourself with any details and issues before booking. 

In Conclusion

Shipping a motorcycle is a lot more commonplace than you might think and thousands of people do it annually. Trustworthy companies with relevant experience and knowledge will make it less of a daunting task so you can focus on other aspects of your move. 

Make sure you dig into the available resources on the topic of motorcycle shipping to inform and prepare yourself and your vehicle, review your options, plan ahead, and let carriers take care of the rest.

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Reader Comments

Great article!

Some advice regarding motorcycle shipping quotes... DO NOT get quotes from 'Online Quote Calculators' as they are mere estimates that will change upon booking your order. In addition, websites with 'Quote Calculators' are lead generating sites that will sell your information and bombard you with quotes for months.

Instead, contact actual motorcycle shipping companies and speak to an agent to discuss all the details about your move. Speaking with someone will facilitate the entire process and you'll get the actual cost to ship your motorcycle.

Hope this helps :)

Nationwide United

Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Editor Response Thanks much! Everything is a scam.

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