76-Shipping my motorcycle from Santiago to Houston, TX

After departure of Crick and Crock, I was to myself to tackle my shipping.

I had received  three  recomendations the name of the company E. Plus Cargo. They have shipped for two parties from this  ADVrider forum to the US and to England. 
I got feedback from one of there parties after the shipping and all went smoothly.
Soo.......I have set the day of departure for June 1. 
I had to coordinate more or less my shipping with the departure of Crick and Crock.

Well….. went to the shipping office to see where they are located and discuss what steps I had to take.

The Plan:

E. Cargo Plus is located near the airport. They need the bike 3 days prior flight departure (that is the regulations from the flight company) apparently they have to hold the shipment in their 'Bodegas’ 

I guess that is the storage place before loading and........funny enough 'Bodega' for me in Spanish means a wine cellar......so that must be good. Ha, ha...
The day I deliver the bike, I will be there myself when packing occurs. The bike is placed on a wooden pallet and all my side bags and top case will be loaded on the floor of the pallet. Probably will have to remove the windshield to make the volume as small as possible. Then it is strapped with these kind of strong plastic straps and then all plastic wrapped all around the bike. They want the owner of the bike present so you know that all your stuff is there and does not get lost. 
The people I talked to where really knowlageble knew exactly my concerns and had all the answers ready. I feel confident all will go just fine. 
I had seen some of pictures from previous shipments, so I could have an idea about the procedure.

In addition the agent where curiious about my tipr and we talked about my experiences here in Chile and where I had been. It was like a good family conversation laughing about some of the little details. Was fun to be with them.departure of Crick and Crock and also visit with some friends we made here. Was fun to be with them.

Delivery day:

Soo... I started to re-arranged some of my stuff on my bike. I took out the little foldable backpack from the bottom of my sidebag, to put my clothes and electronic in it. Also had to make sure, that all my riding gear would fit in one bag. My riding gear would go in one of the side bags and my boots in the top-case.

So with very little fuel, which I had planned with my low fuel,  I was riding 8:30 in the morning to the E.Plus Cargo offices.

Monday morning is always a busy time, so expected a lot of traffic, but was lucky ...little traffic....forgot that offices normally start 9:00 so I was rolling with no problem to my destination.

When I arrived some agents in the office where there, but my agent not. I was early....I received a cup of coffee while waiting and soon was notified I should ride my bike to another location. The International Cargo area. I met with the agent at the gate, had to show my passport to get a temporary permit to enter the area and rode to a building where I had to stop one more time, so the agent could do some more paperwork before the next control.

All went smooth and very efficient.

Total weight was 252 kg (555 lb) my bike naked was 144Kg (317 lb) the pallet alone is 20 kg (44 lb) and the remainder would be all the luggage. Hmmm.....so I was carrying aprox. 88 kg (194 lb) of weight with me including riding gear. Hmmmm...that's why my bike felt heavy..

For pricing they go by volume and weight. In case for motorcycles volume is the dominant part. My volume was L-240 cm W-80 cm H-152  

NOTE TO FUTURE TRAVELERS: I have to let anyone know the some travelers have disassembled their bike to the max even removing shocks. They told me that they would NOT (corrected after posting) let that go in the future. The problem is they ship whole bikes and not parts, when it is so much disassembled it runs in the category as parts and they have problems with.


I had scheduled my bike to fly June1 and I was leaving the 31, but things got resolved quick with E. Plus Cargo, so they said it could fly the 31. OK I said......funny it would fly in the same plane where I was. Just down in the belly. No Problema :) At the airport, was waiting in the waiting area before boarding and saw the United plane getting to the gate. 

Knowing my bike was going to be loaded before the passenger luggage, I was curious to see that happening ( nothing else to do) and if I could take a picture would be great. I waited eternally standing in the corner by the only window where I could have a view. It was there for so long, that I started to be suspicious alone in the corner .Getting closer to boarding time, a flight attendant came to me and said I had to leave from there when boarding.

I responded politely that I was on that flight too, and told him I was waiting to see my motorcycle put in the plane and take a pictures.....Ok, he said and left... went to the other attendants was explaining my suspicious situation. Suddenly my bike showed up pulled with other loads on a cart, I waiting to seen it loaded but nothing happened...after a long time of nothing going on eventually they took it to the back....bummer! I had taken 2 BAD shots.... 
Few minutes later, came a female attendant to me and said:..... so you are a 'Motera" with a smile. I am too, ... she said with even a bigger smile....so we started a short conversation about the Chilean Womes Riding Group. Then she said that in her group they where talking about a women who was riding alone in South America.....so I asked, ... is it a 70yr old women?? Yes she said.....well that is me....and we started laughing. 

After exchanging types of motorcycle she rides, it was time for boarding. When it was my turn....she put me aside and said...wait....and took my ticket and got to the counter. After a little while she came back and handed me another ticket and said. We 'Moteras help each other' .......I got a much wider and comfortable seat with no neighbor next to me. That was really sweet from here, I was hoping she would be in the plane but not, she stayed at the gate.

I am a lucky girl again!!!!

In the morning 5:50 am arrived in Huston and shortly after went to United Cargo area, to find out what to do.

No problem the paperwork was there and they said the bike was there too. Ok, I knew it had landed, but good to know it was there in the hangar. Still had to go to another place 'Customs', 3 miles away from there.

United agents at the Cargo department where super slow, chatting and doing very little, probably to early in the morning.....I thought.I asked the agent when I was done with them, if they could order a taxi to take me there.30 min waiting for a taxi and finally with the new address I made it to Customs. I asked the driver if he was going to be in the area, because it could take 15 min or 45min who knows and did not wanted him to wait. Customs, need the title and WI registration and asked if it had exported the bike. Yes I said, it is registered in Wi and temporarily was exported to Colombia. The officer took the paperwork went away and after 15 min 'Customs' where cleared. I had the paper in hand, which would allow me to retrieve the bike from the cargo area now. Calling for the taxi driver agin, hoping it would be short now.......waited another 20 min and he finally came.

Then Back to the cargo area, they took my new paperwork I had to sign it, and then they gave me a slip to pulled out my bike in the next door hangar.

I am describing this more in detail because one never know what the sequence is. Cargo area------ receive and sign papersCustoms -------- hand over registration and title, receive and sign permission paper to enter your bike in the USCargo area ------ deliver permission paper in office sign again and receive final slip to deliver in hangar. Next door hangar---- a hand over permission slip where location of bike is, and they will put bike out.

3 hours process and after that, you get your bike, begin unpacking plastic etc and putting together the windshield, mirror and connect the battery again. Load bags, top case, connect GPS and FINALLY with gear on start riding... Hurray, it is DONE!!

...after all is done and ready to ride, find a gas station to refuel... (you are allowed a minimum of fuel in the tank to get to the nearest gas station)

Tomorrow heading towards Dallas......with pouring rain and thunderstorms and flooding........will I be LUCKY again.....?????


ADVriders posts:


Question concerning Santiago and other cities way down south; are Internet Cafes still prominent, as they were 15 years ago? They were always as crowded as the coffee shops.


No, now is not easy to find a Internet Café because anyone now have Internet in their mobile phones.


Too bad. Too bad. The cafe's made an actual social atmosphere for social media. Thanks for the answer.


About cyber-cafe or internet-cafe's I have seen only a few and not looking very up to date.

DiasDePlaya is right, there is internet at all hostels, hotels, B&B and even restaurants. Folks are connected with the new technology. One thing I must say, in smaller and also some larger towns, you will have OK speed connection in the morning, after 5PM or 6PM when people are home it slows down at crawling space. I just guess the system gets overloaded. This has been a very consistent trend during my trip .I also have noticed that cheep hostels have better internet then more expensive hotels, why...? ...I can only guess that younger people go to these places and the service is accordingly to the customers. Young people depend on being connected. The moral for this for me at least, go to inexpensive places better internet and better on you pocket and also much more fun.

Another observation I have made is .......(you Chileans hide under the bed now!!!) If you go to a grocery, butcher or pharmacy....any store you have to stay in line.......it takes for ever....

Yesterday just to purchase a piece of cheese, sausage and some pickles,...... I was in 4 lines waiting. Yes 4 LINES

1-...go to take a number from the little machine....short line

2-...go to the place where they cut the cheese and wait .........a long line...be alert for you turn and number to show up. Listen carefully otherwise you lose your spot and have to start all over….

3-...go to a separate cashier and pay and get your invoice stamped......another long line

4 ...go to the place to deliver your paid ticket and get your cheese.....another long line because they have to pack all in a plastic bag for you when you hand the ticket to them.I could just not believe, how long it took.......just for the few little items....

OK Chileans you can come out now, :) for the rest people are very friendly, food is very good and a large variety.

I have to emphasize one more time, I have forgotten totally since I have landed in South America and for this it is Colombia, Ecuador, Peru Argentina and Chile, it is safe on the streets. In the evening there is a lively atmosphere and as shown on one of my last post, hustling and bustling with families, kids and the dogs roaming in-between.  No fear or hesitant do hang out and see the cities.

ADVrider question:

Wow Nina...do you think they got the correct weight of your luggage?

I was surprised as well, .....but I was there when they put it on the scale. 
I have a lot of spare parts with me. Chain, set of sprockets, brake pads, set of inner tubes (they are heavy) so all that weight adds up. 
I have not used any of them, but tried to be prepared, just in case and not wait to order when the problems occur.
I carry minimal tools for emergency repair. 
In addition computer, even if Macbook air is light, still extra weight in top case. ( iPad is not enough for such a long trip, not all software like Garmin will work on iPads)
I have a small bag with all the cables, chargers (unfortunately one charger does not work for all), extra lithium batteries for the Spot (super hard to find in SA or even Europe. They last match longer and had a supply for 4.5 .... plug adapters for 220 and different plug systems, these are things you really need and take ROOM.
I have maps from each country (a good thing I did, learned from ADV posts) and have purchased along the way 3 small books from the ruins in Peru etc. That is all heavy stuff. 

What is the shipping cost?

I was debating to post the cost or not. I do not want to create problems with the shipper, my particular cost may differ form another bike depending on size , weight, volume and airport, but more I think which airline company to use.

If anyone wants to know more about cost, I think it is more approbate to PM me and I am happy to give you the cost and more details that way. I did received the cost from other travelers also privately

© Nina Boonacker 2012