Shipping a bike seems challenging. Bicycles are bulking, hard to package and heavy. But shipping a bike is actually easier than you think. From packaging the bike to finding the cheapest way to ship a bike there are a few guidelines to follow to make the process easier. Here are a few tips we've assembled to help you in the packing and shipping of bikes:
- Disassemble your bike and choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you are reusing boxes, cover all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker or adhesive labels.
- When reusing boxes, make sure the structural integrity of the box is intact. A box that is floppy or soft is not suitable for shipping a bike.
- Do not wrap packages in paper or bind them with twine – this can cause them to get caught in conveyor belts or to be ripped during handling.
- Enclose an extra address label, business card or letterhead with the shipper's address and phone number and the recipient's address and phone number inside the package before sealing it. If the outer packaging gets damaged the shipper will still have the return information to get your bike back to you
- Use an appropriate size box. This is especially important when shipping bikes. A box which is too small does not allow adequate space for cushioning. A box which is too large leaves too much room for your bike to shift and may also be charged a surcharge by the shipper if it is very large which will not result in the cheapest way to ship a bike.
- Put 3" of cushioning, such as air-cellular cushioning, loose fill peanuts, corrugated fiberboard, foam pads, crumpled paper or molded plastic, on all sides of the bike to fill void spaces and prevent movement the bike inside the box during shipping. Recycle packing material when possible. Close and shake the box to see if you've used enough. If your bikes shakes or shifts, add more.
- Place accessories that might be affected by dirt, water or wet conditions inside a plastic bag.
- Wrap items fragile individually with cushioning material and center them in cartons away from other items and away from the sides, corners, top and bottom of the container.
- Always remove the pedals from your bike as they tend to pierce the box.
- It's absolutely vital that your customs forms are filled out properly and entirely if you are shipping your bike internationally. When shipping online the carriers will direct you to the proper forms to fill out. When shipping packages internationally from a retail location ask the for proper forms. Make sure everything is filled out accurately and DO NOT try to falsify the value or the contents. This can result in criminal penalties and is certainly not worth saving a few dollars in tariffs. Remember, you are looking for the cheapest way to ship a bike "legally".
Compare Rates Between Shipping Companies
- You'll be amazed at how much the rates vary between carriers, even on the same package. To find the cheapest way to ship a bike it is absolutely essential that you compare rates between shipping companies. You can do this by going to each shippers website or with the Shipping Sidekick Package Rate Calculator.
We hope these simple tips with save you money and headaches when you are shipping. By following these tips you are well on your way to the cheapest way to ship a bike.