Hi Guys, I thought that things would quieten down a bit for me once I got back after the journey. No such luck, I haven’t stopped. The homecoming reception has occupied some of my time, I have been typing articles for magazines and papers, replying to mountains of emails from people and dealing with the never ending lists of daily chores around the house. You may recall that when we were driving across the U.S.A. I had a senior moment and ending up buying a Triumph Bonneville, a bit of a classic motor bike.
I got seriously told off about it but the dust has settled now, so I guess I’m forgiven. A few days ago I reminded myself that I hadn’t heard from the shipping agent who was organising the freight so I emailed them for an update and as far as I can make out this is what has happened.
If I recall I brought the bike Saturday 17th. I parted with a deposit and said that the remaining amount will follow in a few days. While I was waiting for that to happen I emailed the shop that sold me the bike to give them instructions. I asked if the bike could have the front wheel removed so the overall length including the crate would not be longer than 7’ 9” or short enough to fit ACROSS the inside of a container. I said a standard motorcycle crate will do, the type that bikes are shipped from Japan to the U.S.A. I also asked that the keys and paperwork be put into the crate and shipped together. For this service I paid $100. I told them the bike would be collected by our agent who was organising the freight for the Jimnys from Newark on the East coast to Southampton. So far so good.
I then contacted our agent in Vancouver who, handled the Jimnys clearance through customs when they arrived at Vancouver for Stage 4 and I told them that I had purchased the bike and could they arrange collection from the bike shop and have it delivered to the shippers on the East Coast. I organised with them to consolidate the bike with the two cars that were being containerised for the UK. The bike should be in the UK by the end of October. Everything was organised nicely, what could go wrong!!!
This is what happened. The truck arrived to collect the bike from the shop, loaded it and was on its way, (which way?). Not to the shippers on the East Coast, but to a consolidating agent at San Fransisco! When it arrived, there was no paperwork, it had been left behind at the shop. They said sorry, no problem, we will mail it urgent mail to your agent. The papers arrived but not to San Fransico but to the shipping agent on the east coast! That's just great. The bike was in San Francisco and the papers were at Newark on the East coast. The agent at Vancouver contacted the shop to say they had sent the papers to the wrong place. Sorry about that, we will get them back and send them to the people at San Francisco. By this time the paperwork had lost its urgency status and disappeared in the U.S mail system for over two weeks so everything came to a standstill.
The paperwork finally turned up at the shippers at San Francisco and they had a container being prepared for the UK. It looked as though things were starting to happen! The Consolidator at San Fransisco phoned our agent at Vancouver to tell them that the crate is too long to fit across the inside of the container so the bike will not be included as part of the shipment they were working on and will have to wait for a container that had more room so the bike could be put into the container long ways. The guys at the bike shop forgot to remove the front wheel and shorten the crate.
When I received all this information from our agent at Vancouver, and my head had stopped spinning trying to understand what had happened, I asked, “having made arrangements and given you instructions, why did you send the bike to San Francisco, a thousand miles in the opposite direction and not to Newark on the East coast, which is the direction it should be going?” The reply was, “we were told by our shipper at San Francisco that it would be quicker”. I pondered that for a moment wondering if I should ask the next question - “do you have any idea when the bike will arrive in the U.K?” - the reply was “I am confident the bike will arrive by Christmas”. Heaven help us.