Shipping an auto to Japan? We just sent 21+ motorcycles there!

We just shipped 21 motorcycles and 8 motorcycle frames to Japan from the US, and we know how stressful it can be to send just one!

Most of you will likely only send one or two vehicles at a time, but sometimes we get collectors, enthusiasts, and dealers coming to us for assistance with exporting their vehicles to other countries, and it’s times like these that having a highly skilled and networked freight forwarder in your corner is critical.

Not shipping a motorcycle, but rather, a car?

Consolidated ocean shipments:


If you just have one or two vehicles, air freight could be a good solution, particularly in the case of motorcycles, which are much more compact than your average US car (we LOVE our giant vehicles, don’t we?), a consolidated load is the way to go.

This means that you’re going to be sharing space with other vehicles in your container (if by ocean).

On the plus side, shippers choosing an ocean consolidation are subject to a lesser customs regulations.

What you’ll need:

  • A valid original title showing the original owner or new buyer, with names on the reverse side
  • A no dangerous goods certificate (hazardous surcharge still may apply)
  • A signed affidavit listing the VIN & title number, showing the battery was disconnected and that no more than 25% of the gas is left in the tank, which the master loader will take care of

Being that it’s a motorcycle you will NOT need to crate, nor will you need a Dangerous Goods label.

When ocean freighting one or two motorcycles or automobiles on an ocean consolidation basis, the shippers or their international forwarders can decide to make a crate for a motorcycle or ship it loose (unpacked). The international shipping company would load, block & brace any vehicle.



Air freight shipments:

Consolidated shipments only apply to ocean freight, because we’re not using the same sized containers in the air.

What you’ll need:

  • A valid original title showing the original owner or new buyer, with names on the reverse side
  • A Dangerous Goods certificate
  • Your motorcycle must be crated
  • A signed affidavit listing the VIN # & the title number must show the disconnected battery & all fluids drained from the motor & gas tank, which the master loader will again handle 

If you’re shipping a normal-sized car, no special packing is required. All vehicles of that nature are rolled onto an airline 20’ pallet, then blocked & braced to stop any shifting.


The 21 + 8 motorcycles client:

We chose the most economical means of transport for our shipper that purchased 21 motorcycles & 8 bike frames declared as parts. This shipment is routed from Long Beach port to Fukuhara, Japan.

We put them in an exclusive 40’ container load. As the motorcycles and parts arrived for departure, we manifested each delivery & assigned a secure location of our warehouse to store the incoming motorcycles & parts. Copies of the manifests were sent to the shipper to keep them aware of what was in our possession & control their incoming supply, matching their purchases.

Once the entire cargo shipment was received with matching original titles for all of the motorcycles, we booked the space with the carrier, prepare the export documents, validated the titles with the US Customs. Thereafter, we positioned the ocean container to our warehouse where we loaded blocked & braced non-crated motorcycles after having drained most of all fluids & disconnect batteries.

Excess parts did not fit, and, so, we built a wooden platform over the bikes (a second floor), which gave us ample space to wrap & load the motorcycle parts securely. Customs checked before validating the original titles & 1 copy per title front & back showing shipper / consignee the buyer (one transaction).

A distinction needs to be made if you have one buyer or many of them & so, your title must show the buyers’ name on the back. Typically when shipping a full ocean container load from one shipper, there is only one receiving consignee, the buyer of the lot & that name, signature needs to show as the new owner.


Whether you’re shipping one or more vehicles, we welcome looking at the mode of transport options that lowers your freight costs & we also offer a complete review of what will be needed to have a successful export, meeting the US customs regulations. Whether you’re shipping to Japan, India, or anywhere else for that matter, we have you covered.

Interested in a quote for your auto or motorcycle transport? Click HERE:


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