Lotus Elan

Suggestions for shipping companies for parts

PostPost by: sabbot » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:17 pm

I’m currently looking to ship some heavy / large parts around the US and would appreciate suggestions of carriers that could ship parts such as engines and chassis (elan) at a reasonable price - thanks
sabbot
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Location: San Diego

PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:58 pm

Sabbot, just going thru shipping from Canada to the UK and back, but might have some relevance for the process.

  • I am using DHL. Very popular other side of the pond. Most of the stuff I have got from the UK seemed to use them.
  • Don’t suggest enquiring at one of their storefronts. Costs are apparently much higher.
  • I applied online to get a DHL Express shipping account. Got a call from a DHL “Tele-Sales Executive” to get my account set up and walk me through my first shipment (120 lb 2’ x 2’ x 3’ palleted box containing a transmission). This was essential. Luckily we had a somewhat dormant limited numbered company to reference, which may or may not be required for this service.
  • Once we got to booking my first shipment, the rep offered up substantial discounting, on the order of 60%. Not sure yet, but I got the impression this would also be applied to future shipments. He also helped with the required invoices and customs declarations, which would not be an issue for you.
  • The rep was clear that I didn’t have to worry about the truck type that would arrive for pickup. They have a check box to indicate I am a residential address, so presumably limited handling resources. The pickup vehicle was a classic three ton box van with a hydraulic tailgate lift and a hand pallet truck. We probably could have got the crate to the curbside with the pallet truck, but my small dolly with large rubber tires was way more suitable in our snowy conditions. I believe the standard procedure with this type/size of shipment is they are very reluctant to put their vehicle on a residential driveway in case it cracks.
  • My shipment was flagged at our airport terminal as they needed “certification” that the contents were properly cleaned/flushed/drained for air shipment. Luckily I had a heads up on this potential snag. An email describing the cleaning, draining, and tie down bolts along with a couple of pictures with the crate lid removed worked fine. On advice of experienced shippers I also wrapped the contents in adsorbent blankets; any leakage on the cargo plane is a huge hassle and no-no, so any shipping company will be very fussy.
  • So far so good. My shipment has made it from Canada to Cincinnati, but is presently stalled with another so far unexplained “Clearance Delay”.
  • Regarding frame shipment, not sure if DHL could accommodate something that large; you would have to check with the rep I guess. When I received my Spyder frame from the UK the steel box was heavier than the frame, and I had to arrange local pickup from the Customs Longhouse. I used a local courier style service for this step.
  • I also shipped a fully dressed Twink a couple of times (interprovincial city to city, about 800 miles) with a local shipper before my DHL experience. I palleted it with engine mounts & improvised steel bits, covering it with a commercially available cardboard pallet box. I had drained the oil as a matter of course, but the truck courier didn’t ask anything about the cleaning and tie-down procedure. Dropped it at the company depot using a rental utility trailer. I knew the shipment was going on a single truck to their depot for local pickup rather than air freight. I got the shipping company name by inquiring locally with various auto repair and parts guys I knew. Based on my destination they all suggested the same company, so it is maybe worth asking around If some of your stuff is going to closer destinations.

Found shipping higher weight stuff daunting due to unfamiliarity with the process and terminology. That said, they are obviously doing it daily so can’t be that bad. :D

Another information source I found helpful to get started was a fellow at our local vintage car club that had shipped oilfield drilling equipment worldwide in a previous life. Interestingly the leads he gave me ended up pushing me towards DHL because what we are moving around will inevitably go some combination of truck and air as a one-off type deal. The commercial shippers were more about containers and LTCL (lLess Than Car Load) shipments.

HTH. Sorry for length.

Stu
Last edited by stugilmour on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stu
1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
User avatar
stugilmour
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:20 pm

U-ship, Hit and miss. But, if you spend the time explaining to the shipper the rarity of the item. They do cross boarders. They are all insured, licensed etc. Our (as I use it for business) policy with Uship is confirmation from shipper of insurance credentials. I would make sure you get a email/fax of the comprehensive insurance policy.

I have used Fedex in the states with good success. Only a few things broken over the years. And Fedex has alway paid out.

Have DHL, they work great too. I have never had an issue. But DHL might be my first choice. Probably the most expensive too.
W. Kootenays B.C. Canada
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
User avatar
h20hamelan
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 482
Joined: 25 Sep 2010

PostPost by: sabbot » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:51 pm

Thanks to both of you for suggestions.

As an aside, a few years ago I brought a type 9 gearbox for my Caterham back to the US from the UK as personal hold luggage. There was a bit of head scratching at United check in and customs in Newark but everything worked out okay.
sabbot
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Location: San Diego

PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:31 am

Great story!

My sister is our family expert at strange international luggage. Checking in with a full sized kayak New Zealand to Canada is pretty amazing!

I must say I was potentially caught off guard with the attention to the cleanliness of the item. So glad I was alerted because I imagine they charge full rate if they have to bring the item back to your house/shop. The pick-up driver had no interest in this issue, just cared about the printed out DHL paper work.

All the best

Stu
Stu
1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
User avatar
stugilmour
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: andyhay and 8 guests