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LCI_Brian 08-28-08 12:01 AM

Bike Shipping Costs
 
I went to FedEx-Kinko's today to ship a bike in a cardboard bike box, and to my surprise, I was quoted $115 to ship from California to Florida! I mentioned to the clerk that the past I've typically spent $50-$60 shipping coast to coast, and his answer was that shipping costs have gone up due to gas prices, etc. I didn't have time to investigate further so I ended up forking over the money. Is that price typical nowadays, or could there perhaps been an error in measuring the box? Unfortunately, I didn't take down the measurements of the box before I had it shipped.

BlueDevil 08-28-08 05:49 AM

LCI Brian-

That sounds like you had a thicker bike box.

About 6 weeks ago I shipped 2 bikes via fedex from NJ to MT (ground). The boxes were about 50x29x7. For ground shipments, Fedex no longer uses the OS1, OS2 (84 linear inches and 108 linear inches) classifications. They now use a set dimensional weight calculation for all packages over 5184 cubic inches. This calculation of dimensional weight is volume in cubic inches / 194.

For example, my packages were 10150 cubic inches, which comes to 52 lbs in dimensional weight. Had the boxes been 50x29x12 (a common bike box size) this would have come to 17400 cubic inches or ~90lbs dimensional weight.

The moral of the story- when shipping a bike, try to get the short dimension (thickness) as small as possible, as it has the greatest effect on your dimensional weight. Going from a 7" thick box, to a 12" thick box will almost double your shipping charges.

Oh, btw: with my box size, I paid $130 for both bikes, or about $65 per bike, fully insured.

tulip 08-28-08 06:10 AM

I shipped a bike (it was a heavy mtb for a friend) from Virginia to California and it cost $130. That was several years ago.

Grasschopper 08-28-08 06:27 AM

The thing you are fighting here is the dimensional weight numbers the shipping companies use. I assume they measured the box? If you can find someone to ship it without putting in the box size (they don't check on ground shipments) the cost will be a fraction of what you paid.

LCI_Brian 08-28-08 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueDevil (Post 7357957)
About 6 weeks ago I shipped 2 bikes via fedex from NJ to MT (ground). The boxes were about 50x29x7. For ground shipments, Fedex no longer uses the OS1, OS2 (84 linear inches and 108 linear inches) classifications. They now use a set dimensional weight calculation for all packages over 5184 cubic inches. This calculation of dimensional weight is volume in cubic inches / 194.

OK, sounds like my previous shipping experience was back in the OS1 and OS2 days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueDevil (Post 7357957)
For example, my packages were 10150 cubic inches, which comes to 52 lbs in dimensional weight. Had the boxes been 50x29x12 (a common bike box size) this would have come to 17400 cubic inches or ~90lbs dimensional weight.

Yeah, that sounds like the size of my box. If you use a thinner box, do you let the box "bulge" in the middle somewhere?

miamijim 08-28-08 12:24 PM

I've had much better luck using the Postal Service. I shipped a bike from Tampa to Hawaii for $140

130" maximum length plus girth

spinnaker 08-28-08 04:03 PM

The key is the size of the box. A 50x30x8 box cost around $65 to ship from PIT to SFO. But a 50x33x8 box cost $115. Almost twice the cost.

BlueDevil 08-28-08 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LCI_Brian (Post 7358187)
Yeah, that sounds like the size of my box. If you use a thinner box, do you let the box "bulge" in the middle somewhere?

Yeah, both bike boxes slightly bulged in the middle, but no more than an extra 1/2" or so. I made sure to put padding around the points that bulged a bit, and made sure to use the little plastic "rear derailleur" protector that new bikes come with. Luckily, while they are supposed to measure the box at the thickest point, they usually just measure the thickness at the top of the box, and ignore the bulge.

SpaceNerd 08-29-08 12:54 AM

Whoa. I shipped mine via FEDEX in may for 57 bucks (not including the 300 dollars worth of damage they did to it and then begrudgingly paid for). I'm shipping it again (probably with UPS this time) next week and I'm hoping my lbs put it in a small box after reading this.


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