Handy guide to transporting your bike through VRL Logistics

A much-anticipated trip into the mountains sparked off our search for a reliable transporter, who’d take our precious bikes from Bombay to Chandigarh. But which vendor, or which commercial shipper – that caused a lot of confusion. As our bike was still at the workshop, getting a few things looked into, we decided to go ahead & ship our friend’s bike instead. What follows below, is our experience with the Bike Pallet Transportation Service of VRL Logistics Limited. So read on…

En-route the VRL Warehouse in Bhiwandi

There were three options for us – Agarwal Packers & Movers, GATI & VRL. It ultimately boiled down to trust, as there was a lot of conflicting information coming in. Agarwal Packers were the first to be struck off the list – there were too many by the same name, and we didn’t quite know which one was the real deal. Next up was GATI. Now they had complaints against them by the truck load. The most recent was a video that showed how bikes shipped via GATI ended up being damaged severely. Needless to say, they were struck off the list too.  This left us with VRL, who use dedicated pallets (or cages, if you wish), for transporting bikes in a secure manner.

Regular & Oversize Bike Transport Cages (also called Crates or Pallets), at VRL Warehouse, Bhiwandi

VRL Logistics have their pick-up centres all over the city. The nearest one to us was in Andheri East, where the missus met & spoke with Branch Manager, Shri Venkatesh. A most helpful person, he informed us that we needed to book a slot, about 10 days in advance. We would have to call in a day prior to the drop-off, so they would arrange the right-sized cage for our bike.  VRL has two sizes of pallets/cages, a small one, for bikes of regular dimensions and a large pallet, better suited to Royal Enfield bikes and other, touring friendly motorcycles. Make sure you call for the one that’s suitable to the bike you wish to ship.

We later learned that the main VRL warehouse is just off the Kalyan-Bhiwandi bypass. This facility also has the necessary lifting/packing assistance available there, and so, we decided to ride the bike down to the warehouse itself for shipping. The address for the same is:

VRL Logistics Limited.
203, Indian Corporation, Opposite Gajana Petrol Pump (Indian Oil), Near Mankoli Naka, Bhiwandi – 421302.
Google Maps Link

Step-by-step guide to loading your bike into the cage:

  1. Book your drop-off appointment and arrive on time on the given day. Best time advised would be at the start of the business day, between 10-11 am.  This ensures that one gets the best attention from the staff there, and the bike can be readied for shipment by lunch-time.
    Royal Enfield Himalayan, ready to be shipped
  2. The fuel tank has to be emptied prior to loading it into the cage. It is advisable to bring along a jerry can/bottle for draining off excess fuel. They do have a fuel-drain pipe on premises, but one can bring along their own, as backup. 
  3. Bring along 4-5 strips of rope to help fasten the bike in the cage. You can purchase this from the hardware store on the main-steet, 50 mtrs. from the entrance to the warehousing complex.
    Bring along ropes to secure the bike in the cage
  4. Hand over self-attested copies of your Driving License, RC Card, Insurance & PUC certificate at the documentation desk, near the warehouse entrance.
  5. Remove the mirrors (if needed) and load the bike into the cage. Then oversee the loaders as they secure the bike in the cage.
    Overseeing the loading of the bike
  6. Feel free to click as many snaps of the bike loading – this can be used as documentary proof should the unfortunate need arise.
    Feel free to click snaps and document the packing and loading of the bike into the cage
  7. Complete the payment formalities (They charged us ₹7,500/- for transporting a Royal Enfield Himalayan from Mumbai to Chandigarh). Remember that they accept only cash-payments currently, so remember to carry it along, accordingly.
  8. Collect your receipt, thank the staff there. You may tip the loaders ₹50-100/- if you feel so (Our friend tipped ₹100)
  9. That’s it. You’re done. Congratulations! You’ve just successfully managed to ship your bike through VRL Logistics. We know that shipping the bike is only half the battle won. We’ll keep you updated on the ‘Unloading’ experience after a fortnight. Till then, here’s a recap of the key points you need to remember.
    Happy Revving 🙂

Note:

  • VRL Bike Shipping Point of Contact:
    Mr. Chavan – Mobile: 9920295214
  • It took us 2 hours for the entire procedure (11 am to 1 pm), but can be done in a shorter time. We got delayed, since we hadn’t brought along the jerry can and extra lengths of rope for securing the bike. Another point of delay was at the procedural formalities, as the systems are still facing teething issues on account of GST Compliance.
  • Shout out to fellow moto-traveler Avinash Ambekar whose VRL experience was the one final push i needed. You can read about his latest travelogue here.
  • All snaps are courtesy Pooja 🙂

 

 

 

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