Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beware of VANGUARD Logistic Services, Bangkok!!!

One would assume that the shipping agent and company which conducted the shipping of the motorcycle from the U.S. to Thailand in 2013 would be the natural choice for return trip shipping.

Maybe in theory. But in reality one could not be more wrong!

To deal with VANGUARD's local Bangkok office was an experience I will not forget easily. Here, the level of customer disservice is defined anew. I have never encountered a more confusing, unhelpful, disorganized and unprofessional way of dealing with me, the paying customer. Their business policy seems to be to make it as hard as possible for a customer, at least in the case of a private shipper, like myself. On top comes their utter inability to speak English.

Maybe they deal with their regular commercial customers in a different way, who knows. I, at least, don't, and I don't want to know.

Due to my limited time here in the country I needed to get the return shipping squeezed in during my stay here, of course. My time in Thailand cannot be extended, plus the bike only has a temporary import license until the end of the month of January. After that, customs penalties will be applied (max. 10,000 Thai Baht up to 6 month, after that, potential confiscation of the vehicle.)

VANGUARD and their dismal 'service' did cost me around three precious weeks of my stay here, and without materializing into any tangible result.

After I realized that VANGUARD would be a NO GO, I contacted by email, and/or phone, including my office visits at VANGUARD ten companies:

1. DB Schenker, fully owned by German railways: Major shipping and relocation company.
No personal effects are handled.
2. Kuehne & Nagel, large Swiss based shipping company: Same.
3. DHL: No ocean shipping.
4. BlueSta Shipping, Bangkok. A contact I had from Thai friends of mine in Bangkok:
More than 1.5x the cost, yet no crating services, no U.S. Customs clearance. A weird experience too since the company doesn't have a web site.
5. APL Logistics, a contact I had from Frank, my German friend in Tucson, Arizona, who imports lots of ceramics from Vietnam to the U.S.: Never got back to me.
6. Boonma Outbound Inc., an affiliate of DB Schenker: Never got back to me.
7. Freight Center Inc. Never got back to me.
8. EaseFreight, Bangkok. Never got back to me.

The last shipping agent I contacted, literally, I had from my frantic search on the various motorcycle forums on the internet. It was Prompt Shipping in Bangkok.
(Contacting means to send about 15 pdf. attachments of various necessary documents, most of the time in 'installments' to avoid maximum data limits by the receiver, meaning countless emails.

Here is the link to where I found the company who finally appeared to be god sent:

I am happy that I was so lucky.

After my nightmare-ish experience with the same company who delivered the motorcycle to Asia, I can't image that any other agent would do a better job than Khun Mon from Prompt Shipping.

Thanks, indeed.

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