Are you looking for a bicycle courier in South Africa? Want to know how to courier a bicycle? And how much does it cost to courier a bicycle? Or who is the best bicycle courier company? Whether you are looking for bicycle transport from Johannesburg to Cape Town or anywhere in-between, be it a road bike, mountain bike, e-bike or kids’ bike – join us as we look at different options for bicycle transport companies in SA.
Whether you need to ship a bike or a frame or a wheelset or accessories, for yourself or a purchase/sale, or to or from an event or race or even to be painted or repaired or for an insurance claim, Bicycle Couriers have got your back. We send anything anywhere but focus on bicycles and larger items from point A to B, typically within Southern Africa.
Why not just go directly to a courier company?
Off course you can. What we do is not rocket science. You don’t need us. But when you compare prices and see that we are often the cheapest option in any event, then why bother going for a potential impersonal experience // or hold on for hours at a call center // or feel left in the dark with a cryptic web experience? And even if you do go through the FICA process and credit vetting, many of the accounts will have a certain minimum monthly volume or expectation, so do keep that in mind.
Rather come to the professionals, who do this every day, with streamlined systems in which we have already smoothed out potential pitfalls (and possibilities you might not have considered yet).
We keep it simple
When using Bicycle Couriers, you don’t need:
- To have an Account open (FICA nightmare)
- Additional Resources (other than online payment)
- To figure out the Routes (to your destination)
- An existing Network of bike shops (just use ours)
- To worry about Billing surprises (we do upfront pricing)
- Or to Pack your bike yourself (unless you want to).
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Transparency is key
Want to go direct? Be our guest. There are almost 30 alternatives below.
Bicycle Couriers want to be as transparent as possible, so if you do want to go direct, try for yourself. Here are a couple of couriers to consider. Remember, not all of these couriers would be able to point you in the right direction with regards to boxing, dimensions or volumetric weight, and some might even require you to have an account with them in order to send your bicycle. Have fun. Get a quote. remember, time is money.
Here we go, in no specific order. All the logos are copyright of the respective owners and if you click-through you can visit their websites and in many cases obtain a quote yourself, wink-wink.
You’ve probably seen their yellow logo more than any other listed on this page. DHL is a German logistics company providing courier, package delivery and express mail service, which is a division of the German logistics firm Deutsche Post. The company was founded in (the summer of) ’69 and deliver over 1.6 billion parcels per year. Head on over to their website if you want to send your bike offshore and want to get a quote that might make your eyes water.
FedEx Corporation, formerly Federal Express Corporation and later FDX Corporation, is an American multinational conglomerate holding company focused on transportation, e-commerce and services based in Memphis, Tennessee. They do have a South African operation. I prefer to talk to a human being, rather than a virtual online assistant when booking my bicycle, what about you?
How many US movies have you seen where UPS made a delivery? United Parcel Service is an American multinational shipping & receiving and supply chain management company founded in 1907. Originally known as the American Messenger Company specializing in telegraphs, UPS has grown to become a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s largest shipping couriers. They do have a local presence, and I found costs and processes similar to that of DHL.
Did you know that Aramex is the first Arab-based company to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange? Aramex, delivery unlimited, is an Emirati multinational logistics, courier and package delivery company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company was founded by Fadi Ghandour and Bill Kingson in 1982 (what a wonderful year!) in Amman, Jordan. Aramex also has a strong presence in South Africa, and I happily use them, albeit for smaller parcels than bicycles.
Postnet is an Aramex company. It was founded in 1994 and their 5 products include: courier, copy+print, digital, stationary & traditional mailboxes. PostNet is South Aafrica’s largest privately owned counter network in the document and parcel industry, with over 400 owner-managed retail stores that serve more than 70,000 walk-in customers daily. And I am sure you’ve sent something with their R99-for-a-parcel-under-5kgs before. I know I have.
BBBEE. Skynet Express, Courier Delivery Services, Shipping & Tracking. My first impressions was, ‘WOW, this looks exactly like Postnet!’, but I saw the main offices are in BFN and PE. After some digging it seems that SkyNet is the leading black-empowered logistics solutions company in the country, according to them. Alarmingly, Firefox gave an insecure website warning for the Skynet online quoting portal due to a bad SSL certificate and then relayed to droppa.co.za, which give a quote for shipping a bicycle, after what seemed to be like too much fiddling.
CourierIt has the yellow theme with the no-frills website. CourierIt provides a specialized domestic and international express courier service. They have over 23 network hubs and 14 branches in South Africa, which is further enhanced with their ability to leverage off the RTT Group infrastructure. They also have an Extensive Owner Driver Program for last mile fulfilment. I have never sent a bicycle with CourierIt, but I have seen many RTT vehicles on the road, which brings us to the next one.
RTT Inteligent Logistics. This is an interesting one, especially for someone who started in the job market at the Shoprite/Checkers head office in Brackenfell, under current CEO Pieter Engelbrecht. The Shoprite Group has entered into a joint venture with its existing Checkers Sixty60 logistics partner, the RTT Group in which both parties will own 50%. The transaction follows on from the rapid growth of Shoprite’s pioneering on-demand grocery solution Checkers Sixty60 in which RTT On-Demand, a division of the RTT Group, has played a pivotal role in last-mile logistics. I don’t see an online quoting platform though.
They have depots in ‘the usual’ CPT, JHB, PTA, PLK, NLP, BFN, DBN, PMB, PE, EL, George, and also in Klerksdorp, Newcastle, Rustenburg, Vereeniging and Witbank. Again, the focus is on smaller items, as the very neat quick quote result for boxed bicycle transport with standard dimensions of 140*30*80 cms and 30kgs resulted in an error because of volumetric, ie ‘Cubic weight must be less than 30kg!. The actual value is 68.’ Pity.
RAM hand-to-hand couriers. Delivering for the nation. Similar to Postnet, they have a R99 parcel deal, but only for items up to 2kgs. What makes RAM unique? They never subcontract: ‘With 41 hubs across Southern Africa, over 1 500 vehicles and a team of over 2 800 trained personnel, RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers is the only South African courier with the infrastructure to allow us to deliver on our central promise: we never subcontract a single delivery.’ They online quoting solutions looks brilliant, but the dimensions are restricted to 120*60*60 and 30kgs, so no bicycles unfortunately.
Citi Sprint | Express Messenger & Courier Services is situated in Paarden Eiland, CPT. Express courier service. And express messenger service. The focus looks more local, with a 1-3 hour delivery option. National RDF road freight service is also available, with quotes via email iso online. The CC registration number was in 1985, showing that they have also been around the block. Members: AG Mc Donald | TA Wiener | Registration number: 1985/000050/23.
Triton Express: Customer Driven Logistic Solutions. Triton Express provides various road freight solutions across Southern Africa. Our very first account was with triton, but we quickly found that our volumes back then were too low to be economical and that we would be better off partnering with someone else or shipping under a different account to obtain better bulk rates.
I’ve known Andrew Norman for years and enjoy supporting them. And give compliments where due, he’s never let me down. These days we frequently use them for our DBN options and being in the industry for so many years he knows it like the back of his hand. As he says, ‘Triptych Resources has an impeccable reputation within the cycling industry through our passion and commitment in delivering and going that extra mile to ensure smooth transportation and courier of bicycles and timely delivery.’
Intertown transport (ITT)
Intertown Transport – Express Parcel Deliveries was started in 1979 by Peter Bokelmann. They say they are large enough to handle and small enough to care. And focus on being the Eastern Cape and Western Cape overnight delivery and collection specialists. We love their sleek backend with bookings and parcel management through Parcel Perfect™ | Track & Trace Courier Management Software. The one missing link though is a presence in BFN in KZN, but Bicycle Couriers are a resourceful bunch, and we have least cost routing in place through many trusted service providers to cater for same.
Courieronline is the online booking leg of ITT. These are prepaid cash rates, and I found them typically more expensive than the term account rates, due to different pricing methods and provision for card payment fees, etc. Want to speak to someone? Well, you can’t. This is an online service. Email only. You do the online quote, read through the package tips, insurance and T&C and make payment online. Print out your waybill and have it ready for collection.
I found that often people prefer to speak to an individual to guide them through a new process like sending a bicycle, especially when it comes to packing. So if it is more expensive, and you also don’t have the option of being guided by a real human, would you still prefer doing it yourself (DIY) online?
Have you seen the massive new DSV depot next to the CPT International airport? Have a look, its impressive, to say the least. They say ‘It doesn’t matter if you run a global powerhouse or local startup. We’re here to help your business grow.’ Which is true and great, but with a massive international company comes very strict and understandably rigid rules, which might not suite everyone.
DSV A/S is a Danish transport and logistics company offering transport services globally by road, air, sea and train. I find their backend systems slightly archaic and cumbersome to navigate, but there is no doubt that their system works wonders and we like using it.
Globeflight Courier Services is the green machine that now falls under DSV as well. As from their website, ‘Globeflight have merged with DSV but our services to you remains our top priority! Dedicated teams have been working together as ONE DSV to create an even better small parcel courier service for you, our valued customer.’ Economies of scale is the way forward in our modern era and it is no wonder that successful small businesses are being bought out by bigger companies looking to expand.
Drawing on the expertise of their international partner, DPDgroup (one of Europe’s leading express delivery companies), DPD Laser has 19 depots in South Africa, with over 900 delivery experts and delivers 98% on time. We mainly use them for their footprint in KZN and BFN and found that this is one where you’d better have and account and book online, rather than work through the single lengthy call-centre 😊.
Wingman no more, Dawn Wing global express is currently undergoing a rebrand to DPD Laser. Dawn Wing is one of South Africa’s leading express courier companies, specialising time definite express delivery services for letters and parcels up to 30kgs for both B2B and B2C segments in South Africa, and international markets. I have seen the new backend system under the DPD brand and it looks very promising, I can’t wait to move away from the current booking platform.
Well, if you have a Dawn Wing courier company then it only makes sense to have a Night Wing competitor as well, right? From dusk till dawn. They have major offices in JHB, CPT, PLZ and DBN and additional ownership in an extensive wholesale courier network, for an additional 19 offices. NightwinG maintains control of a network that provides clients courier services to over 180 destinations throughout South Africa, Neighbouring Countries, and Internationally. The blue option.
Fast & Furious (FNF)
Fast and Furious Couriers, delivering customized logistics, with the drive to win, is now also part of DPD Laser. The green machine. They do seem to have a more informal approach, much like yours truly, and FNF certainly compare themselves the Vin Diesel and Paul Walker franchise. ‘We do over 300 000 deliveries a month and they range from a flyer bag weighing 100 grams to 36 tons of printed matter at a time. We do cross border deliveries and drive as far as Zambia to ensure our clients’ needs are met.’ I like it.
The Courier Guy (TCG)
The Courier Guy Worldwide Express was founded in 2000 right here in sunny South Africa. We do have an account with then but have not sent any bicycle with TCG. The best rates are obtained by opening and account and can be done in various forms, from prepaid to online to 30 days. And yes, there is a principal/agent relationship between TCG and ITT, so it probably won’t make sense to carry an account with both. I fondly remember seeing them almost daily at our offices, collecting and delivering financial statements for the friendly accounting group in our block.
pudo stands for Pick Up, Drop Off and is powered by the Courier Guy (TCG). pudo is a smart locker system (so definitely not for meant bicycles*), designed to allow South Africans to send and receive parcels around the country. Even though they are not our target market for sending large items, they have some of the coolest ad campaigns around and deserve to be mentioned, just out of sheer curiosity. Go and have a look for yourself, Schalk Bezuidenhout.
AFAIK, XOC used to be a standalone domain until very recently (end of last year, ie December 2021), but now seems to be the official online quoting platform for The Courier Guy. Previously it was the same interface as CourierOnline from ITT, but now has a completely redesigned engine and look and feel. It is not as fast for getting quotes as before, but the new system with point and click addresses from a map certainly has its merits.
Internet express offers Specialized Express Shipping for Business & Private Deliveries. They do e-commerce fulfillment, have a powerful API for online retailers and have a six-step online order system (plus an easy-to-use website), ‘it’s that simple’. The focus seems to be on smaller parcels, because the bicycle courier quotes we got were priced at a higher cost than what we charge as our retail cost to customer. Again, different strokes. As mentioned before, not all options on this page might be an exact fit for sending a bicycle.
Rush. Your courier. Your choice. TBH I haven’t heard of Rush until a google search while doing research for this report. Rush South Africa (Pty) Ltd 2016 is situated in Fourways, JHB. I love their domestic quick quote system, but I doubt you will enjoy the answers it provides for shipping a bicycle. They boast The Courier Guy (TCG), CourierIT and Globeflight as their trusted courier service providers and the quick quote system relays your given info to obtain quotes from all three.
MDS Collivery Cape Town. I bet you’ve seen the familiar green and red and white of MDS and Collivery.net before. They claim to be South Africa’s leading web based express domestic and international courier company – and their website is certainly fast enough. Based on the number of satellite hubs upcountry, they certainly have a larger presence around Gauteng and KZN than in the Western Cape. From my experience they focus on smaller items and all the boxed bicycle quotes we have received were prohibitively expensive. No offense, just different strokes.
Obviously. The easy alternative. Book online. Then Box your bike for a door to door collection. Or drop it off at your local bike shop for them to box and we collect directly from there. And send it to your destination.
Oh, and we’re the direct opposite of RAM hand to hand couriers when it comes to their promise of never outsourcing any delivery. We proudly outsource all our deliveries! Why? Because we stick to our own expertise (IT and our intimate network of bicycle shops), while the couriers do the logistics. Win-win.
Sending your bicycle couldn’t be easier. All of our service providers are in the list above. We make use of some of them, not all of them. And we do so to save you time and effort. Plus, with our bulk discounts, sending your bicycle through #bicyclecouriers is likely going to be cheaper than going direct. Now isn’t that lovely?