ChiCargo Playa Shipping 2017
A Fundraiser for B.U.R.N.
(detailed description & sign up)

Thanks for your interest in ChiCargo 2017! If you haven't already, you may want to read the summary first.

This document is divided into sections:

  1. New for 2017: Summary of changes

  2. The basics

  3. Prohibited items

  4. Bins

  5. BYOlock system

  6. Bikes

  7. Irregular items

  8. Chicago drop off

  9. Playa pick up

  10. Playa drop off

  11. Chicago pick up

  12. Payment

  13. Link to sign up form

  14. Stay connected

1. New for 2017: summary of changes

  • Prices are now: $60 for BYO standardized bin; $12 per cubic foot for irregular items; $10 for empty bin

  • For everyone's safety and sanity, gross weight limit for bins is 100 lbs per bin (gross = contents + bin + lock + etc).  We estimate less than 5% of bins in 2016 were overweight.

  • Aug 1 update:

    Costco switched suppliers and no longer sells the correct bin.  Correct bins are available from Menards and Lowes. Correct bins are manufactured by Centrex AND have a square pattern on the yellow lid.  Incorrect bins have various diamond patterns on the yellow lid (regardless of manufacturer).

  • If you are concerned about having the correct bin or might have difficulty getting a correct bin, we strongly recommend signing up for empty bins at load in.
  • Long-shackle locks are strongly encouraged

  • New guidelines on decorating boxes in non-MOOPy ways

  • New systems for quickly locating boxes and locks on-playa

  • On playa, all irregular items will use the lock-and-cable system, so irregular items must be lockable

  • Playa drop off ends Monday 9/4 at 10am

  • Time-based pricing:

    - "Early Burner Discount": 10% price decrease before 6/1 :)
    - "Sparkle Pony Penalty": 10% price increase after 8/12 :(

2. The basics:

  • Round trip prices: $60 for BYO standardized bin and $12 per cubic foot for irregular items

  • One-way trips are half off

  • For bikes, we recommend Cobra’s Chicago-based $90 bike shipping service, email for details

  • Public, interactive art qualifies for a 10% discount: for consideration, email *before* signing up

  • Transported by contracted freight professionals via a licensed & insured semi-trailer

  • Transparent fundraiser for Bold Urban Renaissance Network, a IL 501(c)3 that provides art grants, organizes Decomp, etc.

  • A portion of donated funds will go to the Burner Exchange program, which provides airfare, transportation, and event tickets for a Lakes of Fire attendee to visit AfrikaBurn and vice versa

  • Space is limited, first come first serve, and reservations are valid only after completion of the online sign up and successful payment processing

  • Sign up closes when space is filled OR 8/19 at 8:00pm Chicago time

  • There are no refunds after 8/19 at 8:00pm Chicago time

3. Prohibited items

  • Prohibited items include but are not limited to:

    • illegal drugs: cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, etc;

    • "partially legal" drugs: marijuana, cannabis, derivatives or synthetic thereof, etc;

    • perishable food or beverage: produce, milk, fresh juices, etc;

    • fireworks: signal flares, sparklers, other explosives, etc;

    • flammables/fuel: propane, butane, gasoline, diesel, white gas, matches, lighters, etc;

    • paints: spray paint, oil-based paint, etc;

    • household Items: bleach, spray starch, insecticides, drain cleaners, solvents, etc;

    • pressure containers: scuba tanks, camp stove propane canisters, carbon dioxide cartridges, nitrous oxide cartridges, etc;

    • weapons: firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, mace, tear-gas, pepper spray, etc;

    • hazardous materials: dry ice, gasoline-powered tools, wet-cell batteries, camping equipment with fuel, radioactive materials, poisons, infectious substances, etc;

    • wet goods that could open and destroy other property and/or stink up the trailer (stinky cheese), etc.

    • living beings: dogs, cats, humans, fish, etc.

4. Bins

  • $60 price is only for 27 gallon "Tough Box" bins by Centrex

    • NOT 27 gallon "Professional Box" at Costco (suppliers changed!)

    • NOT 27 gallon storage tote by HDX sold at Home Depot

    • NOT 27 gallon "Tough Tote" by Homz sold at Amazon

    • If you use a non-Centrex tote, it will be irregular and you will be charged $70 or more
  • Gross weight limit for bins is 100 lbs per bin (gross = contents + bin + lock + etc)

  • Bag your bin contents or tape the edges of your bin to prevent intrusion of playa dust

  • Aug 1 update:

    Not recommended but available: pre-purchase a bin available at Chicago drop off for $10 (at cost).
    At Chicago drop off, we will have a pre-printed weatherproof plastic label for each bin and irregular item. Combined with a new grid system for on-playa pickup, labeling/decorating bins is no longer needed.
  • New for 2017: Before Chicago drop off, we recommend you may want to decorate your bin in non-MOOPy ways:

  • OK: Sharpie, paint pen, duct tape, large plastic stickers
    NOT OK: Spray paint, house paint, masking tape, washi tape, small stickers, paper stickers
  • Lid must close completely and be secured at all 6 points with zip ties: cinch zip ties tight, cut off extra length
  • Bins should be packed carefully: they will have hundreds of pounds stacked on it, or leaning against it from any direction

5. BYOlock system
  • At Chicago drop off, bin owners must bring one lock per bin (unlocked)

    • Locks must be compatible with lock holes in Centrex bin

    • When locked to bin, shank must have extra space for a 1/4" diameter cable to pass through (similar to standard pencil) 

    • New for 2017: If at all possible, please use a long-shackle lock

    • Locks cannot obstruct or interfere with bin stacking

    • Combination style locks strongly recommended, especially if a friend may pick up or drop off your bin

    • Bike locks (cable or U lock) are OK if meeting the above criteria, but not recommended, and can only be used for one bin

    • Bins cannot be locked together or otherwise attached to each other

  • New for 2017: at Chicago drop off, irregular items must prep their item for locking and bring one lock per item (unlocked)

    • See above guidelines for bins

  • More info about the BYOlock system available here

6. Bikes

  • For bike shipping, we strongly recommend Cobra’s Chicago-based $90 round trip bike shipping service, email for more details

  • If you must use ChiCargo to ship your bike, we have limited space for bicycles at a flat cost of $150

  • No trikes, recumbents, "tall bikes," gas- or electric-assist, etc.

  • All bicycles must "fit flat" in provided boxes (70" x 41" x 8.5") 

  • "Fit flat" requires turning/removing handlebars, removing pedals, and removing any other wide objects/decorations (attach loose parts to bike frame with zip ties)

  • Wheels must remain on bicycle and must be at least partially inflated

  • No tools will be available at Chicago or playa drop off or pick up, bring your own tools as necessary

  • Recommendation: responsibly use additional bike box space.  Things like pillows/blankets inside garbage bags can fill empty space, but do so responsibly, as your packing affects all the boxes around you

7. Irregular items

  • Irregular item capacity is limited at our discretion

  • Orders with irregular items may be declined with full refund within 24 hours of order submission

  • We cannot accept fragile or delicate items, may not be able to accept items with any one dimension longer than 8'

  • Dimensions & pricing is "highest point rectilinear" and uses the following procedure:

    • Measure length, width, and height at longest, widest, and tallest point

    • Then, round up to the nearest whole inch. Ex: 14.4" x 30.2" x 43.8" becomes 15" x 31" x 44"

    • Multiply the result and then divide by 1728 for the precise cubic feet. Ex: 15*31*44 = 20,460 then 20,460 / 1728 = 11.84

    • Round up to the nearest cubic foot then multiply by $12 for final cost   Ex. 11.84 becomes 12 then 12*$12 = $144

8. Chicago drop off

  • Chicago drop off will be Saturday, August 19th from noon-8pm within the city limits of Chicago accessible via public transit or car (exact location provided in August to those who sign up)

  • At Chicago drop off, the owner of the bin must be present with a photo ID

  • At Chicago drop off, bin owners must bring one lock per bin (unlocked) (see section 5 above)

  • New for 2017: At Chicago drop off, we will have new systems for quickly locating boxes and locks on-playa

9. Playa pick up

  • Playa pick up starts Thursday 8/24 at noon (Early Access)

  • Bins will be in dedicated ChiCargo area of "Octomelon" camp at 5:15 and G

  • Bins will be locked to a semi-trailer via a steel cable: unlock your lock to remove your bin, then re-lock your lock to the cable

  • Bikes shipped with Cobra's Bike Shipping will be at location 5:30 and E

10. Playa drop off

  • New for 2017: Playa drop off ends Monday 9/4 at 10am

  • Bins must be returned to the ChiCargo area, re-locked to the steel cable

11. Chicago pick up

  • Chicago pick up will be Saturday 9/9 from noon-8pm at same location as above

  • To claim bins, participants must open the bin's lock

12. Payment & Refunds

  • Successful payment via credit or debit card is required to sign up

  • Accepted cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club

  • If possible, please submit payment in one lump sum covering all items shipped

  • Full refunds are available before 8/19 at 8:00pm Chicago time (also the end of sign up)

  • Refund requests must be submitted via email: reply to the confirmation email (subject line: "Thanks for your sign up of X items") and double-check it's being sent to

  • Refund requests will receive a reply within 48 hours; actual timing of repayment may vary based on your credit/debit card

13. Link to sign up form

  • If you would like to use this program and have no further questions, you can sign up and pay by clicking HERE

14. Stay connected

  • If you would like to receive news and updates on ChiCargo, like and follow our FB page