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Hi all…I'm looking for feedback/ideas on how you have shipped items from the USA (CA in my case) to Europe. I have a rocking hippo that I've built for a Great Nephew that I need to send to Germany. His brother and sister already have a rocking horse and elephant they received while they lived in San Francisco.

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Unfortunately, the size of the hippo makes it too large to be shipped by the USPS (the cheapest way to ship). If I had checked before I built it, I would have adjusted the plans.

I've made a crate for the hippo. The final size is 39" x 27" x 15", and weighs 48 pounds.

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The cost to ship Fedex, DHL, and UPS are all very high.

I have found three alternative ways to ship so far:

UPS freight - Less than half the normal UPS shipping rate if it doesn't need to be there within 3 days, and you can use this service if the package is less than 151 pounds.

International Parcel Services - http://ipsparcel.com/ -You use their high volume to get discount DHL shipping. Has anyone used this service? Were/are you happy with the service?

NEX Worldwide Express - http://www.shipnex.com/ - From what I've seen on their website, it looks like they use their own transportation, not DHL, UPS, or Fedex. Has anyone used this service? Were/are you happy with the service?

Are there any other services that you have used? Were/are you happy with the service?

The things you do for family…

Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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I've used UPS Freight quite a few times - including internationally - and have had fantastic luck with their service. Before reading the bottom of your post, I was going to suggest UPS Freight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Lis,

I'm leaning towards UPS Freight because I'm dealing directly with them, not through someone else like IPS (when you do a Google search for IPS you get a lot of "King of Queens" TV show results), or someone I've never heard of (NEX). And, although I have not sent anything through UPS freight, I've received from them.

Thanks for the response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jim,

That's an angle I haven't thought about.

I'll have to talk to some people that have someone in the Service to see how they ship packages. I've seen news stories about people sending care packages to the troops via the USPS.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
- Shipping Update -

I'm sure UPS Freight could have made it more difficult. Luckily my shipment was less than 150 pounds and I had other options.

I used International Parcel Service with DHL. After an error message, I called their 800 number about 7:30PM their time. The office manager answered and completed the order for me. Within five minutes I received the confirmation email with the address label and commercial invoice. Not only did someone help me complete the process, they acted like they wanted my business, and it was cheaper than UPS Freight.

Check out IPS the next time you need to ship something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
David,

KD?

It was glued together using biscuits and dowels, no screws. I was going to cut the rocker off but my wife stopped me.

After checking the finished rocking horse dimensions, it could be shipped USPS. But during the final hippo design, I added a couple inches to the head (it just didn't look right). I didn't even think about what it would do the shipping. Live and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A word of warning about using a third party when shipping:

I just got an email from IPS stating that DHL re-measured the packaged and their numbers were larger than those I entered, so IPS has charged my credit card another $99. I know the measurements of the box because I built it, and rounded up to the whole inch for shipping dimensions. When I called DHL, they said the box measurements were not noted on the paperwork they received (it was entered into the IPS computer system, not a DHL system so no electronic record). Even if I produced pictures showing their measurements were wrong, they would not change their records/charges.

So, what have I learned from this experience? Make sure the package size is included on the commercial invoice/waybill along with the description.

Even with the additional charge, it was >$200 less than conventional UPS, Fedex, and if I went directly to DHL. And it made it just a little more than UPS freight.
 

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So what about domestic shipping? I have a project I've almost completed that needs to be shipped halfway across US. I think final size will be roughly the size of a large golf bag, a little larger, maybe.

Does anyone have any good ideas for domestic shipping? <50lbs> (Accounting for packaging material and boxing)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Chip,

USPS weight limit is 44 pounds, then there is the size. Go to http://postcalc.usps.gov/ and enter you figures to see if you can make it work.

IPS does domestic shipping. Check their website (above) and compare their cost to you get from the UPS, Fedex, and DHL sites.

If you go for IPS, make sure the package size is noted on the commerical invoice, and take some pictures showing the the actual size.

My $0.02 & good luck!
 

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Chip, try to find a UPS shipping station. We have one at our Rite Aid store. It is cheaper there than taking it to the UPS counter. UPS says that is because Rite Aid has a license and therefore can ship cheaper for their customers. I did take something almost 50# and they shipped it.
 

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You might want to check with the major airlines (Delta, etc.) as they also ship cargo of your type on passenger flights. Don't know the comparable costs or what security hoops you'll have to jump through, but it might be worth looking into. All the recipient would need to do on the distant end is pick it up at the airport.
 

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Any chance they are coming to visit, or are you planning to go to Europe??

Could get it home with them for just the "Oversize Bag" charge. It is already less than 50 pounds.
 
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