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PhilipKT

Shipping a cello to England advice?

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Hi All

a friend wants to ship a cello to England and was quoted  a whopping $1,200 without insurance.

she suggested someone here might have some suggestions so I’m asking the best way to safely ship a cello across the Great Water?

Edited by PhilipKT
Wrong amount!

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The destination location of the instrument is makes a difference in price.

For example, when i ship a bow to a business, it might cost less than shipping to a house. But at this point, if i have to ship a cello, i only do it from a airport to airport unless i am flying with the instrument. Someone has to be willing to get the instrument from the freight section of the airport and be able to do an inspection of the package.... Some airlines have a partnership with a freight company and the shipping and the paper work is quick and easy. In the US, depending on the city, Southwest airlines have been pretty good. With many of the 737s grounded, not sure now... 

If the destination is less than a thousand miles I will drive it at my convenience unless it is a student cello. 

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52 minutes ago, GoPractice said:

The destination location of the instrument is makes a difference in price.

For example, when i ship a bow to a business, it might cost less than shipping to a house. But at this point, if i have to ship a cello, i only do it from a airport to airport unless i am flying with the instrument. Someone has to be willing to get the instrument from the freight section of the airport and be able to do an inspection of the package.... Some airlines have a partnership with a freight company and the shipping and the paper work is quick and easy. In the US, depending on the city, Southwest airlines have been pretty good. With many of the 737s grounded, not sure now... 

If the destination is less than a thousand miles I will drive it at my convenience unless it is a student cello. 

Shipping is our only choice, and we have to ship directly to the business. my friend was just hoping that somebody here had some experience shipping overseas and could recommend something

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3 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Hi All

a friend wants to ship a cello to England and was quoted  a whopping $1,200 without insurance.

she suggested someone here might have some suggestions so I’m asking the best way to safely ship a cello across the Great Water?

Sounds odd to me.  They get here safely from China all the time for peanuts.  What's so difficult shipping to England?  :huh:

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There are dozens of aggregate courier sites and each offer a number of services. If you go straight to a courier you will be ripped off blind.

For example with Interparcel.com, an 8kg plywood box 120x50x40 would cost £250 or so with TNT ... the insurance should be arranged as a separate one-off policy through a specialist broker like Lark, or you could negociate that with the shop.

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17 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Hi All

a friend wants to ship a cello to England and was quoted  a whopping $1,200 without insurance.

At that price, it would probably be less expensive to purchase  seats for him/herself and the cello (presuming a budget flight), spend a day there including a meal of jen-wine steak and kidney pie, and fly back home, a little worse for wear and tear, but looking back fondly on the experience. :)

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16 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

At that price, it would probably be less expensive to purchase  seats for him/herself and the cello (presuming a budget flight), spend a day there including a meal of jen-wine steak and kidney pie, and fly back home, a little worse for wear and tear, but looking back fondly on the experience. :)

Exactly. But that’s not really an option. Also, there are actually two cellos involved. The price quoted was for cello, or they could’ve been combined for $3500

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58 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Exactly. But that’s not really an option.

OK. Find a trustworthy person who would like to take that trip for free air fare. I've transported cellos internationally that way a couple of times. Some people have never been to Europe, and would be thrilled at the opportunity.

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2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Exactly. But that’s not really an option. Also, there are actually two cellos involved. The price quoted was for cello, or they could’ve been combined for $3500

IMHO, there's something really wrong here.  You need to sit down with the USPS international rates schedules (along with cello-sized boxes and rolls of bubble pack) and save yourself some serious money.  People on eBay or Amazon ship cello-sized stuff everywhere all the time for under $150 (sometimes a LOT under). 

If someone can EMS a suit of Japanese armor from Tokyo to the USA for under $200, you're doing something  most unfortunate, somewhere.  :)

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20 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Hi All

a friend wants to ship a cello to England and was quoted  a whopping $1,200 without insurance.

she suggested someone here might have some suggestions so I’m asking the best way to safely ship a cello across the Great Water?

It has always been expensive exporting from the US. DHL, UPS, FEDEX charge outrageous prices compared to other regions. A cello shipped to Germany via UPS, expect about $1,400, a cello from Germany to the US is about €400 (and this is a recently increased price).  I have uncovered a courier called “Send My Bag.” Check them out.  I’ve used them twice with fine results as they still use major couriers with custom logistics. Cost about $450 in a 54x16x20 box.

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2 minutes ago, Michael H said:

It has always been expensive exporting from the US. DHL, UPS, FEDEX charge outrageous prices compared to other regions. A cello shipped to Germany via UPS, expect about $1,400, a cello from Germany to the US is about €400 (and this is a recently increased price).  I have uncovered a courier called “Send My Bag.” Check them out.  I’ve used them twice with fine results as they still use major couriers with custom logistics. Cost about $450 in a 54x16x20 box.

Thanks!

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Philip, are these going to an auction house?  If so they should arrange turnkey shipping for you.  It should be covered by their insurance with zero hassle for you in the event of a claim, and they would be responsible for customs clearance and any other legal issues.  I would even think that they'd simply deduct the cost from the sale proceeds.

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1 hour ago, StanY said:

Philip, are these going to an auction house?  If so they should arrange turnkey shipping for you.  It should be covered by their insurance with zero hassle for you in the event of a claim, and they would be responsible for customs clearance and any other legal issues.  I would even think that they'd simply deduct the cost from the sale proceeds.

They aren’t mine, but I will pass that information along, thank you very much!

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I'm just about to ship two mandolins (in one box 85x35x17cm) from EU to US and got quoted EUR 360 including insurance to 6000EUR by FedEx. (the economy shipping) . Last time I shipped with them 2 years ago I paid 117EUR for single mandolin now the prices are almost double as they teamed with TNT here in EU. There are smaller companies that will offer better prices... I've considered the trip as well but crossing US border can be PITA for us.

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On 10/1/2019 at 7:26 AM, Violadamore said:

Sounds odd to me.  They get here safely from China all the time for peanuts.  What's so difficult shipping to England?  :huh:

I dont think you can compare state sponsored shipping  discounts from China to any other scenario in other countries.

Between £200- £300 is usual in the UK to the US for a cello + whatever you can sort out for insurance.

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51 minutes ago, fiddlecollector said:

Hogo ,that seems very expensive ,i assume your paying a large amount for insurance.

Yes, it does. But unless you are business registered with them and have some kind of discount these are prices for ordinary Joe. The insurance is actually just about 26 EUR for the 6000 EUR value.

Here is the basic pricelist from Slovakia (USA iz zone A) so my package is roughly 13kg (volumetric) you are at 244EUR and when you add fuel surcharge (19% these days), insurance (26EUR) and VAT  (20%) over the whole you are  well over 300EUR...

I don't pack in double box and rather make my own exactly fitting "case" out of styrofoam panels (carved so instrument fits tightly)  and thin plywood to get best protection with small size, otherwise the volumetric weight would place me into really stratopheric sums.

Last time I shipped with them I paid 117EUR to the same address, but that was 2 years ago and they offered "WES" Economy that was roughly half of the current prices.

BTW, when I ordered 1/4 cello for my son from UK (2 years ago) I think the shipping was free (or so low I don't remember it). Total cost was approx 250 EUR, cello packed in large semi-hard case  (styrofoam) and boxed in quite oversized box filled with "air pillows" so the shipping for businesses can be much lower.

FedEx.jpg

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They seem to be standard fedex prices .So i assume you don`t have multi shipping brokers like Interparcel or parcel2go in Slovakia?

Even with shipping brokers the insurance is often more than the shipping price and they usually have a 2000GBP limit(through interprcel) unless you can get higher limits. You also dont know if you are properly covered with shipping brokers due to exclusions. Its a chance i usually take as the cost is far lower than standard courier prices.

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All I can say is that those international rates do not exist on our end here the US, even with a business account. Shipping domestically is relatively cheap, and safe.

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3 hours ago, fiddlecollector said:

I dont think you can compare state sponsored shipping  discounts from China to any other scenario in other countries.

Between £200- £300 is usual in the UK to the US for a cello + whatever you can sort out for insurance.

China's EMS (air express mail, takes about a week) rate for shipping something roughly a meter long and around 3 kilograms, equates to $40 USD, shipper's cost.  EMS from Japan for the same package runs around $60, and takes 5 days.  It's easy to find this out from the shipping documents, BTW.  The USPS rate for a similar parcel to the UK is $103.15 (retail, commercial is $97.81) by Priority Mail Express International.  My point is that $1200 to $3500 for some sort of private shipping arrangement for something that can be mailed, sounds much too expensive.  :)

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59 minutes ago, fiddlecollector said:

They seem to be standard fedex prices .So i assume you don`t have multi shipping brokers like Interparcel or parcel2go in Slovakia?

Even with shipping brokers the insurance is often more than the shipping price and they usually have a 2000GBP limit(through interprcel) unless you can get higher limits. You also dont know if you are properly covered with shipping brokers due to exclusions. Its a chance i usually take as the cost is far lower than standard courier prices.

The vast majority of couriers exclude musical instruments for insurance. Best you might get is for loss, not damage, even loss may not be covered. UPS did cover but not sure of their policy now. 10 years back they virtually all covered musical instruments providing you paid for the enhanced cover. I think ebay ended it all. Too many instruments going badly packed with the resulting increase in claims.

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On 10/1/2019 at 9:54 AM, martin swan said:

There are dozens of aggregate courier sites and each offer a number of services. If you go straight to a courier you will be ripped off blind.

For example with Interparcel.com, an 8kg plywood box 120x50x40 would cost £250 or so with TNT ... the insurance should be arranged as a separate one-off policy through a specialist broker like Lark, or you could negociate that with the shop.

Btw that is the rate to send a cello from the US to the UK

so anyone in the US just needs to get their recipient to organize it if these sites are somehow invisible to US browsers.

interparcel, parcelmonkey, deliver the world, postage supermarket, transglobal etc

take out specialist insurance 

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

China's EMS (air express mail, takes about a week) rate for shipping something roughly a meter long and around 3 kilograms, equates to $40 USD, shipper's cost.  EMS from Japan for the same package runs around $60, and takes 5 days.  It's easy to find this out from the shipping documents, BTW.  The USPS rate for a similar parcel to the UK is $103.15 (retail, commercial is $97.81) by Priority Mail Express International.  My point is that $1200 to $3500 for some sort of private shipping arrangement for something that can be mailed, sounds much too expensive.  :)

I totally agree 1200- 3500$ is extortionate. Nearly every package ive received from China was by EMS ,they must get some huge discount or something though as they often ship for free. Also even packages ive received where i`ve bought something for several hundred pounds sterling have had a declared value of no more than 10$ US. 

That said even putting in for quotes for something the size of a packed cello at say Interparcel.com your options rapidly diminish,especially if over 120 cm long. I think only 2 shippers came up in the quote, and that was TNT and UPS.

 

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