Shipping from US to Bremen

14 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi!

 

My husband and I are moving to Bremen soon. After living in Germany for what was only supposed to be a year, we have decided to stay for another few years while my husband studies for a Master's degree. We have a couple boxes full of books and other random items that we left at my parents' home last year. Now my husband wants all of his books and I would like to have some stuff of my own sent here as well.

 

Of course we could just have my parents send them through DHL, UPS etc...but that can cost a fortune because of the weight of the books. We could also have a visitor bring an extra suitcase and pay $25, rather than the higher cost of shipping. I wanted to know if anyone knows of an alternative? I have looked into some shipping companies and from what I have seen you have to pay for an entire container or be a commercial customer. Has anyone else had to send a few boxes?

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

Deanna

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Posted

Instead of using commercial companies such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, I would suggest using US Postal Service. They would be the most economical way of getting your books across the pond. Plus since this is already pre-owned stuff, there won't be anything to declare or tax for duty. So customs won't be an issue. Depending on how big the boxes are, you may be able to ship them in an economical fashion.

Good Luck

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Posted

Thanks for your advice! It looks like my brother is going to come visit so he will bring the books ;)

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Posted

deanna.d,

 

Congrats on the move. I am going to be moving to Bremen soon as well! Another tip is that UPS has flat rate boxes that I have used to ship books before. They are not huge, but you can fit as many books/things as possible in one box for one rate (the largest I beleive is $55). So for smaller, heavier things it is a good deal, but for other things, brothers are helpful :)

 

Good luck!

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Posted

The m-rate is only for books/published material and is half the cost ($3/lb). What airline is only $25/extra bag? I need to fly that one! Most of the ones I fly are $100/2nd bag, which is still cheaper than shipping at 50 lbs.

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Posted

Hi, we just moved from the US to UK. We used UPakWeShip (Worldwide movers) www.upakweship.com - they were absolutely terrific. Customer service is great, and took such good care of us - holding our hands through the whole process. They delivered two large boxes on a pallett, we filled the boxes with our belongings, mostly household and personal items, the big boxes were covered in a huge plastic sheet and secured. Then when we arrived were delivered to our new home. They are also very reasonable. The email address for a quote is move@upakweship.com. Would definately recommend them.

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Posted

Haha, Gail, yea...$25 is domestic...haha...he had to pay $100.

 

YIKES!

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Posted

WATCH shipping via US post. It is cheaper but we've been hammered by customs so much that now I'll ONLY use FedEx or UPS. Lesson's learned: Don't send anything Nike or Adidas or it will be held up for weeks while they check to see if it's "counterfeit" (our son literally got his Christmas presents on Christmas Eve when I'd sent them four weeks earlier). Don't send prescription or over the counter meds. I could write a tome on shipping issues between the U.S. and Germany. Trust me, if it can wait until someone flies over to Germany or until someone comes back to the U.S. for a visit, let it wait.

 

As for your books, find a nice soul who'll put them in their luggage. We provide this service for our son's German student friends who like to purchase American books (much cheaper). Unloading the car at JFK is a real drag, but we're always happy to help people save a few on shipping costs.

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Posted

Just wanted to add that we also had a very bad experience with the US postal service. We shipped about a dozen boxes of personal belongings and added insurance for each box. None of the boxes were actually delivered to our door; my husband had to pick them up at customs (a hassle). Some of the items arrived broken. We tried to file a claim for the insurance, but the USPS insisted on verification from the German post of the damage. Since my husband had picked up the items at customs and not the post office, he had no way of getting this verification. The US postal service wouldn't budge. We had paid several hundred dollars to ship items which we could no longer use. In the future, I would use a single company (i.e. UPS, FedEx, etc.). for the whole shipping process.

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Posted

I will also state that you never use the US Postal Service to ship anything other than a letter to Germany. As others have said, the boxes will be at customs and not delivered. They will be physically damaged and many things inside damaged. They also lost one of our packages. We insured everything, the insuance limit is $500/package. It was a nightmare getting the insurance and the refund for the shipping. They insisted I personally go to the postoffice where the packages where shipped. It took months for them to understand that I no longer live in the US and could not goto the postoffice. They cannot understand that anyone would ever move from the US or even across the country.

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Posted

It has been said repeatedly in the previous few posts but I'll say it too. Do not send boxes via USPS. Individual letters have been no issue.

 

Unless you're dying to disprove the theory that government workers aren't the same everywhere in the world use UPS as they take care of all the customs BS. This is well worth the price you pay for it if you are shipping items that are valuable to you.

 

In our case it was a box of held mail sent by a friend in a box via USPS: we don't know anyone in the service so I couldn't use an APO. Six weeks after it was sent all we received was the box top. Another two months later all of the individual letters had finally arrived back at our old PO box. Then we had her resend it all via UPS. It cost 4 times the price but all 20ish pounds of mail showed up, all at once with the box top, and it took less than 10 days. I assume FedEx and DHL work similarly.

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Posted

If Devon Girl's post about UPakWeShip is legitimate I'm very happy to hear of her positive experience but please note that she appears to have posted her review the date she joined TT and has yet to be heard from again. Not that I'm cynical...!

 

I have been researching shipping options from US > Germany online and the reviews for UPakWeShip (apparently also known as EuroUSA) are, in the main, horrible. Many stories of customers having to file legal actions after being "taken" in a variety of ways.

 

P.S. Apologies to Devon Girl if she's "for real". I think she was lucky.

 

Any suggestions out there regarding other companies?

 

Thanks!

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Posted

expat2be... I used UPakWeShip/EuroUSA last year for a move from the U.S. (east coast) to Germany and could not be happier with their service. Office staff was very helpful as far as paperwork, truck for self-loading was on time, and delivery was smooth. The only slight hiccup being our container was delayed for two days leaving Bremerhaven on it's way south to us via rail. The EuroUSA representative handling our case here notified us of this with plenty of notice. I would definitely use them again. On a side note, once you have your container # you can actually track it with any number of maritime tracking websites.

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Posted

I used UPakWeShip and had a mixed experience with them. They were mostly nice and helpful to deal with, and the price wasn't horrific (although I got a quote from another company too late that would have included packing our things as well for just $400 more, which would have been well worth it in my opinion).

 

The downsides came in the fact that since UPakWeShip consolidates things at every step, it took *forever* for our stuff to get here, about 2 and a half months. Also, while this is going to sound like an odd thing to complain about, the shipping company on the German end was a day early with no notice (they were supposed to call when they got into Germany according to the people we worked with on the European end). Luckily my wife had still not left for work and we were able to pretty quickly move things off the street but it would have been nice to know when it was going to arrive.

 

Also, they gave me a big run around about paying with an echeck. They said they wouldn't enter their bank details on my bank's site to confirm them (my bank already had them because I had entered them to initiate the payment) because they were worried about "fraud" on the internet. Nevermind this information is on the invoice they sent me via email, completely unsecured.

 

One of the three UBoxes we shipped arrrived damaged with two boxes that were originally on the inside *on the outside*, although in the end nothing was damaged.

 

So all in all I'd give them an enthusiastic "meh". :)

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