Shipping Via Airfreight

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User Ozzidoc wrote the following helpful post. Be sure to click through to read the other helpful responses. Sending small boxes might be a good option for you if you do not have furniture or lots of heavy items to send over.

Removals and shipping by container are covered in other entries.

My shipping / airfreight experience

I thought that I’d share this in case it was of use to anyone…

After six years living apart, I was finally moving permanently to the US to be with my UKC husband. I was taking personal effects only, no furniture.

I purchased double-walled cardboard boxes and packing paraphenalia from here: They arrived within two business days.

I packed 12 boxes with my personal effects (clothes, books, cooking/baking ware, course papers, photos etc). I don’t know how accurate my weighing was – my husband stepped on the bathroom scales with each box and we simply extracted his weight from the number! Total weight 204kg.

I numbered each of the unsealed boxes and wrote on each of them what the exact contents were. At the same time, I input this information onto a word document on my laptop, along with the weight and the boxes measurements.

Through BE, I had heard about companies like: whereby your parcels/boxes could travel door to door in less than a week via a reputable company like Fedex or DHL.

Once I had all the information about my shipment (ie box numbers, their sizes and weights), I obtained several on-line quotes for air freight and for standard sea freight.

There was quite a difference in prices between providers. I attempted to get hold of the air freight dept of several airlines, but I didn’t try too hard….I was out of time!

Ultimately I chose to go with: who trade under then name of “Fast Lane”. I had several provider and speed-of-delivery options. I chose DHL’s economy (or something similar) which had a usual arrival time of 4 – 7 days after collection. It was the cheapest DHL option, and meant that I could specify the date of collection but not the specific time slot, not even morning vs afternoon.

Here’s what happened…

Monday lunchtime I finally finished packing, weighing and my inventory.

I found the company I wanted to go with online. I had a quick question about insurance. I rang the company, who were very helpful and answered my questions. I completed my order online, paying by credit card. I then printed out all of the associated paperwork including a number of delivery labels. I printed 36, as I wanted three for each box (one attached inside and outside, and a spare loose one inside). The delivery address was my husband’s work address.

Tuesday Fast Lane sent an email confirming the airway bill arrangements, including a copy of what one looks like and what I need to write on it….if I mucked this up, I pay double!

Wednesday 230pm DHL van pulled up. Mr DHL visually inspected that all boxes are unopened. Lovely DHL man then helped hubby seal all boxes with our packing tape. DHL man was expecting an airway bill for each box. I only had one to cover the entire shipment. (He might also have been expecting a US customs form cf3299 for personal effects – I cant remember.) DHL man goes away, leaving the boxes behind – I think he takes the airway bill?

Wednesday 355pm DHL man comes back – still happy and courteous according to hubby– to collect the boxes. (?Airway bill photocopy now attached to all boxes?) He made a throwaway comment along the lines of “USA? Probably be on the plane in a couple of hours and at the office tomorrow…!”

Thursday 6pm Hubby gets a phone call from DHL USA. (He’s still in the UK with me.) My boxes have arrived in the USA. DHL USA needs a copy of his passport and a completed customs form cf3299 faxed or scanned to them, and items will be released immediately. Eek! Too fast for us! Thankfully we had until Sept 10th before they’d be sent back at my expense to the UK….

Wednesday – morning Pacific Time Hubby now back in the office. He emailed scanned copies of the requested documents to DHL USA.

Thursday 2pm Pacific Time Ozzidoc’s 12 boxes all arrived unopened, in one (12) pieces, everything seems to be in good order an undamaged.

Friday Ozzidoc realised that she has too much stuff and not enough room!!!!!!! __________________