Shipping stuff from Toronto to the UK
November 27, 2008 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Shipping from Canada to the UK: I have a few extra bags and two bikes that I want to send back to the UK ahead of our return home. We're currently living in Toronto. Have you used any good shipping companies lately?

I have found this previous question which is going in the other direction but there's so many shipping companies that I don't even know where to begin. We have two large-ish suitcases and two bikes, and possibly another large suitcase or two.

We'd rather ship it (as opposed to sending it as excess baggage) as getting it to the airport here will be a pain, and getting it back from the airport to home when land in the UK will be equally harsh. Were flying in to London and we live up north.

There's nothing valuable or fragile being shipped and it doesn't matter if it takes 6 weeks to get home, we just need to get it shipped fairly soon.
posted by gaby to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Seven Seas Worldwide are pretty good. I've used them (Melbourne --> London) and I know others who've used them as well, from various departure points. Everything went smoothly, plus they're well priced.
posted by hot soup girl at 6:37 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

we shipped the opposite direction and it took months, but that was about 25 boxes. can you get it all in one big box, or might it look like it's going to be boxes strapped to a skid (pallet)?
posted by Frasermoo at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2008

i had to move all of my earthly possessions from ireland to canada, and in the end wound up paying an unmentionably large sum of money to take it all as extra baggage (that's 3 bikes, a guitar, an accordion, and duffel bags between 2 people who were moving for keeps). we had no luck finding anything in dublin that wasn't going to charge us for an entire shipping container, or else wind up costing pretty much the same as excess baggage.

if you're going with shipping, then there are also the (never mentioned) exorbitant customs costs when you go to pick up your belongings: you have to get to no-man's-land during the 5 hours the office is open (weekdays only), only to find out that the pick-up side has their own slew of costs no one thought to warn you about. so do check out what you're in for in the big picture. and i don't know about the uk, but you may also want to know if there is a difference in whether or not customs will try to tax you on your possessions differently depending on if they arrive with you or independently of you.

flying with our stuff was super pricey: we payed more for our bags than the two belfast->vancouver flights! but you know, at least we weren't waiting around and wondering whether our stuff would ever arrive - it got off the plane with us. and when you're shipping expensive bikes as well as stuff you might need or want in the next month or two (because really, if you don't need it for 2 months, then maybe you don't need it at all) it's nice to minus a hassle from the heartache of moving. even if it costs you.
posted by tamarack at 9:16 PM on November 27, 2008

I've used Seven Seas WorldWide from Sydney to London.

They seemed relatively cheap compared to other places, we shipped a bunch of boxes and 2 x bicycles. took 3 months - but Sydney to London is a lot further than Canada to UK.

They pick it up and drop it off from your address and we had no problems with Customs.
posted by mary8nne at 3:34 AM on November 28, 2008

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