Help me ship a years' worth of personal effects from Netherlands to Southern California
May 26, 2012 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the cheapest options for shipping <20kg of personal effects from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Southern California.

Hi all,

I'm wrapping up a year-long study-abroad and would like to put together a package of stuff to ship home. So far I've found TNT Post, but shipping with them is more than €100. I'm a student who would rather not fork over that much cash for this...

My family was able to send me packages for $60-$70 US, and was hoping I could find something closer to that rate.

I'm particularly interested in shipping by boat, if it's an option. I couldn't find a rate card for PostNL, but UPS NL wants €245 for their cheapest service.

Do you know any alternatives?

posted by luciphercolors to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you try the post office? Just go and ask if you can't find their rates online.
posted by Aiwen at 1:02 PM on May 26, 2012

Response by poster: @Alwen: there aren't any post offices nearby, just postNL and TNT affiliates. I haven't stopped by a postNL store (need to find one), but TNT Post wants €100.
posted by luciphercolors at 1:48 PM on May 26, 2012

Are you flying home at the same time? It's possible to get it put on as cargo on the same flight you're flying with. Or just get an excess luggage deal with the airline...
posted by Jerub at 2:01 PM on May 26, 2012

What's the excess luggage cost on your flight - if it's less than 20kg that may be your easiest option. Alternatively, do you really need this stuff? Sell, donate to charity and re-acquire at home.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:21 PM on May 26, 2012

Excess luggage is your easiest bet.
posted by k8t at 4:22 PM on May 26, 2012

Do you know anyone else who will fly from Europe to California anytime soon? You could ask them to bring some of your stuff.
posted by twblalock at 5:03 PM on May 26, 2012

Response by poster: I'm flying home, but not directly; I've 3 weeks of traveling and/or uncertainty. It may be that a purge is in order
posted by luciphercolors at 12:09 AM on May 27, 2012

I don't think that at this volume shipping by vessel will be much cheaper. You will pay a lower rate per kg but you will pay all kinds of other costs for export documents, custom clearance, etc and that adds up fast!

So I think your best bet is the excessive luggage option and otherwise the post office (called postNL these days)
posted by IAr at 3:06 AM on May 27, 2012

According to this page it will cost you around 106 euros with insurance.
posted by IAr at 3:10 AM on May 27, 2012

Best answer: Based on my US-to-NL moving experience, I recommend a combination of ruthless purging and excess luggage. I wouldn't trust PostNL to ship anything -- over half of the packages I've sent to the US during the past two years have just flat-out disappeared.
posted by neushoorn at 3:56 AM on May 27, 2012

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