Traveling on the cheap when you're a hollow log
August 13, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest way to send bulky items from the Dominican Republic to the U.S.? Time isn't important.

A student of mine is currently trying to ship two large drums from Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, back to the U.S. He's been offered a quote of around $500 from FedEx, which is more than twice the value of the drums themselves. We're on a stretched research budget, and have no particular time restrictions. Are there any cheaper, slower options for freight from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. (Iowa, if it matters)?
posted by dr. boludo to Travel & Transportation around Santiago de Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Might get it part of the way on a cargo boat using a freight forwarder or other logistics company, then once it's on shore, they might or might not be able to get it thence to Iowa.

The link above is a selection from the top page of Yahoo results for Freight Forward Dominican Republic that did not have a negative WOT score.
posted by tilde at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2012

Has he tried talking to someone at the U.S. embassy? They can mail stuff via USPS. I'm not sure it's 100 percent legal for embassy personnel to do that for non-embassy personnel, but it might be worth making a phone call, especially if your student already knows someone there.
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 AM on August 13, 2012

Try some google searches using "barrel." I know someone who participates in barrel shipments from the Carribean to NYC (and they call it "barrels") -- it takes around 1-2 months and is a lot cheaper than $500. A quick search yields this, for example, which seems to include at least one potential lead.
posted by brain_drain at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

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