Shipping a set of china to internationally
March 30, 2014 3:22 AM   Subscribe

My mother is giving me her china. She and the china are in the US. The destination is Australia. Can you recommend a shipping company that specializes in international shipping of fragile items like this who will come pack it all up for her? If you don't have specific recommendations, are there things to look for/ask about when I talk to shipping companies? Are there other issues I should consider?
posted by olinerd to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Where in the US is she? If she is near a local UPS store (or Mail Boxes Etc, who I believe are now also UPS-owned), they really are amazing at packing things up securely and getting them where they need to go. The only hitch is, she would have to bring the china to the store herself for packing. They can also be expensive, but I am not sure that in the end they would be more expensive than any other options when it comes to international shipping.
posted by Mchelly at 4:41 AM on March 30, 2014

A local moving company would come and pack it up for her. I'm sure they would even deliver it a UPS (or similar) store for shipping.
posted by Jandasmo at 4:58 AM on March 30, 2014

A friend did this with her parents, but it was just domestic US. The china came in a plywood box about 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. They cut doors in it and now it's a kids playhouse. It will be very expensive to do this, probably more expensive than buying a whole new set of china. Maybe just buy a matching set?
I have bought lots of pieces of china on eBay and just to box a few plates you end up with a 5 pound box that is 18 inches wide and 18 inches tall. Or larger.
posted by littlewater at 7:14 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

My folks did this with their wedding china. US to Japan. Pretty sure they just used FedEx. It was all packed in some serious styrofoam. Rode out the shipping, earthquakes, and some time time outdoors (don't ask) before we unboxed it. Not cheap, but for a special set not crazy expensive either. We were happy to get it all without a chip; hope you are too.
posted by Gotanda at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2014

Doesn't help with your immediate problem of where to get it done, but our "good" china was brought back from the Noritake factory in Japan by my F-I-L when he was in the Navy 50+ years ago, and he loves to tell the story of how they packed it so well he could drop the box from a couple feet high without damaging anything, but the box was still small enough he could take it on the boat with him until he could ship it back. So...any china factories nearby? :-)
posted by jferg at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2014

Mom's in central Ohio, so UPS stores and FedExes abound. We'll look into that and see about getting local movers to pack it up when they move house later this year. Will also investigate any local china factories - I suppose you never know!

I realize it's probably more expensive than buying something new, but I have absolutely 0 interest in owning china of my own selection, so getting Mom's is of purely sentimental value.

Thanks everyone!
posted by olinerd at 12:54 PM on March 30, 2014

As an Australian who often sends stuff to/from US. I would suggest a)packing will be of the utmost importance. I have personally had far more luck getting stuff from there to here in a decent condition with FedEx or DHL (haven't used TNT enough to comment), rather than USPS, which is still very pricey, takes frigging ages to arrive, sometimes never has, and is often quite bashed around.

Good luck!
posted by smoke at 2:32 PM on March 30, 2014

You might want to check out , not to buy from them but just to see if they carry your mother's pattern since it might make a difference in how you ship whether or not you could replacement pieces for anything damaged in shipping or it is truly irreplaceable.
posted by metahawk at 3:11 PM on March 31, 2014

« Older Retro educational short about bees made by a...   |   This ball of twine is your life. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.