Shipping things halfway across the world
June 3, 2016 4:26 PM   Subscribe

I have an antique armchair that lives in Vancouver and I want to know if it is feasible to move it to Berlin. What's a reasonable amount to expect to pay to have it shipped? Also, if I have some boxes full of things what's the best way to send them?

For the armchair, whether it makes sense to do this depends on whether the cost is measured in thousands or in hundreds, so that's what I'm trying to find out. It's tough to get good info online as it seems like this is a really complicated process. It's a pretty big armchair but not especially heavy. I get a sense the cost is probably in the thousands and therefore not worth it, but if this could be done affordably I want to know.

Also - I may have a few boxes of papers and maybe clothes to send. These would be small enough to send as parcels in the post. What's the cheapest way to send boxes like these from Canada to Germany?
posted by anybodys to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need to talk to a freight forwarding company in Vancouver. The chair can be crated and shipped LCL, a partial container and the cost is based on dimensions, not weight. The papers and clothes can be stuffed into the "empty" space. It goes by ship and would take a couple months. There would be some additional charges for paperwork and transport after it arrives, etc but the company will explain what you need to do at the Berlin end. If you can describe the dimensions of the chair and boxes, they can give you a quote.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:23 PM on June 3, 2016

I sent two fully-assembled wooden Adirondack chairs from Vancouver to Montreal six years ago. I used a freight forwarded from downtown Vancouver to downtown Montreal. The cost then was a bit over $500.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:54 PM on June 3, 2016

I moved my entire household via barge down the Pacific coast from Alaska to Southern California. I would try to find out who ships your type of freight out of Vancouver. They will probably have a system in place to hand off goods to a company that finishes the route outside of their territory. That's what my local company did and it went down without a hitch. I packed everything on to pallets in their loading garage. It might be a different affair in a more urban area. Be prepared to place a piece of plywood down on the pallet, the one they give you may not be solid on the top, mine wasn't. They will give you rules about dimensions ahead of time and how tall you can stack it. I taped off my living room floor in a mockup of that pallet and did a dry run. You have never seen a more perfect game of Tetris! After you pack it up, they roll plastic around it to bind it together. I did have things damaged, so, if you have something very precious, it is up to you to protect it from other objects banging into it. I packed my house up on to two pallets, one of which was entirely banker's boxes, and the cost was about $900. In my experience, the price was mostly about dimensions, not weight but they did give me a weight limit which was much more than I needed.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:37 AM on June 4, 2016

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