Shipping china from the US to Ireland
January 26, 2020 9:41 AM   Subscribe

I need to ship 15 pounds of breakable china from the US to Ireland. What mailing service should I use, and what box should I buy to pack it into?

Assume extreme sentimental value, no strict time limit and a couple of hundred dollars to throw at getting this done. It would be OK if this box takes three months to arrive, so long as it gets there undamaged. The final product after wrapping the dishes in protective padding measures about 12x12x12, maybe a smidge larger. I am confident that I can pack the china safely and with enough padding into the box, once I have one. My questions are:

1. What box should I buy to pack these dishes into? I want sturdy - it seems like just a moving box from Home Depot isn't going to cut it.

2. What service should I use to ship this package? USPS? If so, what should I ask for when I go to the post office? I'm a bit confused by all the options - Priority mail vs. First Class shipping and so on. Or should I try FedEx? They've had trouble understanding Irish mailing addresses before when I have used them, should I try again? Or is there a different service that you recommend? This is a pretty heavy package.

Thank you for your help!
posted by DSime to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Best answer: You don't want a box, you want a custom crate. Once crated you can ship with the USPS or FedEx.

They've had trouble understanding Irish mailing addresses before when I have used them, should I try again?

In what way? They are no stranger than any other European address. I get FedEx here all the time. If the previous lack of postcodes threw them, we now all have postcodes. Alas.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:05 AM on January 26, 2020

Best answer: Use a crate, not a box. Ideally something like a large Pelican box (Harbor Freight sells knockoffs for MUCH less money). Foam sheets between individual pieces of china, bubble wrap to fill the air spaces, thicker foam on the interior walls of the case.

Or, if REALLY valuable use an art shipper (much $$).
posted by aramaic at 3:27 PM on January 26, 2020

Best answer: You may want to look into packaging services. UPS Stores, for example, will pack and ship valuable items but I think the insurance connected with the specific service I've used doesn't apply to international shipments. I could be wrong, but my bigger point is that for irreplaceable items like this you might want to pay for the peace of mind that professional and guaranteed packaging can bring.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:11 PM on January 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug to go to a packaging service like UPS store. A friend sent me a buttload of fiestaware (heavy *and* fragile) and it arrived unbroken, bubble wrapped and cardboard-blocked to a fare-thee-well.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:49 PM on January 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Consider using a smaller box that fits within a crate. Fill the surrounding gap on all sides with Styrofoam peanuts.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:11 AM on January 27, 2020

Response by poster: I completely forgot that shipping crates are a thing. Just what I need. Thanks, all.
posted by DSime at 10:02 AM on January 27, 2020

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