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Shipping less than a large container

3196 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  GALLUS
It's time for us to start researching shippers from the Eastern US to France. So far, we've been moving via checked luggage - everything from pots & pans, sheets & towels, etc. to our house in the Dordogne. We've also purchased furniture in France, so we only need to move a few things. When we do move, the contents will come in VAT free as it's all older (much older) than 6 months.

We're looking at moving some medium-sized things like a couple of small pieces of family heirloom furniture, 2 trail bicycles, artwork, and heavier small things like my wife's favorite cast iron skillet <s>.

From what folks have said, a modest container might work. I have a few questions:

  • Does anyone have names & contact info for container shippers you've used? Any recommendations of who to use or who to stay away from?
  • Does the shipping company pack or do we?
  • Are there different sized containers? If so, what are the sizes?
  • How does one get the container contents from the port of entry to one's home (in our case, in the Dordogne)? Are the containers delivered or do we rent a truck and re-pack it all into the truck?

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.

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If you've got one of those "package shops" close by, you may want to drop by and run your shipping needs by them for further ideas.

I stored my parents' furniture with a local moving company and when I finally decided on a few pieces to ship over here to France, I asked the people at the movers' warehouse what or who they would recommend. They called one of those package shipping stores (you know, the kind of place that rents mail boxes and will pack and ship items via Post or UPS or overnight express or whatever they think will work the best).

The guy there was great - and handled all the arrangements to pick up and package the stuff. Part of the shipment went sea freight, and the second shipment went by express shipment (kind of like overnight express, but more like one week express because it was several large paintings). The stuff arrived, securely packed and ready to clear customs (for the sea freight). The paintings just turned up less than a week after the guy notified me they were on their way. No customs, no fuss.

This was in the Boston area - if you're in that part of the woods, let me know and I'll drop you a PM with the name of the place. Frankly, I was startled that the moving company would recommend a package store like this, but they did a really good job.
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