Shipping to the States - need big help!

#1
Ciao all! Very sorry if this topic has been covered already which I´m sure it has as it´s quite popular. I couldn´t find the search feature.Well, I have a box that´s about the size of two shoeboxes and weighs maybe 5-8lbs. I need to ship it to the States from BsAs. Of course, cost is a big factor for me and of course I would like it to actually get to its destination safe and sound. Time is not much of a factor. So I was looking to ship it the cheapest, but still safe option. Tracking would be nice as well.
I have read briefly some bad stories about using postal services such as Argentine Correo. I went to Fedex and told them about 8lbs, showed the size of the box and asked the cheapest method. I almost fell over when they said $130US!! I´m thinking the maximum maybe $30US. $130 to me is insane!
It´s a box of souvenirs, some PC cd´s, a couple magazines and some important papers. Can anyone please offer their experiences, advice, input, recommendations and such on the better shipping options to ship from BsAs to the States? I am so much hoping not to hear prices over $50US! There has to be a reasonable way.
Should I try DHL and UPS? Are there other carriers?Thanks a whole lot for any help. My guide book is very vague on shipping and I know this site has a lot of helpful people so I look to you guys for help as I can´t really think of anywhere else to look.Thank you! :)
 
#2
In my experience, Fedex and the other large couriers have very similar pricing. Remember that these companies (at least for their international operations from South America) focused on documents... so packages is not their gig. Hence, their prices will always be expensive.
I would not rule out using the Correo Argentino. Their prices should be cheaper, and ask about certified service that will ensure your stuff gets to where its supposed to. Also, if you are on a tight budget, remember that sometimes you have to fine tune your cargo to have it fit in a given format. What I mean is that sometimes postal carriers have flat rates for boxes with maximum allowable weight.. ie. they will give you a rate for a 5lb box and then it jumps to 15lbs - and there is no way to get charged for an intermediate weight.
As for details, but if you have 7 or 8 pounds, its a shame for you to pay the 15lbs box... instead, its better to be smart as to what you need to send and make things fit the 5lbs box.
Hope this helps.
 
#3
How about shipping books and documents from the states. Any ideas?The M-Bag service goes by air now and is very expensive. To give you an idea: $250.00 for a 66lbs box. Silly.
 
#4
If its only books and other personal papers, then I suggest just sending them by US Mail. They should get here with no issues, at a max you will have to go to the customs office downtown and open the package in front of a customs officer but as soon as they see its all books and papers with no commercial value they will release your cargo.
 
#5
I have a question. How about shipping bigger items like furniture to the USA?Does anybody have any direct experience (good, please if possible) on doing that, paperwork involved, what gov't agency you have to deal with (customs) and any idea on prices? Please advise. Thank you
 
#6
hotmama, please be advised that shipping furniture "if made of wood" when it gets to the US (port) CUSTOMS will require fumigation certification ( before it can be released to you) and this certification you must have ready before it leaves Argentina port and must accompany your Bill of Lading.The USA customs taxes and duties are based on commercial value of your furniture (NOT what you paid for it here). Declared value is one thing commercial value is quite another. And note that furniture is shipped using the volume weight not actual weight. Prices vary obviously because of these factors.
 
#7
Grazie: Thank you for the information! Now, another question does anybody know a shipping service/company that deals with antiques being sent from Argentina to other countries?Positive feedback is requested.
 
#10
Hi ciao,

I work for the airlines and go back and forth between Buenos Aires and the US every week. I could probably handle bringing back a couple of shoeboxes of small things and mailing them (I live close to the post office). Send me a private message to discuss if interested.

TJ