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hichew

Cheapest way to ship large package to the US

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hichew

Hi!

I'm studying in Beijing now and have bought quite a bit of stuff. I'm going to travel after my studies so wanted to send most of the stuff back to the US. What's the best and/or cheapest way to do this? How long would it take?

Thanks!

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Lu

I always sent such stuff through the post office, by boat (水陸). Not expensive, takes about 2 months I think, sometimes less.

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Lu

Hm, in my memory it was cheaper. If you want to go this route, you'll have to locate a post office and buy an official post box there (in the past they didn't want to send my stuff when it was in a different box, and anyway they have good boxes), so you can ask the rates there to make sure.

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abcdefg

If your goods are heavy but not terribly bulky, such as books, pack them into a couple of smaller boxes instead of one great big one. Less likely to fall apart in transit. Just take the stuff to the post office and they will pack it and bind it for you. They won’t accept it if you package it yourself.

They generally promise delivery in "3 months or less" (to the US) but it only usually takes about half that time. I've done it many times and never had things lost. Certain items cannot be shipped, but don’t worry about that until you get to the post office. They will tell you what they will accept and what they won’t.

If you can't write Chinese too well, maybe take a friend along to help in filling out forms. Even though you write the destination address in English, you will need to write your own return address in Chinese and so on. Take a ball point pen, since they may not have one you can use.

Not expensive if you specify surface mail. I can’t tell you the exact rates. Go off peak and don't be in a hurry; it may take a little time.

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Daan

135 USD? That can't be right. In November last year I paid roughly 250 RMB for a 17KG surface mail parcel to Europe, which took about six weeks to get to its destination.

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abcdefg

Oops! I just looked closer at your link to the postal rates. Those are for air mail, not surface mail, and it explains why they are so high.

国际空运水陆路包裹邮寄业务资费表

空运 = air transport

When you go to the post office to send your stuff home, be sure to specify "by boat" (say 船 = chuán.)

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Daan

On a side note, the China Post website is surely one of the best-designed I've seen in a while...I tried to look up the surface mail postage rates for you, but gave up frustrated after five minutes of staring at their home page and clicking through to pages I was expecting to provide the information I was looking for. In vain, sadly.

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Daan

Got it. A 20KG surface mail parcel from Beijing to the US should cost about 68 USD. See here for parcel rates and here for letters and small parcels.

Note to self: I need to work on my stubbornness :wink:

Edit: Hmm, that wonderful site won't let me link to the correct page. Maybe this link would work better.

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hichew

thanks so much for your help! ahah this means i can shop to my hearts content now :D

Note @ Daan: ahah i appreciate the stubbornness :D thanks!

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kdavid

Was just curious if anyone had any recent experience with shipping from the mainland to the States.

 

I need to ship to California, and have tons of stuff that needs to go.

 

Is 中国邮政 still the best and cheapest option?

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hedwards

Depends how recent, all the issues I had personally with the Chinese post had to do with things disappearing during domestic shipment. And that has to do with the difficulty in finding some of the addresses, you always have to include a phone number so that they can call if they get lost or can't locate the address.

 

Basically all the Chinese post does is pick up and then deliver the mail to wherever the USPS picks up from, I get the feeling that might be the US Virgin Islands, but I'm not sure about that. But, from that point, the USPS handles it the way that they would normally handle mail.

 

As for cheapness, I haven't done any mailing since 2012, but for the US side of things it's hard to get less expensive than the USPS. UPS is pretty much never a good price for international shipping because they tend to be quite conservative with their declarations, FedEx or DHS would probably be the ones to price check against.

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gato

kdavid,

 

The China Post link above quotes RMB 663 for 30KG by sea.

 

There are also other smaller shippers available.  I see a number of posts about them on the Chinese internet (try googling 海运 移民 美国).  

 

For example, the Seven Seas shipping company offers to ship 8 boxes of up to 30KG each starting at RMB 4500 total door to door.  You'll have to contact them and other for more detailed quotes for shipping from Harbin to California.  See some links below to get you started.  

 

http://zf.chinapost.com.cn/index.do;jsessionid=gvnMK3PTvPLnQ0gxkjtSRRn7sp74LH3gGlY61Q1sYy11mlQZMT0n!-1592776898

国际包裹资费计算结果
收寄地: 中国
寄达地: 美国
邮件种类: 水陆路包裹
包裹总重量: 30 千克
基本资费: 663.50 元(人民币)
资费说明: 以上资费不包含包裹单据费、送交海关验关费、挂号费、保价费与手续费等其它费用。 
 
以七海国际为例,按箱计费,一箱即可起运(七海提供的标准箱规格为41CM*51CM*61CM,8箱为1立方米,每箱限重30KG):
 
第一箱约为999元起,第二箱约500元起。1立方米只需 4499 元起,并提供一站式门到门全程服务,相对于传统海运来说,既经济实惠又简单方便,是海运行李的首选方式。
 
天津、北京、河北到美国/加拿大海运家具、厨具、服装等【服务与经验双优服务体系】
 
海运家具到美国

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Lu

If you have a really large amount of stuff (and don't want to/can't leave it behind), you can consider a moving company, as gato suggests. They can ship by the cubic meter instead of per kilogram, which can turn out to be cheaper.

(I could recommend the company that handled my last move, Unigroup, but my job paid for it and I suspect they are far from the cheapest option. Great service though.)

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kdavid

Thanks for the replies.

 

@gato

 

I'm looking into 七海, which is by far the most convenient option. They're customer service has been very helpful thus far.

 

Will report back with more details for future reference.

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xiaojiang216

Thanks to everyone who wrote in this and similar threads on the topic of mailing parcels from China to a foreign country - it was very helpful for me when I was moving back home a few months ago. I had one package sent via 空运 and another via 水陆路, both of which I received in a timely manner.

However, a third package I had sent via 空运水陆路 as I was rushing to move out and catch a train was stopped before leaving the country. Luckily my friend was able to retrieve it when it was sent back to the local post office a month or so later, but strangely enough, the post office will not say why the package was unable to be sent. As I foolishly rushed to send it and catch my train, I threw in a few non-perishable food items (air tight, no meat) from 良品铺子, along with some computer cables and an external hard drive (d'oh!) I had no room for. :wall

Having Googled around a bit, it looks like people do mail hard drives internationally, so I'm not sure which of my items is the culprit - perhaps all of them? I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience with this? I should have used my brain and kept those items with me - maybe I will give away the food and pick up the hard drive the next time I'm in China :lol: Thanks again!

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889

Normally you mail from a post office that accepts international packages, and they inspect your stuff there for customs purposes before you seal the box up. Did they? Maybe they forgot to put the right "Inspected" stamp on the box. Or miscalculated the postage. Or there was a problem with the address, etc. That is, it may have nothing to do with the contents, though if the box had been opened that'd be a big hint otherwise of course.

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xiaojiang216

Thanks 889, that's a really good point. I remember someone working at the post office peeking into my box a couple of times, and luckily she spotted a few coins of foreign currency I had in there without thinking. She didn't inspect each item, however. Also, as I tracked the shipment via this website, I could see that it was opened and closed several times (as were my other packages). Thanks for the tip - I will make sure to ask for an inspection from now on!

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