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Old 18.08.2015, 15:50
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Which box sizes make sense for shipping via post internationally?

Hi y'all

We're moving back to Canada, and decided to try to save money by getting rid of our furniture here (most is ikea anyways), and ship the stuff we want to keep via boxes (swiss post). Price is dependent upon weight (up to 30kg, breakpoints at 20kg and 25kg).

The max size for these boxes is huuuuuge (100cm x 60cm x 60cm), and from looking at various offerings from box companies in CH like packshop.ch and rajapack.ch, it appears that max-size boxes are not in high-demand. Thus I deduce that one hits the weight limit far more often than the size limit, which makes sense.

So the question is: does anyone have experience what sizes of boxes to order? Square ones (all dimensions roughly equal) ? Oblong ones ? etc

I'm hoping someone has done exactly all this before, and can tell me which rooms need what (ie. big square ones for bedrooms, oblong ones for kitchen, whatever). Here in CH we have a small 4.5room apartment, say 90 square meters of living space etc.

thanks for any help.
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Old 27.08.2015, 05:21
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Re: Which box sizes make sense for shipping via post internationally?

Check this thread, a few resources to be had.

Swisspost PostPac International

I tried sending 7 separate boxes, each weighing about 15 kilograms. The price would have been about 115chf / box [company was paying for relo] With the ~3 week econonomy option, that would have been ~800 chf.

You need to goto the Swiss Post website and create a way-bill for each box, this is required by the customs agency of your destination. This webform is atrocious, as it allows for zero autofill, you cannot navigate backwards, or you break the form. So, when you make one, do it in one shot, then do the next one. Capture the resulting form as pdf so you have the thing for reprints.*


There are also small stickers each Post office will give you, about 4x3 inch labels, for your Swiss address, and you destination address.


When I went to do this I had all the forms filled, they gave me the stickers, filled those out. I had a small number written in the corner of each box, so I could match each one to the appropriate weigh bill. I slid the first box through the Post employee's little bomb proof window, and the lady begins to read the weigh bill.

The weigh bill is a customs form, and has absolutely nothing to do with them taking the box, taking my money, and shipping the goddamn thing. So, and to my oh so switzerlanded chagrin, She asks me: "Was ist oosid leenehns?"[my creative phonetics for english words read as german]

The entire form is IN ENGLISH, and she wanted to know what "Used Linens" were... She then asked what the baby items were. And then the various books and documents.

Ganzes genau was the mantra chanted, as another helpful Post lady came over: "Wir mussen ganzes genau wissen!" We must know exactly everything!

They literally wanted a description of the various baby toys and accessories, the types of books and documents, what the linens actually were. They were basically playing at being customs agents, just because they had touched the paperwork.

After trying to capitulate, it still took five minutes to get the friggin box back. I had never been so pissed in my entire time in Switzerland, Ich hatte fast postalisch gegangen [I nearly went postal ]

I could have presented them with a list of 25 items, with subcategories, and a written, notarized promise that it was all packed both alphabetically and by size, and they would have taken it with a smile. It might have been a box of handgrenades, but they would have had their precious list, and, I am quite certain, would have shipped it.

Either way, good luck with the escape planning.

So, because I did not have an exhaustive list of every single item being shipped, I was left with 7 boxes. These we shipped by freight with the same company we used to ship our household items. Cost 2000chf, but, well, the company ate it. Yay company.
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Old 27.08.2015, 10:48
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Re: Which box sizes make sense for shipping via post internationally?

Bloody hell. That's quite the experience. I'm paying myself, so i'll be slogging through it rather than having a company pay for it. However, I speak swiss-german fluently so i'll be reminding them that they are not customs agents, and that I spoke with their manager and have the forms he asked for filled out correctly. Yes, I went at met with the post office manager about a week ago

thanks for your post!
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Old 14.09.2015, 00:18
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Re: Which box sizes make sense for shipping via post internationally?

Hello,
I saw this thread and wondered how your moving to Canada went?
I will be moving from Lausanne back to Canada myself (Toronto/Vancouver) and am trying to plan the most economical way to ship a few boxes. As I was studying a Master product design here, I have certain materials and art supplies that I would like ship back...which happen to be on the heavy side.
Where did you get your boxes from in the end?
And...how much did it cost to ship back to Canada?
Thanks so much!

(I speak very basic french, so if I would like to minimize interaction with LaPoste and make the transaction as smooth/seamless as possible).

Thank you a bunch!
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Old 14.09.2015, 00:30
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Re: Which box sizes make sense for shipping via post internationally?

We are going to send our first test box this week. We ordered (rather expensive) boxes from packshop.ch, at least the service was really good. We will ship thru the post -- max price is CHF 164 for 30kg. It is most economical between 20-30kg. There is no point in shipping 21kg -- either ship in each box 19.9kg, 24.9kg, or 29.9kg. So, keep some heavy stuff around until the end etc

Re: customs in canada, you will pay a fortune in tax and duty unless you fill out the B4 customs form and specifically get it stamped when you enter canada.
What I don't know yet, and what I need to figure out this week, is how it works if the boxes arrive before you arrive in Canada (which is our plan)

hope this helps
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