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Old 10.08.2020, 01:31
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Shipping items -- freight vs air

Hi everyone,

I've seen a few threads with "what items to bring vs. buy", but as my question doesn't pertain to furniture or curtains, I still have a couple outstanding questions.

I'm moving from Colorado to Switzerland at the end of this year, and am planning to *mostly* only bring essentials (not planning to lug over any furniture or the like). The exception to this is sports-related items: I have several bikes and snowboards I would like to bring, but I know that air shipping will be outrageous for the like.
My question is, does anyone have experience with freight shipping or sending items over via ship in general? I understand it takes much longer, but I've heard it can be quite cheap. I would want, for example, to have snowboards with me this Winter when I move, but it seems like I could ship bikes via freight and it would be fine to have the delay (I don't plan to mountain bike in February often)

Semi-related, if I were already on the verge of wanting to "upgrade" such items, should I just wait to buy them in Switzerland? E.g. if I'm wanting to get a new mountain bike, is it best to buy it here AND pay extra for shipping vs. just wait and buy it abroad and save on shipping?

Thanks for the experience/input!
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Old 10.08.2020, 10:41
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Re: Shipping items -- freight vs air

Hello, welcome to the forum.

When I moved to CH i brought along my downhill bike. I payed like 150 CHF for the extra baggage on the plane. I had to pay because 1 bike travels free applies up to certain weight and dimensions, the DH bike inside an Evoc travel bag was above these limits.

If you don't bring the bikes with you, you have to pay for shipping, and go to the hassle of proving to customs you already owned them before for some time (6 months or 1 year, I forgot) or pay ~7% VAT over declared price.

It all depends on how much you spent on your bikes, take a look at the regular prices in CH, you may find shipping is cheaper than a used bike https://traildevils.ch/Market https://velomarkt.ch/
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Old 10.08.2020, 11:10
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Re: Shipping items -- freight vs air

If you already have a ticket, call your airline and ask how much for accompanied baggage (which can be a logistical headache) and unaccompanied baggage. Many airlines offer special rates for sports equipment.

If you haven’t already got your ticket, do a bit of research and find airlines that fly to both Denver (?) and your arrival city. Lufthansa did, but not certain of current situation. Ask them the same question.

Planes are not full at the moment so airlines likely have the capacity (both weight and cubes) for something extra in the belly.

There also services like these guys https://www.sendmybag.com/how-to-sen...excess-baggage who probably aren’t as cheap as an airline but they do all the paperwork.

Last edited by bowlie; 10.08.2020 at 11:21.
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Old 10.08.2020, 23:51
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Re: Shipping items -- freight vs air

Our move was complicated with kids, pets, and multiple trips across the pond. Each trip I brought another piece of sports equipment as excess luggage.

Bikes are not cheap in CH, and C-19 has wreaked havoc on the bicycle supply chain. If you already have a bike (or two or three) you like, invest in a hard case and bring it (or them) on the plane.

Because we were moving a household, we shipped a 20ft container via sea. The skis went in the container because it wasn't ski season. Snowboards are a different story, since customs will search the container and find the accompanying cannabis stash (sorry, couldn't resist).

If none of the above work for you, shipbikes.com had the cheapest quote I could find from the east coast of the USA to CH last spring.
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Old 12.08.2020, 16:01
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Re: Shipping items -- freight vs air

It only makes sense to use sea freight if you can fill a 20 ft container. Sea shipping itself is much cheaper then air freight but remember sea freight destined for Switzerland arrives in Genova or Hamburg so add another $1,500 for road & rail transfer, plus somehow you gotta unload it.

Try not to introduce yourselves to your new neighbours by parking a 40 tonne truck outside for the day.

Your best bet for sea freight is using a consolidator who collects up lots of small shipments, fills a container, ships it and then de-consolidates and forwards to it’s final destination. Google for “LCL container shippers” in your city. LCL= Less than Container Load.
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cycling, freight forwarding, mountain biking, shipping, snowboarding

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