I am looking to ship some rackmount gear from Amsterdam to the USA. I was wondering if anyone new a good company in Amsterdam to pack gear professionally so it would not get damaged. Also I have done a lot of shipping from overseas and was wondering from Amsterdam to the US was Fedex of DHL better. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
I just moved from the Netherlands to California and have some experience.
Do NOT use TNT Post/USPS I had a box sent out here and it came in torn to pieces, with a microphone case broken.
I shipped my keyboard as unaccompanied baggage (something I have done before many times) but United Airlines managed to tear of one of the handles. That thing has flown all over the world and it has always arrived fine. Only UA mishandled it.
UPS - FedEx or DHL will be fine... they're all about the same, issue tracking numbers [VERY IMPORTANT!!] and have serviceable insurance. You need to make sure the box is packed REALLY well - like packed in a box... which is packed in another box with a couple CM of "packing peanuts" [Styrofoam - bad for the environment stuff] separating the two boxes [unless you have "manufacturer's packaging" in which case any insurance claim will go through].
Understand that with rare exception the value you place on the package for customs will be the value of any insurance claim you have... so while its sometimes a way to save money by undervaluing the shipment... if its lost or stolen in transit insurance will only pay out on the value you've used for customs [kinda like decent odds gambling... but gambling none the less].
we don't have a lot of options here in the Netherlands. However, don;t use the "native" postal services (TNT). They are a nightmare. Lots of stuff is stolen too here at the postal offices. Try to go with UPS or DHL.
UPS has an official drop height of 1.5 meters. And they will try that out.... So follow Fletchers packing advice but the best thing is to use a freight forwarder, using a euro pallet, which is often not much more expensive as UPS, DHL etc. Check the "Gouden Gids". ;-) There should be a few near the harbor.
Long time reader but never posted, thought i'd chime in here since i'm residing in Amsterdam (born & raised).
Fletcher covered pretty much all of it (as usual) and i'm going to agree: do not use TNT for valuable stuff!
I had the misfortune of working a ''lil' 6month stint at one of their sorting centres (between tours/school as a 19yo)
and the sheer amount of broken instruments (mainly guitars) i saw have left me a sadder man for life :|
And YES, stuff got stolen even though security was pretty high (and even higher now i presume)
Anyway, i'm here to help.
Good luck with your endeavors!