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mteacher80
June 15th, 2011, 00:35
A friend of mine in Shiga put together a pretty good guide for shipping stuff home after JET on the Shigajet.org survival guide. Have a look!

http://www.shigajet.org/shigaguide/leaving-jet/shipping


Shipping Items Home

It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in so little time. If you're like most JETs, after you've sorted out that which you will give/sell to your successor and that which you're just going to throw away, you still have more than your suitcases can handle, and you will need to look into shipping it all home.

Shipping Options
There are several options available to help transport your belongings to your home country or your next destination:

Japan Postal Service: if you haven’t accumulated too many things, this is usually the cheapest and very reliable. They also provide a very cheap rate for books/printed material.
Shipping Companies: if you have larger volumes to send home or bulky, fragile and odd-shaped items.
Takyubin Service (宅急便 takkyūbin): this is a handy service if you find yourself unable to carry all of your luggage to the airport. You can use this service to send your belongings ahead of time to the airport or hotel you will be staying at. This service can be accessed through most convenience stores and other spots where you may see either the "Black Cat" (クロネコヤマト Kuro neko Yamato) or "Pelican" (ペリカン便 Perican-bin) signs.

Japan Postal Service
The Japan Postal Service is one of the most convenient ways to ship items internationally. There are four different ways to send things: Airmail, Economy Airmail (SAL), Surface Mail (船便 funabin), and Printed Matter M-bags (特別郵袋印刷物 tokubetsu yūtai insatsu butsu). Please check the Japan Postal Service's website for information on rates.

Airmail: This service is expensive but fast. Parcels arrive within about a week.
Economy Airmail (SAL): Your packages go by air, but not express service, they are sent when there is space available on a cargo plane. Delivery time is usually around two to three weeks.
Surface Mail: This is the cheapest way (about 1/3 the cost of airmail) but may take a considerable amount of time to reach the destination (e.g. 2-3 months to the USA).
Printed Matter M-bags: There is a special rate for books (or any other printed matter) if they are sent in special mail bags. You can send up to 30 kgs (20 kgs to the U.K.).

To avoid delay, it is best to leave your parcels unsealed until the post office inspects them. The one exception is for books, which may be sealed beforehand. For all items you must fill out an international parcel label, which is a combination invoice, customs declaration and address label. Also, there are strict regulations regarding international packages, and to save yourself some trouble, it is suggested you go to your post office and show them the boxes you plan to use. This way you won’t have to unpack and use smaller ones if yours are too big.

Notes on Japan Post Shipping:
You receive a 10% discount if you mail ten or more packages at a time. If sending 50 packages or more, you receive a 20% discount. This discount applies to packages in the same shipment going to different destinations. Send your things at the same time as a friend and save! Also, instead of lugging all of your packages to the post office, you can call and set up a time with the post office for them to pick up packages from your apartment.
Airmail, SAL, and surface mail packages may be insured upon request (though it may be necessary to travel to the Otsu Post Office). Insurance varies according to destination. Proof of value isn’t required when purchasing insurance but it’s nearly impossible to make an insurance claim without one. Receipts or photos of your package with items inside serve as valid proof.

Private Freight Shipping Companies
Using a shipping company is ideal if you have large quantities to send home. It’s generally well-handled and ideal for sending home those odd-sized items, as long as it fits with the shipping company’s size restrictions. Make sure to shop around, the prices can vary considerably.

Notes on Private Freight Shipping:
Start early, the companies like 2-3 months notice, with 1 month being a minimum. The company needs to gauge the volume of your move, which allows them to quote a price, check shipping schedules and container space. Both air and sea freight are available, but air is very expensive.
Freight is usually calculated by volume not weight, so it’s better to send heavy items in small boxes by freight, and leaving lighter/bulkier ones for regular postal mail.
The best measure in looking for a shipping company is to seek a "door-to-door" delivery price per a given unit of volume, i.e., one cubic meter, depending on the mode of transportation. Make a comprehensive list of things going home. The base-shipping unit is a cubic meter, or about seven large suitcases.
All moving companies offer insurance overage. Check the restrictions, some shipping companies must do the packing. Be sure to ask about the deductible (the amount for which you are liable before the coverage takes effect) and where the insurance is payable. Make sure your items are well-recorded with descriptive lists, photos, estimates and receipts, to make a quicker insurance claim. Keep the originals and send copies to relatives or friend at your destination.

Shipping Companies
Econoship
Economove
Nippon Express
Japan Express
Pakmail Japan
NSS Japan
Allied Pickfords
Shibusawa Moving Company
Japan Luggage Express
Excess Baggage Company
Jetta Express

privileged
June 15th, 2011, 01:56
if you use japan post, insure your shit. since i own mostly thrift store clothes and decade old laptops i did not bother. i figured my stuff was worth shipping because i didn't want to buy it again, but not actually worth enough to insure.

out of 7 boxes 4 were ripped open and had stuff removed from them! took out my laptop, which is insane because i have the power cord and battery and it cannot possibly be of value to anyone but me. likewise a pair of fucking shoes; these things were USED, like you would find in a thrift store for $2.

took a shirt i liked, some books were missing and some books THAT WERE NOT MINE were in there.

there was a long note from USPS essentially saying "sorry."

i went through every path to open a complaint/claim, and it MUST be filed in country of origin. between not easy and impossible to call from overseas, not to mention language barrier and the fact that i cannot be there to do the inevitable forms, etc.

anyway my experience fwiw, insure your shit, even if it's shit!

knowing what i know now, that i spent $700 to get an absolute random amount of shit home, i would have just paid the outrageous $200 "extra fee" with the airline to take my LPs with me and thrown everything else out.

BULLSHIT ON A STICK.

i found "m-bag" not as hot as it sounds either, as it is only available at "select post offices." i would have had to take all the books i wanted to send that way on the train to the branch in shinjuku. definitely not worth it!

Miss_igirisu
June 24th, 2011, 08:09
I sent a suitcase of stuff home yesterday by surface mail. I've had things sent to Japan before by surface mail and I have got to say, I have never had anything stollen. Opened? Yes. But not stollen.

I asked for them to collect the suitcase for me (say you want 回収 kaishuu) and the little man was really helpful. He told me not to use the m-bag and to just put the books in my suitcase. I did so, and I saved 5000.
In the end I sent around 16kg for a little over a man.

Tarquin
June 24th, 2011, 11:19
Did you just send the case as-is or did you put it inside some sort of box?

Miss_igirisu
June 24th, 2011, 13:31
As it is. I put a strap on it and the man made me tie up the zippers.

Tarquin
June 24th, 2011, 16:53
yeah i was thinking about doing that with the small cabin-sized one i bought with me to Japan. saves buying a box heh.

patjs
June 24th, 2011, 18:55
if you use japan post, insure your shit. since i own mostly thrift store clothes and decade old laptops i did not bother. i figured my stuff was worth shipping because i didn't want to buy it again, but not actually worth enough to insure.

out of 7 boxes 4 were ripped open and had stuff removed from them! took out my laptop, which is insane because i have the power cord and battery and it cannot possibly be of value to anyone but me. likewise a pair of fucking shoes; these things were USED, like you would find in a thrift store for $2.

took a shirt i liked, some books were missing and some books THAT WERE NOT MINE were in there.


how did you send your stuff home? surface? or are there really people at customs/the us post office that will steal shit from your boxes?

mothy
June 24th, 2011, 21:07
I'll neever need this thread. Can you kill me please?

privileged
June 26th, 2011, 05:24
how did you send your stuff home? surface? or are there really people at customs/the us post office that will steal shit from your boxes?
Surface SAL (ship).

My local mailman said it probably hadn't gone through customs or it would have had an "inspected by customs" stamp on it.

I don't know the route shipped stuff takes from Japan. Direct to America? Though some other stops/countries? Anyway my guess is it happened post-Japan and pre-America, or perhaps right at the port in the US.

ten_of_spades
June 26th, 2011, 10:50
You can get boxes for free from Daiso or grocery stores. They're the crappy Japanese ones that feel like slightly-hard paper, but I mailed quite a few home and they all arrived safely. Just tape them up very well so they don't split in transit.

patjs
June 26th, 2011, 22:40
Surface SAL (ship).

My local mailman said it probably hadn't gone through customs or it would have had an "inspected by customs" stamp on it.

I don't know the route shipped stuff takes from Japan. Direct to America? Though some other stops/countries? Anyway my guess is it happened post-Japan and pre-America, or perhaps right at the port in the US.

That's what kind of scared me about sending by ship...I feel like there are too many places the box could get opened. I think I might just spring the extra few thousand yen for air shipping.

ten_of_spades
June 27th, 2011, 01:24
That's what kind of scared me about sending by ship...I feel like there are too many places the box could get opened. I think I might just spring the extra few thousand yen for air shipping.

They load all the boxes into those big shipping containers, which are then sealed at the port. I've never had an issue with sea-mail going Japan-Canada, and you can get insurance* for a very reasonable rate if you're worried.

*Unless you're mailing to Canada. Canada Post sucks so hard Japan Post refuses to insure packages going there.

Miss_igirisu
June 27th, 2011, 07:55
You American people are lucky; they don't go via Somalia for your shippments.

kalliea
June 27th, 2011, 09:18
You American people are lucky; they don't go via Somalia for your shippments.

Sorry Miss_I, but this made me lol.

Miss_igirisu
June 27th, 2011, 14:29
;)

JayK
June 28th, 2011, 23:44
Anyone have any experience with shipping stuff in a container / companies to recommend / any rough idea's as to cost?

Specifically, thinking about taking my car home with me (to the UK) ... and putting my luggage with it.

Miss_igirisu
June 29th, 2011, 15:08
I got a leaflet through at school from the Japan Luggage Express company. They seem pretty good, one cubic meter to london is 5man.

AnruiUkimi
June 30th, 2011, 08:45
Anyone have any experience with shipping stuff in a container / companies to recommend / any rough idea's as to cost?

Specifically, thinking about taking my car home with me (to the UK) ... and putting my luggage with it.

You can ship your car, but they won't let you put anything in it when you do.

MovingJapan.com - Can I pack items in the car ? (http://movingjapan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=157%3Acan-i-pack-items-in-the-car&catid=65%3Avehicle-faq&Itemid=162&lang=en)

ten_of_spades
July 1st, 2011, 10:02
Anyone have any experience with shipping stuff in a container / companies to recommend / any rough idea's as to cost?

Specifically, thinking about taking my car home with me (to the UK) ... and putting my luggage with it.

Send your CIR an email. They usually have a decent list of shipping companies on hand so you might have some luck there.