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Mental Sieve
July 20th, 2011, 00:21
Hey guys, I got a question about sending packages. I have some bulky items, including things like heavy winter clothing, that I want to ship to Japan, but I'm surprised at how enormously expensive it is to airmail things.

To give you an idea, using the Japanese Post Office, you can send things by surface mail (by truck and ship), it takes a while to get to the destination, but is pretty cheap. Sending a 20lb 20x10x10 inch box by surface mail costs around 7,600 yen, or around 80 dollars. This is perfect for things like winter coats that you won't even need until November.

However, try as I might, I can't find anyone who does surface mail from thew US to Japan. Well, that's not quite true, DHL will, but only for businesses, not private parcels. I've checked the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, and none of them will ship things by actual ship, only air mail is availible, and for the cheapest of those, DHL, it would cost $370 to ship the same box. (which, quite frankly, is more than the stuff would be worth...)

So does anyone know of any way to ship things from the US to Japan on the cheap, or is JPost simply unusually super-duper awesome?

mteacher80
July 20th, 2011, 00:59
USPS had surface mail until about 3 years ago. I have no idea why they cancled it. No one at the post office would tell me either. You can look into your aircarrier. Sometimes you can find a coupon for free extra checked baggage, or for 100 bucks bring a whole nuther suitcase with you. that would be my first look.

Page
July 20th, 2011, 08:51
Unless you're obese you can buy winter stuff here. I chose not to mail any cold weather stuff. I just packed my favorite jacket in my luggage. Unfortunately if you send a lot of stuff you're gonna end up spending a pretty penny. Cheapest option if it's heavy but not too big is Priority Mail Intl. Takes a week or so (unless they open it) and I think the biggest box is like $55 or something. Rip off if it's not a heavy box, though. If you're only staying a year just weigh the cost of buying winter clothes here vs sending them there and back.

ten_of_spades
July 20th, 2011, 13:49
Take advantage of your luggage weight limit and pack your coat if you can. Or, bring a lot of light layers and a lighter coat rather than a big heavy one. I made it until December wearing a thin Under Armour long-sleeve shirt, sweater and light jacket (then when I came back from my visit home over Christmas, I just wore my regular winter jacket on the flight).

Of course, if you're in Hokkaido, that won't work..

Tyr
July 21st, 2011, 00:29
I'm just taking my heavy winter coat with me on the plane. I won't need it when I get to Japan (not by a long shot) but it saves a lot of space and weight in my luggage.
Wear your winter boots too maybe.

lilyanphino
July 21st, 2011, 02:19
I'm taking full advantage of the fact that us Americans are allowed 2 suitcases and I'm bringing all my winter clothes in one of them. (Placed in a compression bag to remove some of the bulk.) However, I'm also not going to bring my heavy winter coat and I plan to buy one in Japan.

Aian
July 21st, 2011, 03:34
Depending on where you are, this might help:

Takkyubin from USA (http://www.yamatoamerica.com/e/parcel/us.php)

Kuro2Flo
September 8th, 2011, 17:39
What if its a large package, but not so heavy?

word
September 8th, 2011, 19:24
That's the worst kind to ship; air packages are charged by volume, rather than weight (up to a point). If it'll survive surface shipping, I'd recommend going that route.

MCAS
September 8th, 2011, 19:46
That's the worst kind to ship; air packages are charged by volume, rather than weight (up to a point). If it'll survive surface shipping, I'd recommend going that route.

Do you know of any companies that still do ocean shipping for small packages? I'm looking to get my ski equipment sent over, but it will cost me an arm and a leg to ship by UPS the Postal Service.

mteacher80
September 9th, 2011, 03:46
may be worth it to just purchace some stuff in Japan. not too crappy that you get hurt using it but maybe not to expensive so when you come to this situation when you go home that you dont feel to bad about giving it away or selling it for yens on the dollar to a resale shop.

WaIdroon
September 12th, 2011, 13:23
.......Sending a 20lb 20x10x10 inch box ............only air mail is availible, and for the cheapest of those, DHL, it would cost $370 to ship the same box. .........

In about 45 seconds USPS's website shot out a quote of $130 for a 20x10x10 box weighing 20lbs.

patjs
September 20th, 2011, 07:50
yeah, use the post office or consider leaving some stuff out. you may just have to bite the bullet and pay for one expensive box. i shipped all my stuff home from japan the cheapest way, on a boat, and it was pretty pricey for 4 boxes.

Let'sgoJapan
September 20th, 2011, 18:10
yeah, use the post office or consider leaving some stuff out. you may just have to bite the bullet and pay for one expensive box. i shipped all my stuff home from japan the cheapest way, on a boat, and it was pretty pricey for 4 boxes.

Wait I thought the USPS no longer does sea mail for Japan? I thought it's only air mail?

greengoo
September 20th, 2011, 21:14
USPS will ship a 14''x4''x20'' box up to 20lbs for ~$40. I have one currently en route from my parents with some of the stuff I left at their place for storage.

Your BEST bet is to have a friend come visit you in Japan, have your parents/friends/whoever pack you up a full suitcase, and then pay the extra $100 for them to bring that.

mteacher80
September 20th, 2011, 22:13
Wait I thought the USPS no longer does sea mail for Japan? I thought it's only air mail?

not to japan but from japan

mteacher80
September 21st, 2011, 00:52
USPS will ship a 14''x4''x20'' box up to 20lbs for ~$40. I have one currently en route from my parents with some of the stuff I left at their place for storage.

Your BEST bet is to have a friend come visit you in Japan, have your parents/friends/whoever pack you up a full suitcase, and then pay the extra $100 for them to bring that.

not sure that is very cheap anymore....

Airline bag fees climb as high as $450 - Arizona News from USA Today (http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/09/19/airline-bag-fees-climb-as-high-as-450/)

patjs
September 21st, 2011, 04:50
i just flew home and you get two bags checked for free, so you could easily have them take a suitcase home that's under 23kg for free. that's assuming you have someone visit you.

There seem to be more options with the Japanese post office. the US post office basically has regular mail and then priority. you'll be looking at a hefty fee for a 20lb. box in priority but the slower option shouldn't be that bad. Can you not use the web to calculate this?