Options for shipping suitcases and other such stuff
My wife and I will be staying on STX for four months beginning Jan 1. We will need to ship some belongings there from Cleveland that we won't be able to carry on the plane (e.g., a large suitcase and a few boxes).
In your experience, what's the most cost-effective way to do this? Some of the stuff we could ship at any time well in advance of our arrival, so even if it takes a few weeks to get there, that's OK if the price is right.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
Every thing I ship for clients goes USPS Priority Mail and it gets there normally within five days. It works the best, at least for business. And we're talking in my case some decent size boxes.
UPS, DHL, Fedex are all ridiculously expensive. Mail is probably best as Promo says.
Thanks for the input. I did check some rates with FedEx and UPS and found them to be really high as well.
I ship using Priority Mail but I also insure each box as it provides some tracking for the package too.
We ship boxes to STX often by USPS Priority Mail. Contrary to what divinggirl says you don't have to insure the package to get a tracking number. Just ask for "Delivery Confirmation" and you'll be able to track the package on line. We've never had a Priority Mail package take more than 3 days to get from a city in southwestern US to STX.
Thanks to all for your responses--very helpful!
We sent boxes USPS from the Richmond Heights, OH branch to STX ... the boxes sent priority took 3-4 days. The boxes sent parcel post took 2 1/2 weeks.
goalusvi--how big were the boxes? We're considering shipping a suitcase of stuff down because we're afraid it will be too big to get onto Cape Air.
I insure items sent USPS because the last time I used "delivery confirmation" the package never showed up. I was told that the only tracking done on "delivery confirmation" was upon delivery and if it did not make it they could not track it. Thankfully it was not an important box since the post office did nothing at all to find it! I now insure every box and they get here faster and once when an item was broken the post office paid for it.
USPS 'Delivery Confirmation' is not a tracking device - insure your packages!
We sent a bunch of different size boxes. Take a look at usps.com and they have the max weight and size restrictions - best to check the site - don't want to give you wrong or outdated info!!
When I was sending boxes to my husband he wanted his telescope to look at the stars along with the tripod. The box was long and heavy. I think the max then was 70 pounds. I also sent a computer down for him.
from my experience, cape air can take some pretty big boxes. they put them in the back of the plane. might not get on your actual flight, but probably soon after. i think in one case, they actually put one of my boxes on American to get it over to stx. sometimes they get a little aggressive in trying to fit it though, and i've had boxes with crushed corners. how big are your suitcases?
The suitcases aren't huge--maybe max 48x24x12. It soundsl like they would probably fit.
My husband is a USPS Postmaster and we have two daughters living on St Croix so we have sent many packages. In the past we were able to ship rubbermaid tubs filled and taped shut but no more. I must warn you the days of shipping over sized packages is over. You must check all your options regarding shipping now as the USPS has made very stringent restrictions in regards to what they will accept now and they measure everything by width, height and circumference which negates sending a lot of things. Good Luck to you.
Well, I ship an average of 10 to 15 packages a year to STX by UPS. I use Priority Mail with "Delivery Confirmation (never purchaser insurance) and I track the package online using the USPS website. Perhaps "tracking" may not be the correct term since when I put the confirmation number in the appropriate box it tells me where the package is at that particular time (i.e. it was "picked up from the P.O. at such and such a date and time, it arrived at the P.O. on STX, Delivery was attempted and notice left, or Package delivered) rather than giving me the complete history. Anyway, been doing this for 6 years and haven't "lost" a package yet (knock on wood).
You might contact Tropical shipping in regards to shipping LTL ( less than a tailer load ). that might be a option for you.
I don't think anyone mentioned VI Cargo. I have not used them, but I hear good things. ( You can google them. ) We had a tenant who had his wife ship a box, priority mail. It took 3 weeks (or more) from VA. I just had a package shipped priority from the states this past Friday, Oct. 30. I received it yesterday, Nov. 4. (Don't forget there was a weekend in there.) You never know!
But, as I've said many times, if it's expensive or important, don't have it sent to the post office. Use a private mail service. JMHO!
Vi Cargo is the best. Often the cheapest way to get items here. Remember they charge by the cubic foot so something that is large may cost more then something that is heavy. Very easy to use them.
USPS is cheapest when you have items like books, dvds, games, etc for their media mail, its extremely cheap but also slow( 3 to 6 weeks).
If you ship boxes via VI Cargo don't you still have to pay to get that package from wherever you are to VI Cargo's warehouse in Miami?
Their shipping fees are only from Miami to STX. You have factor in the cost to get your package to Miami in order to calculate which shipping method is most economical.
For small packages (say under 24"x24"x24") USPS is quite cost effective. Priority Service will get your package to STX from anywhere on mainland USA in 3 to 4 days.
I agree Priority is usually just fine, but like I said in my earlier post, it took over three weeks to get a package from Virginia. When it got here, we checked it over to see if anything had been done wrong. Nope, everything was correct, and the lady at the Post Office told us priority is "allowed" to take 3 weeks. That wasn't her word, but something like that. In other words, they didn't even consider it lost until after 3 weeks. The sender called about the procedure to claim the insurance, and was told the same thing. Won't even talk about it until after 21 days.
It's rare, if not ever that I've gotten priority in 3 days (to STT.)
I don't mean to belabor the point and you may think it's rare but a few weeks ago I shipped 8 packages by Priority Mail on a Saturday from a Texas post office and they arrived on STX on that Tuesday. Like I said, I've been shipping this way for years and when I track the package on line it seems as they always ariive at the post office in STX in 3 days. Admittedly on some occasions it might take a extra day for the package to be delivered to the receipient but that doesn't change the fact they arrived in STX in 3 days. Perhaps I've had good luck but then again I've always considered myself to be a lucky person.
If you talk to the ladies at the post office and ask them how long priority can take form the islands or going to the islands they will tell you it can take up to 3 weeks. The only one that is guaranteed for quick delivery from or to the usvi is express from the usps.