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Shipping Basses by Air Freight

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Dec 19, 2003.


  1. I'm driving to LA in two weeks and I'm only taking what I can fit in my Cherokee. To save space, I'm not gonna take my FBB fretted 5 with me in the car.

    Since I have a very nice Calzone flight case for it, I was thinking of just sending it by air cargo rather than paying UPS or FedEx Ground to do it. It'd be expensive, but my folks would be willing to help me out with the cost, and I think there'd be less chance of it being damaged. Presumably, I'd have my folks drop it off with United air cargo at O'Hare and then I'd pick it up at LAX, Orange County, or Ontario. I'd prefer to use United because we have a family friend who's fairly high up in the air freight division at UAL.

    Anyone ever done this before? Will it be worth my while, or should I just send it by FedEx Ground and hope for the best?
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I shipped two basses with FedEx ground, and they arrived undamaged. I received one bass from FedEx ground, and it was undamaged. Worked fine for me.

    -Mike
     
  3. I'm not sure if either FedEx or UPS would allow me to ship an item that's not in a box. It'd be in a locked ATA-approved flight case, but still...
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    <b>Peter, I used to be a FedEx courier, and my wife still is. No problem with shipping in an ATA case, as long as the dimensions and weight are within the limits. I'd still recommend a cardboard or plywood overwrap though. Especially if there are exposed locks or latches. FedEx Ground made a mess of my ATA rack case, which weighed 115 pound with two power amps inside. A little 1/4 ply would've prevented that, I think. We used to handle differentials and stuff like that that were merely shrink wrapped, or worse. The courier or agent accepting the item has a lot of leeway to decide what's acceptable. If you're insuring the item (you should), they may require much better packing. I made my luthier double-wrap cardboard around the SKB case, and shipped Overnight to minimize cold storage and factors like that. I get a very hefty discount though.<b>:cool:
     
  5. OK, that's definitely something to think about. I'll make sure to tell my folks to get it wrapped in cardboard.

    I'm thinking that I should instruct FedEx to hold it at their depot and have me come pick it up. I'll be damned if I'm gonna leave my bass sitting in front of my door.
     
  6. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    ...why don't you price a one-way U-Haul trailer?
     
  7. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Surely in a Cherokee's worth of personal possessions, there's another item or items you could throw in a box and ship with less worry?

    FedEx ground is surprisingly affordable (I recently shipped a bass this way for under $20, insured for $500), and they tend to treat packages with greater care than UPS, IME. I've received automobile tires shipped naked, save for poly bands holding them in pairs, from a major retailer - which would make me think they're pretty flexible on packaging.
     
  8. When some family friends were moving from around here to Phoenix, I priced a 5x8 trailer from U-Haul for them and it came out to $800 for a four-day trip. :eek: Anyway, a trailer would stretch what should be a three-day drive (Chicago->Kearney, NE->Salt Lake->LA) into four days, since driving through the mountains of eastern Wyoming with even a lightly loaded trailer isn't a particularly enjoyable task.

    Secretdonkey, you're probably right--I'm gonna end up buying a lot of stuff when I get to LA anyway (IKEA, here I come :rolleyes: ), and my new roommate will be bringing a lot of his stuff over from his place in Azusa, so maybe I'll be able to just stick the ol' FBB in the back of the Jeep. With a CRT, a laser printer, even a small bass cab, and two basses, it'll be a bit of a stretch, though. I don't think I'll need winter clothing, though. :D

    I guess I'll have my folks ship relatively low-value, high-durability stuff like books and bedding instead of a valuable item like my bass.