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International Shipping Solutions?

NoBucksNoBucks subscriber Posts: 1
Hi!  This is my first post here, although I`ve listened to Start Up Nation for a couple of years.
My company produces skin on frame kayak kits, which include everything that the customer needs to build a kayak.  We`ve shipped domestically, and we recently encountered our first international customer, i.e., someone from outside the US who wants to give us money for our product. 
The problem that we`re having is, how to get the product to that customer.  He lives in the UK and we have two packages to ship to him.  One box is reasonably sized at about 2 ft x 2ft x 2ft.  The other package holds the stringers, 11 foot long pieces of wood that form the skeleton of the kayak, so that package is 11 ft long by 6 inches in diameter, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds.
FedEx tells us that they want $1000 to ship it from the US to the UK, or, for $800 they`ll ship it on the slow boat to London.  UPS says that they can`t ship the long box at all.  Any suggestions?  The kit costs $650 USD, and shipping at those rates will put it out of range for what the customer is willing to pay. 
We`ve thought about buying a round trip ticket to London and checking it as baggage.  Any other suggestions?
 NoBucks2007-1-25 21:51:45


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    SunnyDaysSunnyDays subscriber Posts: 0
    I would check with other freight companies who offer Airfreight into the UK and also have the ability to arrange customs clearance upon arrival if the client wishes. Airfreight is much cheaper than using a courier company and most big airfreight companies offer a consolidated service which will lower the charges again.
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    bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    There are several options.  First, when you spoke with UPS or FedEx did you make sure you were speaking with one of their international specialists?  International shipping is more complex and the normal help desk people many times do not have all the answers.  These companies many times even have different field reps for international shippers just because of the complexity.
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    NoBucksNoBucks subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for the replies and for the compliments!

    After my post we did get in touch with DHL and they were telling us ~
    $400 door to door, which is great.  We had made up our minds to go
    with them, when, three days after we`d talked to UPS, UPS called us and
    told us that they would ship our packages for a total of $409
    door-to-door or $220 from our shop to Heathrow, where the customer
    would pick it up.

    So, the problem seems to have solved itself.

    Thanks again for the help!  As our business is growing we`re
    experiencing all sorts of problems that have been big positives because
    the problems have forced us to find creative ways to solve them, and
    they`ve been great learning experiences.
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    NoBucksNoBucks subscriber Posts: 1
    Bert, thanks again for the help and the encouragement!
    Now that we`re getting the hang of this shipping thing, we`d love to ship a kayak to you. 
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