Join Date: Dec 2004
shipping long objects
How long are the two budiaks with cane shafts that should not be cut?
The commercial courier services (UPS, DHL) sometimes allow longer parcels than the national post offices. You should check with them, and also the postal regulations for parcel mail between the countries concerned -- the length limits are not uniform internationally.
A friend in Hong Kong just had a Burmese spear sent from an EU country to him. I don't recall the exact length but it was probably over six feet. The first time it was returned to the dealer because UPS said they don't ship spears (!) The second time it was described as a flag pole and it went through and was received. A few years another friend in the US had some trouble with UPS over spears sent from Thailand. There was no problem when they were resent as fishing equipment (well, Capt. Ahab speared Moby Dick with a harpoon so that wasn't total BS)
Bottom line is UPS, and FedEx, can get touchy about all kinds of weapons, even antique ones. They are not consistent. Bows and arrows have been stopped, yet early this year FedEx approved a rapier that was sent to me from Belgium.
In my experience, DHL is the most liberal when it comes to antique weapons, you can declare something as a sword, a bow, or anything like that, it helps to describe it as antique or decorated or tribal and there should be no problem. Just be sure the item isn't too long!
Regarding sea freight, usually that is calculated on basis of volume (cubic measure), it's intended for very bulky shipments so you pay a relatively large amount upfront that's the same whether it's a box of spears or a car). I'm sure a freight company can provide you with more precise info.