Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shipping to Taiwan

What to do if you need to ship from the United States to Taiwan, but the size of your shipment is more than your luggage can accommodate yet less than an entire freight crate/container?

My first trip to Taiwan 16 years ago, I mailed  a few boxes via the U.S. Postal Service. Back then it was affordable. A few years later, I shipped a pallet stacked with sealed boxes via a freight company (sorry, I don’t remember which one). Six years ago I learned the U.S. Postal Service was no longer making international sea shipments. So I carried two over-sized suitcases on the airplane. This past January, in need of shipping once again, I learned of another more affordable option which Taiwanese students use when they return to Taiwan from studying in the United States:

Charlene Enterprise Inc.


The end of January we wrapped our boxes in plastic and sent them off. I shipped three boxes around 18 in * 18 in * 24 inches each, as well as a fourth smaller lighter box (57 lbs. + 62.4 +54.6 + 20 lbs. = 194 pounds). The cost to ship to Taiwan came out to  US $250.00.

Unfortunately, unless you plan a few weeks ahead when you are visiting your friends in New York City and can drop your boxes off yourself at Charlene Enterprise’s Woodside, Queens location (which I unfortunately did not!), you’ll also have to pay for UPS to ship your boxes to NY. In my case, the domestic shipping cost for the four boxes cost an additional $154.47, raising the grand total to over 400 bucks (local delivery in Taiwan is included in what you pay to Charlene). In spite of the UPS shipment cost,  I found the overall expenses to be reasonable since I was not interested in shipping anything more.

We waited almost exactly two months before receiving our shipment, which was a few weeks longer than we hoped. Still, being on the long end of the time wait boundary was reasonable considering that the company waits until they have enough other packages going to Taiwan so they can bundle them all together in the same shipment

In our case, the boxes had not been unwrapped or opened by customs either. Nothing was taxed (we carried most of that in our carry-ons). Nor was anything damaged. So I would recommend the service. Please let me know though if you find something cheaper or quicker!