Guide to shipping luggage overseas before your travel

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Lost luggage, damaged bags and delayed suitcases are a traveller’s nightmare come true. Unfortunately, with the increasing occurrence of extreme weather coupled with the global airport manpower crunch, landing in such a logistical disaster is hardly a far-removed horror story in the post-pandemic travel scene. While a suitcase mishap can certainly put a damper on an otherwise perfect trip, there is a silver lining: simply send your bags abroad in advance.

Why send your suitcase abroad before departure?

Utilising the services of a courier service such as DHL Express has numerous benefits when it comes to shipping your suitcase overseas. Not only do you avoid the risks of luggage delays caused by a shortage of logistics staff, but it also eliminates the stress and costs associated with luggage mishaps. 

Additionally, such services offer the extra advantage of delivering your suitcases directly to your desired international destination, saving precious time spent waiting at the luggage carousel. Moreover, the bags you send through the service provider can be tracked and traced internationally, making recovering any mislaid items much simpler and quicker.

Key considerations of luggage shipping

When shipping luggage overseas, there are several aspects to be aware of to ensure your suitcase is appropriately handled and arrives where you need it to be promptly. 

1. What category of shipping does luggage shipping fall under?

Luggage is classified as personal effects, which are individual property usually worn or carried or has an intimate relation to the individual. Knowing this is essential before you send your suitcase overseas by post, as countries have different regulations for different categories of shipments. For instance, documents such as Form 12B and No Objection Certificate are required when shipping medication to India as personal effects, whereas other documents are necessary for other shipping categories.

By understanding your shipping category, you can ensure that all the required documents are prepared, avoiding delays caused by customs clearance issues and facilitating a smoother shipping experience.

2. How to pack and secure your luggage for shipping internationally

With an understanding of your shipping category, the next key consideration is how to pack your luggage securely. Deciding on the best way to do so involves considering the following factors:

i. Type of items in your luggage

If there are fragile items in your luggage, you will want to wrap them individually with a protective wrap and ensure that all empty spaces in the box containing them are filled with fillers. Meanwhile, if you plan to send musical instruments overseas, storing them inside hard cases is recommended. Like fragile items, filling up all void space is essential to prevent your items from shifting and becoming damaged during transit. To ensure that your baggage is handled with extra care, affixing a ‘fragile’ label on your outer shipping box will be helpful.

ii. Mode of luggage shipping

Apart from the items you intend to send overseas, the shipping method you choose greatly affects how you package your items. If you plan to send your suitcase by sea, it is vital to seal moisture-sensitive items in waterproof bags. For extra protection, fit your luggage in a sturdy outer shipping box, such as a double-walled corrugated cardboard box.

When air shipping is used, the rate charged per kilogram is generally higher. As such, opting for lighter protective packaging can help keep the shipping cost low. Additionally, suitcases will tilt during the flight take-off and landing. Hence, you should also ensure that liquid items are sealed within leak-proof bags to prevent spillage from damaging other possessions in your luggage.

iii. Intended shipping destination of your luggage

Each country has its parcel labelling requirements. Hence, a best practice is always to research the most recent customs regulations to ensure that your luggage meets the shipping requirements.

iv. Weight of your luggage for shipping

If you are shipping heavy items overseas and your suitcase weighs 10 kilograms and above, a double or triple-walled cardboard box ensures that your parcel will not cave in under the weight of your items. Meanwhile, luggage between 30 to 70 kilograms should use a pallet, crate or a made-to-measure box that is sufficiently sturdy. For pieces weighing above 70 kilograms, consider using a fork-movable crate or loading your luggage onto a pallet, as handling equipment is often required to move them.

Send your luggage abroad safely with DHL Express

While packing your luggage meticulously can significantly facilitate the shipping process, choosing a trusted logistics partner offers extra assurance that your important belongings arrive at their overseas destination quicker and more safely. As a leading logistics service provider, DHL Express Singapore can offer reliable and cost-effective international shipping solutions such as same-day delivery, shipping insurance and more to meet your varied needs. With an extensive global delivery network and rich industry experience, we can guide you through the entire shipping process, from baggage pick-up to shipping documentation and tracking in real-time. Let your next holiday be stress-free: create an account with DHL Express today to send your suitcase abroad with the help of our shipping experts.