How to Ship Your Stuff by Plane When Moving to College

Pile of books on cardboard box
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If you're moving to a college that is far away from your hometown and you need to move your stuff to campus but can't fit it into the car, then you may want to consider shipping your things by air. Air cargo is a good option for students who are moving a long distance and don't need all their things at once. Of course, you'll need to pack effectively, deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind to be shipped at a later date.

Inventory Your Stuff

Before you pack up your things, create a list of everything that you're shipping. If you're shipping multiple boxes, keep track of which items are in which box. That way, should your things go missing, you'll know exactly what is lost so you can give a full detailed item list to the shipping company.

Pack Your Things

Once you've taken a detailed inventory, you can now start packing. Use strong boxes and make sure you wrap fragile items well, either using bubble wrap or packing peanuts, newspaper or thick clothing items. Just remember that shipping is based on weight and size, so try not to add any extra pounds to your boxes. Leave heavier items at home.

Weigh Your Belongings

Before you choose a shipper, it's a good idea to get your things weighed. If your boxes aren't too big, try using the bathroom scale. If the bathroom scale doesn't work, take them to your local post office and ask to have them weighed. And while you're there, ask how much it would cost to ship your things through the post. It might be a cheaper way to move to college than air cargo companies.

After weighing all the boxes, take the dimensions of each box and note this information on your list.

Choose a Transport Company

Major airlines will ship your things to national and international destinations, and often they can do it fairly quickly, including major carriers such as Delta, Continental, and Northwest. Some companies exist only to ship stuff around the world. These carriers include Air Lingus, TNT, and Atlas Express. And to add to the growing list of companies to contact, you can also get quotes from courier companies such as DHL, FedEx, Emery, with UPS as the most popular.

Once you have an exhaustive list, check out the company websites for information on fees, tariffs, items the company won't ship along with other rules and regulations. You'll also need to determine just how soon you'll need your things as this will affect fees. Note costs for each company, then call the company directly to ask any further questions. Once you've collected all the information you need, you can then decide which company to use.

Clearly Label Boxes

Once you've decided which company will ship your things, you must make sure you attach appropriate labels with the destination address marked as well as the shipping from address. Most shippers have their label system and paperwork that needs to be filled out. Some offer such services online so you can print labels and forms from home.

Drop off Your Stuff

Most companies will ask you to take your things to a central office. A shipper will rarely come to your home to do the pick-up unless you have a business address and a company account with them. Ask the company when you need to have your things at their office or storefront, so you don't miss the pickup time.