Best way to ship a trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jgotteach, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. jgotteach

    jgotteach New Friend

    Mar 27, 2010
    I may need to ship my son's Bach Strad trumpet from the SF Bay Area to Southern California for valve alignment. I've seen recommendations for bubble wrapping the trumpet, packing it in styrofoam worms, etc., but am wondering which company would be the best - USPS, UPS, FedEx? Also, with insurance (it looks like replacement cost would be approx. $2500), just wondering about how much should we expect to pay.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I have shipped a number of instruments in the years past and have always used FedEx. They first of all are usually the cheapest and have never had a problem with them. The cost I can't estimate for you, I would have to know rates and do not. I agree with your statement about bubble wrap and styrofoam worms, but I also pack the horn in a box and then put that box into another box. Hope this information helps.
  3. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    Why not just go there? Bob Reeves is right by Six Flags Magic Mountain.:-P

    And any shop you contact will usually tell you exactly how they prefer you to ship a horn. Many times, they even have it on their website.

    And a few of them have the option to order a package that you can ship your horn in.
  4. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I have shipped a number of trumpets - both incoming (see my list, below) and outgoing and have never had a problem with any of the shippers as long as it was packed correctly. But, I have always shipped them in the case. Be sure to remove any loose objects and wrap the horn so that it does not move in the case.

    All of the shippers have online calculators to show the cost plus insurance charges for the coverage you want. I am guessing $25 - 30 each way. Less if you don't use the case but packing is much more problematic that way.
  5. jgotteach

    jgotteach New Friend

    Mar 27, 2010
    Thanks for all of the good suggestions. I didn't realize that there are calculators on the shipping sites. I went to the three sites and using the "guestimate" of a 12x12x24" box weighing 8 lbs with $2500 insurance, got the following quotes: USPS $42.58 Priority Mail; UPS Ground: $34.47; UPS 2nd Day Air: $60.11; FedEx Ground: $29.51; and FedEx 2 Day: $45.43

    Any recommendations as to which services would be preferable?

    The place I would be sending the trumpet to has specific packing recommendations (no case, bubble wrap, lots of styrofoam), but doesn't recommend a specific company. Another site I looked at recommended the box size and said that they wouldn't recommend UPS Ground because there are too many heavy boxes. (I'm not sure I understand that part, unless they mean truck vs. airplane delivery?)

    We've thought about taking the 6-hr. drive down to Magic Mountain if we can work it out with our work schedules. Definitely more expensive that way with hotels, etc. but a good excuse for a short vacation! :-)
  6. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I've never had a problem with any of the carriers, but I prefer FedEx because of their robust tracking system and (usually) better pricing.

    Bubble wrap and packing peanuts work like a charm for me.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Some people (like Charlie Melk) prefer (or even damand) that you send your trumpet without the case. This makes sense for somebody that is restoring a trumpet. When they are done, the finish is perfect, and they want it showing up at your place that way. The danger to the horn shipped in the case is that it might not fit right, or shift, and mar the finish.

    For other than re-finishing, though, shipping in its case is fine. Just make sure there isn't a "loose canon" in there, like a mouthpiece that can slip out of its slot.

  8. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    the only time that I have received a trumpet that was damaged is when it was shipped in a case - once because the trumpet was loose and banged around and once when someone packed the trumpet to tight and pushed the tubing out of alignment [too much pressure on the second valve slide will give you fits, just ask any tech, easy fix but really no need to have to repair horn if shipped correctly].
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Check with the tech as to whether they prefer the trumpet with or without case - I always prefer with case.
  10. jgotteach

    jgotteach New Friend

    Mar 27, 2010
    I would be shipping the trumpet to Bob Reeves, whose site recommends packing the trumpet in bubble wrap and styrofoam without a case.

    It sounds like round-trip shipping is going to cost almost half of the actual service (valve alignment) itself!

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