With the move of Global Finals to Kansas City, Missouri, prop shipment has become a bigger issue for many teams.
The shipping ideas below, were compiled by L.B. Luebbers, former Coordinator in Croton. It was last updated in early April 2019.
This is a living document! If you discover new, less expensive or more convenient ways to ship props, please let us know, so that we can add them to the list.
- Stop! Read Global Finals Prop Shipment first! There is important information there about delivery deadlines!
- Most likely some combination of the options below will prove most cost effective.
- It may be worthwhile to reach out to other teams and other school districts to see if it makes sense to combine efforts!
- Do NOT wait until the last minute to arrange shipping! Start thinking about this as soon as you know that your team has been invited to Global Finals.
Options for Shipping
Rent a Truck and Drive
It is about 1,300 miles from Metro New York to Kansas City, MO. U-Haul will rent a 15’ box truck for around $1,500, with five days to rent, pack, drive, and drop off. The drive will take about 19 hours, not including breaks. A lot of props will fit on a 15’ truck, long pieces are not a problem, and weight is not a problem. On the other hand, you really need two volunteers, you should plan to pay for a motel room, some meals, and gas, as well as a flight home for the drivers.
- $1500 plus tax, gas, return airfare, hotel, food.
- 1300 miles
- 19 hours
- Truck is rented for 5 days
- Need volunteer drivers who are adults
- Relatively unlimited size and weight
- U-Haul Rates
Hire a Moving Company
If you have a large number of teams, large props, or can arrange for multiple teams across different schools or organizations to share shipping, this might be a viable option. There are several long-distance moving companies that can be found online and provide free quotes. Just explain to them your situation, and they should be able to tell you what they can do.
- If you are moving multiple teams props, it will probably be best for each team’s props to be boxed up (or at least plastic wrapped) on pallets.
- If everything is palletized, then the cost may be lower, as this is more like commercial logistical shipping, and the work involved for the moving company is less.
- Note you will need to find a location with a loading dock and at least a pallet jack or fork lift to load the truck!
- If your props are not palletized, the cost may be greater, as this is more like house moving.
FedEx Freight Box
Fedex Freight has a flat rate freight service called FreightBox. There are two box sizes, both are pallet sized: 48” x 40”. One is 28” high, one is 38” high. Either can have a maximum weight of 1200#. The shorter box comes complete with the carton and a pre-attached pallet. The higher box comes with the carton, but you have to supply a pallet in good condition. These MUST be the size and shape they come as for the rate to apply. If something is too long to fit in the freight box, it must be shipped some other way. The rate for the larger box is $350 from Croton to KC, including the carton. The smaller is about $320. Taller items become prohibitive: To ship an 8’ high x 40”x48” pallet (Cartons can be found at U-Line among other places) will run $1400 or so.
- 40”x48”x38” box for about $350 (You need to find a good pallet)
- 40”x48”x28” box for about $320 (Pallet included)
- Max weight 1,200 pounds
- The boxes MUST remain the size specified — no modifications!
- Transit time about 1 week — not really guaranteed — so leave time.
- EACH PICKUP location must have its own Fedex Freight account number
- Once the Fedex Freight account is in place, you can order the freight boxes – it usually takes 3-5 days to arrive.
- The freight boxes can be used for return shipping, as long as they and the pallet are in good condition. Rate would be the same.
- Contact FedEx Freight for more info: 1-866-393-4585
- FedEx Small Business – Freight Box
UPS or FedEx Ground
For items which are not too heavy or too bulky, UPS or FedEx Ground shipping are a reasonable alternative. In particular, combined with a freight box for a couple of teams, longer parts might be shipped in a well made box. Skis weighing 30# and measuring 94”x12”x9” would ship for around $60. Shipping boxes in a wide variety of shapes and strengths can be ordered from U-Line.
As long as the items are not restricted by the FAA, TSA or airline, and are well packed, it may be cost effective to transport some of the materials, especially tools and such, as checked baggage. Check the airline policies closely, as a mistake in weight or size can be expensive. Also be aware that rechargeable batteries must be in the device they are designed for when checked, so a drill battery should not be checked unless it is attached to the drill, for example. Checked baggage is usually only cost effective for the first bag, or second if the traveller has status on the airline. So pack light on the clothing!