Shipping high value items internationally doesn't have to keep you awake at night

One size does NOT fit all.

We recently had a customer that shipped $650,000 worth of equipment in two small boxes to Hawaii. They up to their eyeballs in stress when they first arrived, but after going through these simple steps, their fears were put at ease, and their shipment arrived without any issues.

It’s worth noting that EVERYTHING will impact your shipment, not just size and volume and weight. When you’re sending something of high value or if the contents can be deemed hazardous, it’s important to know that there are some options out there that will play a signficant role in the timing and costs of your shipment.

Of course, we also look at the destination, which, in this case, was a school in Hawaii.


  1. CONSOLIDATE the shipment, which would entail receiving and collecting other shipments to be dispatched together, consigned to a freight agent prior to deconsolidating, and dispatching by land the segregated shipment to the ultimate consignees. For their particular location, weekly air freight consolidations were available. Learn more about consolidated freight services
  2. PRIORITY EXPRESS, AIR FREIGHTED exclusively. In addition to not having to share your space, there are quite a few more options available than when consolidating.


  1. It needs to meet the export standard and have all of the proper markings and labels
  2. A packing list showing the origina & destination names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and contact names.


When you air freight 2 small boxes of highly valuable goods valued approximately $650k, you need a rated A insurance carrier and the certificate of insurance ready before you get to the shipment. All documents are reviewed by the international shipping company as well, and acknowledged by the importer of record.


NOTE: When issuing a certificate of insurance, the international shipping company has to pay a great deal of attention to the details of the shipment showing on the commercial invoice & the packing list. The certificate has to reflect the correct cargo description, and the coverage should stipulate an airport port of destination versus a door delivery, matching  the services provided by the international freight forwarder issuing the certificate.

Not all shipments go to the ultimate receiving party; most of them end up at a terminal also called a ramp. The liability coverage offered by that certificate ends when the shipment is retrieved by the shipper at the ramp. The remaining domestic delivery would not fall within the certificate unless the service of delivering is handled by the same freight forwarder stated on the certificate.

Need help calculating air freight volume?


Insurance exists for a reason, and sometimes we have to use it.

At the receiver’ s side, the party  must write at the time of delivery on the delivery order what is called an exception. Basically, stating on the truck bill the extend of the damages (pictures are most useful) & retrieving clearly the name of the driver.

Thereafter, the certificate holder (the buyer, receiving party) will locate on the reverse side of the certificate where & which office to notify. Copies of the commercial invoice, packing list, shipping documents, signed off truck bill by the driver & you showing the exception taken.

Your international forwarder, shipping company can assist you with the step by step. Insurance refunds on a valid claim are not always very quick & staying in contact with the office handling the claim is helpful. As a side note, the shippers & consignees have a responsibility to have a proficient packing for export to prevent undermining an insurance claim.

Need help convertic pounds to kilograms?


If you’re moving a million dollars worth of cargo in a couple of small boxes, I imagine you’re not going to make the decision of who’s going to manage the process lightly.

I believe your network is the most important piece to all of this, to ensure you have experienced, certified people on all ends of the spectrum.


In conclusion, when shipping something of significant financial value we recommend consulting with your international freight forwrasder to discuss pricing, routing, and options that cater to the special shipment details.

If you have a high-value shipment that you don’t want in the wrong hands for its international transport, then let us provide you a quote today!

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