Shipping a harp over seas?

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    Hello Harpists and harp makers,
    So I am moving to Panama (Republic of Panama not Panama city, FL) from Chicago and I need to ship my harp there. I was hoping to get some information from some of the professionals on this forum who have shipped a harp over seas. I do not have a shipping crate or have knowledge of shipping companies. If anyone knows a shipping company that will do this, please, let me know, I’d greatly appreciate that information.


    I’d talk to your harp manufacturer about shipping. They most likely have more knowledge and connections anyways. Either company in Chicago has likely dealt with similar shipping before.

    The problem your most likely to run into is if the Harp will be delivered to Panama by boat or plane. I’m thinking plane might be the better option. I just don’t recall many ships doing any unloading before/after traversing the canal.

    Another option is to contact the American embassy in Panama. They might be delighted to help you find a way to bring an American made harp into the country.


    You can buy a shipping box from Lyon & Healy or you can maybe buy a used harp trunk from some harpist who’d love to get rid of something that takes up a lot of space. Just don’t buy the fiberglass kind; get the wooden trunk. Don’t buy a new trunk; too expensive.


    Catherine’s post, just above, is spot on about avoiding fiberglass harp trunks. This is why:
    years ago many of us read of a case where a harp was shipped a long distance across the U.S., in a fiberglass trunk, in hot summer weather. When it arrived and was opened, that harp was quite wet, completely ruined.


    Another reason is that the fiberglass trunks can be “punched,” then pop back out so you don’t see the damage until you open the trunk. My experience was that haulers ignore the warnings about not lifting the trunk by the handles (they aren’t intended to support the entire weight), so the handles come off, and a roller came off. Couldn’t find anyone who would repair it. Also, over time (and these fiberglass trunks are all old now), the foam padding blocks disintegrate into a gooey, sticky mess because they were made from petroleum products that degrade. The wooden trunks are heavy but sturdy. Definitely the way to go.

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