Does anyone have experience shipping their harp over seas? I will be moving to Panama soon (Republic of Panama not Panama City Florida) and will be taking my harp with me. I have absolutely NO idea how I will actually go about shipping this and need help. If you’ve done it in the past, please let me know what company you did it through and how much it cost.
For road and air shipment, you’ll need a proper concert harp crate and your dust cover, not travel covers, and you should reduce the tension of all the strings before you pack it Advise the shipping company about temperature and humidity ranges- can it wait until the fall? Stick FRAGILE / NO FORK LIFT notices all over it. why not call L&H for proper advice. My box is a Lyon & Healy crate and with my Salvi harp I have to remove the front feet to close it. The crate is massive so too big for a station wagon, it’s on wheels when upright and has runners to slide horzontally into a goods van. I would fly it – road haulage from Chicago is too far, I’d say. (we flew a harp from UK to Salt lake City and back once)
Be sure to ask if Panama requires you to post a large bond (several thousand dollars) to bring in your own harp. This was the case when a local pedal harpist here went to Costa Rica, as a member of the Peace Corps, a few years ago. Heat and humidity nearer the equator than the U.S.A., are not good for the delicate mechanism inside pedal harps, so ask a technician what precautions to take. Best of luck!
I have shipped my harp back to Salvi in Italy for repairs last year. As I don’t have a proper harp box, I found a company that specializes in packaging pianos and antique furniture to do the packaging for me.
I live in Indonesia so I imagine things would be different for you. But for me, the hard part was finding a company that would ship my harp by sea, as most of them would only serve companies and not individual customers….and I can’t afford sending it by air.
The sea freight from Indonesia to Italy itself only costs me $150, but other costs (handling, customs etc) adds up to about $2000 one way. The journey itself takes 1 month, but customs clearance etc takes another month.
I realize it may be completely different in the US, but I hope you got somewhat useful information..
I suggest calling the maker of your harp and get advice. I presume you have either a Salvi, LH or Venus. The harp manufacturers ship worldwide and could walk you through the process. Be sure to ask about insurance both for transit and when the harp is in Panama. Also ask about taking extra parts with you like discs, strings, etc.
I know there is a person on the harp guild website who regulates harps in Panama. I would ask about getting the harp regulated after the trip or at least get on the schedule for the next regulation visit.
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