Note: Eurosender have started using GLS as one of their couriers, who are one of the worst-rated courier services in Portugal – I should know: they seem to have lost one of my packages which was en-route to the UK. Given me experience, I would recommend finding a courier other than GLS to ship your boxes. Eurosender do say that you can contact them and ask them not to use GLS, but these seems like a lot of hassle.
If you do decide to use Eurosender, simply visit Eurosender.com, use the code ‘PORTUGALIST’, and then the 10% discount will automatically come off your total.
I ship boxes quite a bit, especially to and from Portugal. If you’re coming to Portugal for a few months (or longer) you may be wondering how you’re going to get all your stuff here.
Personally, I like to ship my stuff. It’s cheaper than taking an extra bag or two with Ryanair orEasyjet, and it’s very easy to do as well. Simply pack your boxes, put in an order with a company like Eurosender, and they’ll send the order through to a courier like DPD or DHL who’ll come and pick the boxes up.
How long does it take?
I’ve sent boxes between the Portugal and the UK and Portugal and Germany. Shipping from Portugal to Germany (and vice versa) usually takes around 3 days, while shipping from the UK to Portugal (and vice versa) usually takes around 4-5 days. Those are my estimates, and the courier company will give you more specific estimates when you put your order through.
How much does it cost?
Costs vary depending on how far you are from Portugal. Spain is obviously one of the cheapest destinations to ship from, but prices for the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Ireland are generally somewhere between €20 and €40 for an average-sized moving box weighing around 20 kg (you can get a quote on their website).
Eurosender aren’t usually the cheapest company, but using the discount code will bring their prices closer to the average.
(Eurosender, as the name suggests, only cover Europe, and do not cover locations like Australia, the United States, and Canada. Don’t worry, though: there are plenty of other shipping companies that do).
What can I ship?
It’s more a question of what can’t you ship, and it’s important that you read up on the terms and conditions.
With Eurosender you can either send a:
- A box, package or suitcase weighing up to 40kg
- A pallet weighing up to 2499kg
- Non-standard items like bikes, sports equipment, and musical instruments
Some of the things you can’t send include fragile items, aerosols, glass, food, and tobacco (you can see more examples of forbidden items here).
What about insurance? Am I covered?
Most shipping companies will offer you basic cover, and then give you the option of upgrading for more cover. Eurosender is the same.
On Eurosender the basic coverage is typically around €200 per box (be sure to check when you’re putting your order through) but you can upgrade if you think your stuff is worth more.
Once your package is on its way, you can track its location through Eurosender’s website. It’s a good idea to know roughly when it’s going to arrive, as there’s a chance the delivery driver will phone you on the day (especially if your address is hard to find).
Using your discount code
You’ll get asked if you have a discount code on the payment page, which is pretty much the last step in placing the order. Simply enter ‘PORTUGALIST’ and Eurosender will automatically reduce the price by 10%.
Some shipping tips
- Buy good quality boxes: While I’ve never had anything fall out of a box, I haven’t always been impressed with the sturdiness of a lot of the boxes that I’ve bought. The thicker the better, and it’s worth spending a couple of Euros more here.
- Buy good packing tape: Again, some packing tape is better than others. Avoid the non-brand stuff from the pound shop or China shop, and get something higher quality instead. The cheaper stuff doesn’t stick very well.
- Be sure to select Portugal (mainland) from the dropdown: There are two options for Portugal on Eurosender. One is for mainland Portugal, and the other is for Madeira and The Azores. If you’re in mainland Portugal, be sure to select that as it’s roughly half the price of the islands.
- Use a local phone number: Don’t put an overseas phone number on the delivery information i.e. if don’t put a UK phone number next to a Portuguese address. The delivery guys won’t ring it. (This is tricky if you’re sending the boxes to yourself and don’t have a phone number of that country. You can either wing it and hope for the best or, put your international phone number and hope they’ll ring that. If you’re really concerned, you can actually get a phone number in any country through Skype.
- Write your name and phone number on the box: You never know, but the packaging slip might fall off.
- Some couriers don’t require you to print a label: This can be incredibly useful if you don’t have access to a printer.
- You don’t need to know the exact box dimensions: Some companies want to know the exact box dimensions when you put the order through, and this can be tricky if you haven’t already bought the boxes. If it’s less than a metre in length, you don’t need to know the exact dimensions.
Have you sent anything with Eurosender (or any other shipping company)? Share your Eurosender reviews and comments below.