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Miami-Box for Shipments from the USA

I needed to view and approve samples for work, but they were 6000 miles away in Minnesota.  I weighed my options: FedEx and UPS were quoting in the $160-200 USD range to get a 2 kilo box to uruguay.  I thought that was insane and was determined to find a better way. Mail would be cheap, but there is a hell of an ordeal to claim your package at the Correo Central and pay aduana (taxes) if necessary- plus stories of packages never arriving and I couldn't take that chance.  I decided on Miami-Box. Miami-Box is a parcel forwarding service between Miami, FL and Uruguay.  Set up a free account on their website and you get a unique address to send packages to in Miami.  This is a great solution for items purchased online or gifts from family and friends. Once a package arrives for you in Miami, you are notified via email and you have a few options depending on the purchase price of the package: if under $100 USD, you can opt to pick up your package at the airport and handle the aduana (taxes) yourself (with Miami-Box supplying the paperwork for you), or you can opt for full service delivery, with your credit card on file being billed for the aduana and delivery fees.  I decided on the latter and it was so convenient.  Not necessarily inexpensive, but convenient.

My little 2 kilo package cost me $99.60 on a $30 retail value.  A little painful, but still cheap in comparison to what UPS or FedEx were quoting.  The fees were broken down as follows (all in USD):

Airline freight from Miami (based on weight) $27.00

Aduana Taxes (based on retail value of $30 + freight of $27.00)  $36.00

Delivery (optional) $15.00

Handling  $15.00

Administrative fees  $6.60

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Grand total of $99.60 USD

The package arrived within 5 days, in one piece and hand delivered to my door.  I will try priority mail next time for comparisons sake.  The correspondence with Miami-Box throughout the process, as well as the delivery were all extremely professional.  I would certainly recommend their service.

*As noted on the Miami-Box site, books and magazines are not taxed to bring into Uruguay.  I will definitely use Miami-Box in the future for that purpose. They are also offering 60 magazines without the normal subscription cost for a limited time.  Please see their site for details.

Expat Travel Technology: How do I get my mail?

As we know there are many challenges to moving abroad. One of those is what to do with your postal mail. Should you have it forwarded to your new home in your far flung land? Maybe your 90-year-old mother will take care of it for you. Maybe that shifty-eyed cousin? For the most part, thanks to technology, you can eliminate most of your postal mail