Longboard shipping service

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by bigduke21, Nov 7, 2016.


    SMUKES Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    USA California
    Yep. Literally nobody.
  2. RIer

    RIer Member

    Jul 17, 2013
    SMUKES wrote:
    OK, interesting-- so it's a labor issue.

    I'm sure these outfits have considered this and it doesn't work out business wise, but it would seem that there would be a point at which expanded volume of sales would overtake whatever marginal labor cost would be involved (e.g., you could just hire a team whose sole job is packing)

    I guess nobody doing longboards has the volume of sale to make it work
  3. RIer

    RIer Member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Finward wrote:
    wonder what would happen if you got a packing/shipping guru in from a company like Amazon to advise on how to increase efficiency. bet there would be a lot of opportunity, but again, not sure there is enough of a market for these firms to want to get there
  4. cuda

    cuda Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    interesting topic + slow day at work and cant stomach anymore of political diatribe.
    For new boards most shapers I know consider the packing a loss leader. At $50- $75 a board they are barely covering materials. They do it because they appreciate your business.

    Ive packed a handful of boards. Packing a longboard by yourself is a p.i.a. glass on fins even more so. I do it but it takes a while never less than an hour. If I were charging I would charge at least $120 for time and material to box up a used board. Paying retail for supplies: $40 box, packing bubbles $20, foam pipe insulation $15, Gorilla tape $15

    As for taking it to Amtrak. It's very unrealistic to think your shaper is going to do this for you. Parking at SD Amtrak is a nightmare many other stations are less so but even here in PVD I do it for friends but it's not something I look forward too Especially before I had my van. As for the amount of time it takes it varies based on your proximity. Once you are at the station to send a board can take from 20-30 minutes to send the board. so lets say ballpark 1 hour.

    So Dave you are about right. if I charged t/m to pack and take something to the shipper, Amtrak, Mr Messenger, Pilot or one of Leon's pick up locations(all the same) +$50. This is about the same as it cost for a courier like Mr Messenger to pick up or deliver to a home address and the same that Pilot charges for pick up.
    So all this before shipping costs. If you are dealing with any of the major shippers, Dolly, Pilot, Map, Forward, SWA or Delta( if you have an account) the skies the limit and rates based on actual size + fuel + agents fee. When I line up my own shipments it takes time. I have it down to 2 so less time than shopping around for rates which these days can be pretty close unless you are comparing Air vs Ground. Air lately is running about 75% over ground.

    On last little tidbit is insurance. most of the shippers are now not permitting individual shippers to insure shipments. It it is shipped from a business account you are fine.

    bottom line to ship a longboard from West to East if all labor and materials are paid for at cost you are looking at ~$300 for a Longboard with a ground shipper. If your shaper is packing for $50 and your Jammer bro is driving them to Amtrak you are looking at 1/2 that. Keep in mind shipping multiple boards lowers the rate exponentially. I almost always try to line up things so that I have at least 2 boards in a box

    I would never use this service because I have done my own for so long I have it wired. For some who live outside of metropolitan areas and or have no concept of connections
    (e.g. Dolly's contact) the $35 broker fee maybe is worth it.

    side note I just sold a bike on ebay and used a service called bikeflights. It was pretty similar to this service but their business rates were a tad better than if I had gone to Fedex as a private party. I still had to do all the packing and chose to save a little by dropping off.
    Bikeflights is pretty much an industry standard.
  5. Wade In The Waves

    Wade In The Waves Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    USA North Carolina
    Bikeflights=awesome. Used them and their prices are fantastic! Tried to see if it would work for a surfboard, but the dimensions didn't work. Haha.
  6. Croweater

    Croweater Active Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Carlsbad, CA
    I just got a 11' ish glider packed at Fletch in SC for $100. I'm trusting they did a good job so I will see when it arrives. They did it super quick also.
  7. RIer

    RIer Member

    Jul 17, 2013
    cuda wrote:
    that all makes sense but obviously you are 1 guy and are paying retail for everything.

    now imagine you buy all of your supplies in bulk and you've got a couple of guys whose sole job is to wrap stuff up and box it. those guys would probably get very fast/good at doing the wrapping and boxing after a while.

    then imagine you've got a commercial contract with a major shipper where they are stopping by your shop a couple of times a week to pick up your packages.

    there are lots of other industries that ship large items across the country and even large fragile items and they are not charging 30%ish of their overall retail product price to ship to customers.

    seems like other businesses have cracked the shipping nut over the last 15 yrs, but surfboard makers have not.

    it's not surprising since I'm sure nobody gets into making surfboards because they want to worry about boxing and shipping. and like smukes said, probably nobody in the business really cares.

    it just seems like there would be an opportunity for someone to expand their business here, but again, I'm just on the outside looking in and I could be way off.
  8. NoseRideTheWhip

    NoseRideTheWhip Active Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Sandstone Retreat, CA
    RIer wrote:
    I think your analysis overstates the volume of shipments these shapers see. I could be wrong, but you're likely not getting economies of scale from shipping four boards to the east coast a month.
  9. Ticowannabe

    Ticowannabe Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2012
    Croweater wrote:
    he means Stretch in SC

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