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DHL--Advice Needed (Germany to USA)

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Jul 27, 2004
Let me start by saying that I don't have a complaint against DHL...yet ;) Here is my situation. I bought a knife from an individual in Germany who shipped the knife to me here in the US via DHL. As it turns out, Deutsche Post (the German postal system) owns DHL. Therefore when someone in Germany goes to ship an item internationally from their post office the default carrier is DHL. The knife was shipped to me by "PostPaket" which the shipper says should take 7-10 days to reach me here in North Carolina. My only concern so far is that even though I have a tracking number, it cannot be tracked online. I contacted DHL here in the US and was informed that only DHL in Germany can track the package. I tried this and the automated answering system is in German and I don't speak a lick of German! I'm not really worried about getting the knife just yet since it was only shipped a few days ago. I'm just peeved that apparently I can't track the package online as I'm used to doing with UPS or FedEx. I'm wondering if other forum members have experience either shipping, or especially receiving packages shipped via DHL from Germany? Was your experience good or bad? Thanks.

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Oct 7, 1998
International shipments can't be tracked online, they can only be tracked through a written application. Packages going via German Post International airmail (Post Paket Luftpost) to the USA are not insured unless special insurance was bought (Wert Paket). The US didn't sign some international post treaty or some such thing. The Post people on the counter will often claim the package is automatically insured up to 500 Euro but that is not true for shipments to the USA.

A Wert Paket costs upwards of 50 Euro to the USA which is a lot.

I suggest sending small packages as a registered airmail letter. At least these are very well accounted for, however they are not trackable by the customer either.

Fed Ex and UPS are very very expensive and generally refuse to transport knives. If you lie about the contents the insurance is invalid and customs may sieze the shipment.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

That said, in 15 years I have had one package go missing and it was not to the USA.