In a message dated 1/20/2004 5:55:43 AM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

> We are currently trying to obtain competitive quotes for the shipping of a
> sizeable archive collection from the West Coast of the US
> to the UK.

I think more than competitive pricing is needed here. Here,off the top of my head this a.m., are some key questions

1. Who will do the packing? the shipping company or who currently owns the material?
2. Will the shipping company be responsible for handling the customs paperwork
3. how will the material be shipped? air, land, sea, combination of all 3
4 which leads to questions about environmental protection for the materials protection from heat, humidity, cold etc.
5 How soon do you require the material

As I say they are off the top of my head. I think the best thing to do is to issue what we here in the States call an RFP (Request for Proposal) in which you state your problem invite various reputable companies to respond and then select the best one of the lot. Or you could issue a RFQ (Request for Quotation) provide them with full information number of pieces, sizes, environmental requirements, etc then ask for the best price.

I prefer the RFP since the shipper may want to see the materials that will be shipped etc.

Good luck and hope the above helps

Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
Richmond, Va
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