The question "How can I cheaply transport lots of cargo overseas?" is the reason why I'm raising this issue. It kind of feels off-topic as the OP won't be accompanying his goods, but it's potentially useful in other circumstances (I can imagine shipping e.g. a bicycle or other bulky item overseas for which cannot be transported cheaply or easily by airplane).

Thoughts?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

So what about if I'm motorcycling around the world and want to ship my bike from Russia to Canada because I can't ride across the Beiring Strait?

I definitely think some are on topic as they're part of travel. However, books? That sounds a little more like immigration, which is off-topic. However if he's not transporting it for immigration purposes, but say, to donate to a charity or whatever, it still becomes shipping, rather than travel.

Otherwise, I plan on starting a company to drop-ship tvs from Korea to the USA. Should I ask? Heck no, it's not a travel question!

So I think when it relates directly to travel, then yes, it's on topic, and some of these shipping questions will be. But we're not about to be putting a blanket allow/ban on them, in my opinion.

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I'm of the opinion that transport overseas, for any purpose, qualifies as travel.

Also, I'm not sure why not accompanying your goods would make it off-topic; for the other situations you mentioned (bicycle, bulky item), sending your items off through a medium where you will not be accompanying them is a viable option.

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yeah, but presumably you wouldn't use your books for the purpose of travelling (which would make the question on-topic), while you would use your bike or whatever. I admit it's kind of difficult to decide about the nuances, that's why I asked this question. –  mindcorrosive Nov 1 '12 at 18:36
    
@mindcorrosive The books are the purpose for travelling. I'm travelling somewhere to deliver books, just as somebody would travel somewhere to introduce people to waffles, or travel somewhere to play their tuba, and so forth. In all these cases, the items themselves don't relate to travelling, but the challenge in the transport certainly is. –  Peter Olson Nov 1 '12 at 18:44
    
I'm kind of convinced that either all "ship-stuff-abroad" questions should be allowed, or none of them. A clever OP would just change the matter needing shipping in their question and receive an adequate answer, which defeats having the distinction in the first place. I'm waiting for others to weigh in. Drop in chat if you'd like to discuss. –  mindcorrosive Nov 1 '12 at 18:48
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I agree that shipping is not travel, but sometimes travel requires some shipping.

Mainly vehicles. I think if you have to ship a bicycle, car, motorbike, kayak etc on some legs of your round-the-word trip, that should be on-topic.

Sending and receiving stuff is probably off-topic.

But then there's questions about sending excess stuff back home, like winter clothes - what to do with those?

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I'm of the opinion that shipping is not travel. Travel relates to people, not to things; travel is an active act.

I propose that questions about sending stuff abroad is off-topic.

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