Do you need to order some special part for your yacht but the store won't ship it to whatever country you are in? Or won't even let you buy it because you are not in their country?

Do you need to order lots of different items from different stores and get it all shipped to you at a reasonable price?

Are you in a hurry to get an essential piece of gear to make repairs but are in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, or Fiji and nobody there has what you need?

Well, I've had those kinds of problems many times over the 45 years my wife and I have been continuously cruising the South Pacific and believe me, I've tried all the possible solutions. You know, order the parts or supplies and have them sent to your parents, friends, kids, or someone else you know and have them pack it up and forward it to you.

why it's a bad idea to use someone you know to forward stuff to you.

1. They have to pay the cost of re-packaging and either stand in line to pay the dysfunctional postal service a lot of money to ship it international express. They might do it for awhile but after awhile it becomes kind of a strain on your relationship, especially if they can't do it when you really need it done (they go on vacation, get sick, are overstressed for some other reason).

2. They don't have the expertise or packing materials to ship complex, fragile or heavy products.

3. They pay more, as individuals, than you would pay shipping via a professional forwarding service, especially for really fast delivery by DHL Express. The prices an individual will see for shipping a package on the DHL website is much more than DHL business accounts pay.

So what's the best way to get your packages and mail while cruising?

A professional mail forwarding service.

There are a number of mail forwarding services available. We've tried several of them over the years and had serious problems with them for one reason or another. Frankly, I don't even remember why I quit using some of them because in 2010 I signed up with and they have been perfect.

What's so great about Shipito mail forwarding?

1. Membership is free if you just need to ship one package at a time.

2. If you have a paid membership they will collect a whole bunch of packages for you and hold them up to 90 days and then unpack all of them, remove all the packing and retail packaging (if you want them to) and repack the whole lot in the smallest possible box. This means you get to order many different things from different stores and rather than pay to have each item shipped in the original packaging (think very expensive) they will send just one box and the shipment cost for each individual thing is just a fraction of what it would be sent one package at a time.

You can't imagine how that changes your shopping options. You can buy all those little goodies you want on ebay or Amazon or a marine supply store and have them sent all as one box by DHL express to wherever you happen to be cruising (well, you need to be near a major town - like Noumea, Port Vila, Lautoka or Suva).

3. Their paid membership is much less than other mail forwarding services.

4. Shipito offers many different US addresses but the one in Oregon is the best because..... Oregon does not have a state sales tax. Right. You don't need to pay GST on everything you order. And if you are in-transit most countries will allow you to get your package duty free because you are taking it with you when you leave. If you are in a country for a long time you might have to pay import duty but it will still come to less than you can buy most items locally. That's because the local retailers need to pay the freight and duty too - and then many of them mark up the cost of the item, freight and duty by 100%.

5. Shipito gives a huge discount on shipping, much better than competitors. I just had a package sent from Oregon to Noumea with two freezer compressors and a bunch of smaller items. The total package size was 18" X 18" X13" and it weighed 48 pounds. The DHL rate from Shipito was $279. The same package would cost $398.47 with Planet Express (which also has an Oregon warehouse). And get this, the official cost when I applied for a quote on the DHL website (as an individual) was $1577.67.

6. Shipito is reliable, trustworthy, and a breeze to use. Check out the Shipito website and see for yourself.

I have an affiliate account with Shipito and you should get one too.