Shipping advice in hot weather

CraigHensleyCraigHensley Maine New Barault
in FAQ Posts: 73

Hi folks,

I'm supposed to ship an acoustic guitar tomorrow/Monday FedEx ground from Maine to California. Ships end of day tomorrow. This will take 5 full business days and 7 actual days because of the weekend, which means the guitar will still be in transit in California during 90+degree weather next week, possibly sitting on a truck over the weekend in this heat.

I'm very worried about the guitar being over heated and becoming damaged.

I'm tempted to refund his money and wait to sell this one until temps drop in case another west coaster decides to purchase.

Any advice and insight?


  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,272

    Oooh. Tough call here. The obvious first point would be to ensure it is insured for full value (and double check that it would cover heat-related damage). But that wouldn't help save what might be a nice instrument from being destroyed. The other thing you might do is share your concern with the buyer and ask how they'd like to proceed. Maybe you look at the forecast and hold shipping for a week or so? Otherwise, your willingness to care and consider waiting until cooler weather is a sign that you are trying to do the right thing. If the buyer decides they need it now and weather be damned, then the shipping insurance will cover your value in case something does occur.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 449

    Check the 10-day weather forecasts. Maybe use styrofoam packing material.

  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Eastman DM2v, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 337

    Someone recently shipped me a gypsy guitar from coast to coast. They just loosened the strings and the truss rod. Made it just fine. Took a long time to get here, like maybe two weeks.

  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Dupont, Gaffiero, AJL
    edited August 2021 Posts: 257

    I received my Gaffiero after sitting in French shipping for two weeks. Guitar arrived fine. These things get shipped from all over, I honestly wouldn't worry as long as the instrument acclimates in the case for a day before opening if the conditions are drastically different between origin and destination, or if in the case of going from a hot truck to an air-conditioned home, for instance.

    I also had an archtop shipped in December from Florida to western NY, and just let the guitar sit in the case and box for 24 hours to warm up and it was fine. You couldn't ask for more different conditions that time of the year.

    Guitars are resilient; as long as they are well protected during transit and given some time to acclimate before cracking the case open, other than a quick adjustment, should be ready to play.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,318

    Michael would know since he ships them a lot. I've had 2 shipped from Germany to Cali. No issues. Yes I would slack the strings and truss rod a bit. Obviously in a good padded case well packed in a cardboard shipping box.

  • CraigHensleyCraigHensley Maine New Barault
    Posts: 73

    Thanks everyone for the insight and support! I shipped it yesterday and feel confidant it will arrive safe. It's good to know all the experiences everyone's had with guitars arriving safely from afar.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,318

    One issue with heat, among other things, is it weakens the glue joints temporarily. So you can imagine if the strings are tight and all the glue joints are weak/rubbery, the joints will slip just a bit under the stress of the the string tension. Then when the temp cools down the joints harden back up and now everything is in a new position slightly. Hence the neck warping phenomenon if you leave a guitar in a hot car.

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