10 of the weirdest things people have tried to ship across Europe

dog-in-a-box

The world is getting smaller, and it’s easier than ever to have all kinds of items shipped across Europe. But while shipping goods has become more and more common, many of the products being shipped are getting stranger.

Luxembourg-based shipping platform Eurosender has a lot of experience accommodating unusual shipping requests through their specialized logistics services. Founded in 2014, they’ve shared with us 10 of the most unusual shipping requests they’ve received over the years.

While they were unable to identify their single weirdest shipping request, the top three require little explanation:

  1. The sperm of a bull
  2. Live people – Because nowadays, aeroplane tickets are too expensive.
  3. “Flour from Colombia” – Perhaps they hoped for the reply “Of course Sir, your request is confirmed”.
  4. Highly flammable objects – Recently, a Dutch customer tried to ship working fireworks in a cardboard box. Although they would make a nice addition to a special party, you wouldn’t want them to go off before they arrive at their final destination. Because if even a small fire, such as from a lighter, comes close to those fireworks they could begin exploding – and then not even the fire extinguisher will help you out. The courier is going to have a very unpleasant surprise in the back of their van if this happens. This is why all highly flammable items are forbidden from regular courier transport, including liquids such as cleaning agents and petrol. We assume you don’t want to have an injured courier on your conscience, so just stick to confetti for your next party – or ask for the appropriate kind of shipment.
  5. A robot – You probably remember Terminator, the killer robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1980s. Thirty years later, it seems that what was just fiction is taking shape. Believe it or not, a human-shaped robot was recently sent to Germany from Belgium. Such a valuable item should be decently packaged: You wouldn’t want to just wrap it up in a simple plastic film, for example. Imagine wrapping a vase in bubble wrap and then dropping it from a height of one meter… On a trip of several hundred or even several thousand kilometres, its pretty clear that this type of packaging would not be enough. With these kind of items, it’s necessary to place them in a cardboard box with various packaging materials and mark them appropriately.
  6. Gold bars – What would you do with €20k? Go travelling? Make investments? Devote yourself fully to your projects, your dreams, your passions? Last February, there was actually a Dutch delivery containing gold bars worth €20k. If you decide to ship something this extraordinary, make sure you ask for the right kind of transportation.
  7. Live snails – Though they aren’t considered domestic animals, Eurosender is against animal cruelty, and so the transport of live snails and animal products isn’t in accordance with their policy. Who would want to spend a week in a cardboard box, without contact with the outside world?! And imagine the deliveryman’s surprise when he realizes that these little slugs carrying their house on their backs have escaped and are sliding around all the other packages in the truck? Though snails may be considered a delicacy in some regions, the rest of us have a slightly different reaction to these creatures.
  8. Sex toys – Ordering sex toys online and having them delivered is pretty easy nowadays, so why not send them by the courier as well? What is even more interesting is that someone tried to ship 12 sex toys in one box… No judging, just an interesting number of items. Of course, these products didn’t need any special treatment and could just be shipped the good old regular way.
  9. Alcohol and drugs – Shipping alcohol isn’t impossible, but it’s risky for sure. Since alcohol come mainly in glass bottles, you have to be extra careful when packing them for shipping. Furthermore, they’re on the list of prohibited and restricted items, together with drugs. Exceptions can be made when specialized logistics services are included or you have a prescription for a medication that can only be found in certain countries – and if you stick to a reasonable amount, of course.
  10. A wheelbarrow – This one isn’t so special in itself, but that’s what makes the idea of shipping it all the more unusual. Eurosender just received an email from a customer abroad asking if they could send a wheelbarrow to Slovenia. Why? They’re still wondering.