How to ship musical instruments internationally with ease

There are things we all own that are expensive — things like cars, apartments, fridges,  possibly some jewelry or hobby items, etc. There are also things we own that are valuable. Not necessarily expensive, but dear to us for their sentimental value or usefulness. Things such as old photos for example. Instruments, however, are a rare breed. When you are trying to ship musical instruments internationally, you are not shipping something eater expensive or valuable. You are shipping something that is both!

A connection between a musician and his instrument is har to explain for anyone who is not a musician. The instrument is more than an expertly made, expencive tool – it is a companion. Player and his instrument travel tougher through the experience of learning a new song and enjoy together the beautiful sounds that come by after hours upon hours of practice.

It is for this reason that it is perfectly understandable why you would be worried when entrusting your instrument into the hands of movers. However, we are here to tell you that you don’t have a lot to worry about. There are some useful steps you can take, and all will be good.

So, without further ado, let us begin!

Problems when trying to ship musical instruments internationally

So what are the most common issues that you can expect? Well, challenges of international travel are that anything will pass through many hands-on airports and harbors. While many dutiful workers like those in logistics companies in Dammam will keep careful track of your stuff, you should still be prepared for a case of a “rough ride.

hip musical instruments internationally
What are the problems you might encounter when you transport instruments?

Instruments are really easy to brake. That is especially true for instruments with long “necks” such as guitars (more on this later). Therefore, you should pay special attention to support to any vulnerable parts of your instruments and use a lot of cushioning materials.

Also, make sure your instruments are disassembled, if possible, and put into their original cases with added padding. Best place for your instrument is in a case meant for it.

However, we should say that this kind of damage is rather rare. In most cases, movers will be cautious. Just make sure that you mark your box with “Fragile,” and it should be handled with care. Still, investing in some protective material is not a bad idea, just as a precaution.

Most general possible advice is:

  • Pack inside original boxes – and only put the instrument itself in there. It does not need company.
  • A lot of cushioning materials ship musical instruments internationally safely
  • Relive all tension – strings and such. There is no need for any more tension than it will experience anyway…


That is an excellent place to start as guitars are among the most common instruments being shipped for musicians worldwide. Many bits of advice that will go for these particular instruments apply to others… So how to go on about it? How to pack it?

Guitars – most common among companions of striving music stars of the future!

Well, first off, make sure that only the instrument is in the box. There is no need for anything else to be there. Additional items in boxes are only more elements that can scratch your musical instrument during air cargo to Saudi Arabia. Be sure to detune the strings. That will help relieve the pressure of the neck of the guitar. Wrap it up in a bubble wrap and place a cloth between the strings and the surface of the guitar to avoid friction. Pick a sturdy box, not a bag, and put it in a box not too larger than it, filed to the brim with cushioning materials. Finally, do a small shake to test out if anything is moving inside. If all is still, you are good.

Stringed instruments in general

That is also a good idea for violins, violas, contrabass, and other string instruments as they all work on the same principle. So, while they are sitting either in transport in a warehouse Riyadh, make sure that the wires are loose and neck secured.

Drum sets

Think about babushka dolls, those little cute Russian dolls where one fits into another. Now do the same thing with Tom and Kick drum. Yup, it is that easy.

Drums set
Drums set – the reason your neighbors will want some good audio-isolation…

Of course, as with everything we talked about, cushioning materials are there to isolate the instruments from any bumps that may occur. However, to be honest, if any musical instruments know how to take a beating, it’s the drums. 

We are not saying not to be careful. Take full precaution. Just don’t stress too much about transportation. All you need is a little bit of time and some good crates.

Brass instruments

They are kind of exceptions. When your local movers in Jeddah are handling them, there is no need to think about it, but during international moves, you should consider something. Brass instruments are unusually vulnerable to travel, and are, counterintuitively, better of out of their cases, especially if they are small instruments.

Brass instruments
What special problems do brass instruments have?

Be sure to wrap them in a lot of protective material, however. Furthermore, you will find that bigger instruments still need a box, though wooden crates work just fine!

In conclusion

In the end, we want you to know that we get it. Having to ship musical instruments internationally can be extremely stressful for some people. That goes especially for those who are generally very “selfish” and keep their instruments away from the touch of people who they do not trust to treat them with respect and care.

But, if anything will help you not be anxious about this transport, then it is the fact that you did everything right. If you do that, you will find that shipping musical instruments is not that hard. And that your musical companion will await you at your new destination in no time and with not a scratch on it!

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