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Discussion Starter #1


Hello,

Moving (June/July 2010) from Southern California to Northern France.

If anyone has had a positive (or negative) experience with a company offering
container shipping I would be (really) grateful for any referrals.

Also.........would be thrilled if anyone would let me know the items they wish they had taken with them (from US) and the things they wish they had left behind.

Thanks so very much...

KMM
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

When I moved to Europe (Germany at the time) I used the moving company my employer had used a couple years earlier. You might call around to some of the large international employers in the area to see who they use. But it's worthwhile (IMO) to get a mover to pack and insure your goods for you.

The other "tip" is to figure on sending a smaller load (it was 500 lbs) via air freight so it will get there within a week or so of when you do. The main load will take a good 6 to 12 weeks by sea.

As to specifics to take or not to take, it kind of depends on how long you're going for and your reasons for going. Obviously, you can skip most electrical appliances and just replace when you get there. Running things off transformers is a royal pain. OTOH, most small electronics will run just fine with only a change of electrical cord.

If you are taking your US bed, take all your own bedding - sheets and pillowcases are different sizes in Europe.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi and welcome to the forum!

When I moved to Europe (Germany at the time) I used the moving company my employer had used a couple years earlier. You might call around to some of the large international employers in the area to see who they use. But it's worthwhile (IMO) to get a mover to pack and insure your goods for you.

The other "tip" is to figure on sending a smaller load (it was 500 lbs) via air freight so it will get there within a week or so of when you do. The main load will take a good 6 to 12 weeks by sea.

As to specifics to take or not to take, it kind of depends on how long you're going for and your reasons for going. Obviously, you can skip most electrical appliances and just replace when you get there. Running things off transformers is a royal pain. OTOH, most small electronics will run just fine with only a change of electrical cord.

If you are taking your US bed, take all your own bedding - sheets and pillowcases are different sizes in Europe.
Cheers,
Bev

Bev,

Thanks so much for the reply.

Excellent advice regarding sending a smaller load by air freight. I had anticipated 6-8 weeks for shipping....12 weeks creates all kinds of (curable) problems.

Yes will be taking beds. Sheets are an excellent idea both for size and cost. Have never figured out why sheets and towels are so expensive in France.

Also your suggestion to call companies that post employees overseas for shipping referrals is (another) very good suggestion.

Thank you Bev.
 

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Hi,
I will be receiving my partial container shipment on Friday, so it is premature to give the final vote on this firm, but so far, it has been great communication and cheap shipping.

I used IQGlobal. Web site is the same name. I paid my own shipping so low cost and quality were very important. I asked a shipper I had used in the US about the rates. His response was he could not touch it.

They have kept me informed, give me regular feedback as to the progress of the shipment and gave me a quick quote. The only issue I've had was the initial online quote. The insurance was not included in the price. Not a major issue and easily resolved. The part I like the best is that there is always someone on the other end of the phone when I call, and they have answers, which work!

I shipped a partial container from San Francisco to Le Havre. It takes about a month. I dropped the boxes (about 100) off at the shipper and will pick up them up in Le Havre. Communication with the receiving agency in Le Havre has been very easy.

They will arrange to pick up your items and deliver them to your destination, if you require. This will substantially increase the price.

I will update this with the result after I pick up the items on Friday.

Cheers,
Ron
 

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Hello,

Moving (June/July 2010) from Southern California to Northern France.

If anyone has had a positive (or negative) experience with a company offering
container shipping I would be (really) grateful for any referrals.

Also.........would be thrilled if anyone would let me know the items they wish they had taken with them (from US) and the things they wish they had left behind.

Thanks so very much...

KMM

Just started this process - I called Allied Van Lines and they came and did an inventory today. Also contacted Crown Relocations in Huntigdon Beach (International Moving Company, Relocation Services, International Movers - Crown Relocations) - they are coming next Tuesday - very impressed so far with their communciations and professional web-site, presentation etc.

I'd be interested in hearing from others too

David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,
I will be receiving my partial container shipment on Friday, so it is premature to give the final vote on this firm, but so far, it has been great communication and cheap shipping.

I used IQGlobal. Web site is the same name. I paid my own shipping so low cost and quality were very important. I asked a shipper I had used in the US about the rates. His response was he could not touch it.

They have kept me informed, give me regular feedback as to the progress of the shipment and gave me a quick quote. The only issue I've had was the initial online quote. The insurance was not included in the price. Not a major issue and easily resolved. The part I like the best is that there is always someone on the other end of the phone when I call, and they have answers, which work!

I shipped a partial container from San Francisco to Le Havre. It takes about a month. I dropped the boxes (about 100) off at the shipper and will pick up them up in Le Havre. Communication with the receiving agency in Le Havre has been very easy.

They will arrange to pick up your items and deliver them to your destination, if you require. This will substantially increase the price.

I will update this with the result after I pick up the items on Friday.

Cheers,
Ron

Hi Ron,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Have looked at IQGlobal website and will call them tomorrow.

"Someone on the other end of the phone" how rare this is. My bank no longer has a human on the other end of the phone...bank is a community bank!

You've had a really positive experience...

You pick up your items in two days.. Four weeks would be great.

Are you responsible for going through customs or is this done for you? I am very interested in this process....Understand that the more services shipper provides the costlier it is.

My items would also enter France at this same port.

May I ask you how large your boxes were.... envisioning 100 boxes....think I have more plus some furniture.

Thank you so much for writing. I would be wildly appreciative if you could let me know how it goes...

Good luck.

My best,
 

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size of boxes and customs

A partial answer to your questions.

The total for all boxes was 6 cubic meters, or 4 pallets, 41 x 41 stacked 6 ft high. I've avoided furniture, as my wife has plenty here already. I did bring a bicycle carrier and bicycle.

The quotes are based on size, not on weight. I found them very helpful on the phone to determine the best method of estimating the size and what was required to ship the goods. I used the web based calculator and then called to follow up.

I spoke with them about obtaining a customs clearing agent. The response was that most people moving household goods handle it themselves. I contacted the customs agent at Le Havre and received a list of required paperwork with examples. I won't know until tomorrow for sure, but so far it looks good.

We have rented a truck and will drive to Le Havre to pick up the goods tomorrow morning. My wife is French, so should have no issues with language.

Regards,
Ron

Hi Ron,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Have looked at IQGlobal website and will call them tomorrow.

"Someone on the other end of the phone" how rare this is. My bank no longer has a human on the other end of the phone...bank is a community bank!

You've had a really positive experience...

You pick up your items in two days.. Four weeks would be great.

Are you responsible for going through customs or is this done for you? I am very interested in this process....Understand that the more services shipper provides the costlier it is.

My items would also enter France at this same port.

May I ask you how large your boxes were.... envisioning 100 boxes....think I have more plus some furniture.

Thank you so much for writing. I would be wildly appreciative if you could let me know how it goes...

Good luck.

My best,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A partial answer to your questions.

The total for all boxes was 6 cubic meters, or 4 pallets, 41 x 41 stacked 6 ft high. I've avoided furniture, as my wife has plenty here already. I did bring a bicycle carrier and bicycle.

The quotes are based on size, not on weight. I found them very helpful on the phone to determine the best method of estimating the size and what was required to ship the goods. I used the web based calculator and then called to follow up.

I spoke with them about obtaining a customs clearing agent. The response was that most people moving household goods handle it themselves. I contacted the customs agent at Le Havre and received a list of required paperwork with examples. I won't know until tomorrow for sure, but so far it looks good.

We have rented a truck and will drive to Le Havre to pick up the goods tomorrow morning. My wife is French, so should have no issues with language.

Regards,
Ron
Ron,

Thank you...

Please let me know how the customs clearing process worked.
Procedure/Time/Difficulty...etc

Would also appreciate if you could let me know the phone number for Le Harve customs. I will be in France in three weeks and could contact them them.
I am hoping the customs agent(s) were fluent in English.

Thanks so much for communicating....your information has been very helpful.

My best,

K
 

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The big day arrived and Friday we made our way to Le Havre to collect my shipment from the US.

It could have been filmed as a French farce! Everything was uncertain, could have been a disaster, but in the end turned out fine, for reasons I will never fully understand.

We drove a 20 cubic meter truck from Reims. Could have chosen something smaller, but it turned out to have been worth the extra size.

Arrived in Le Havre around 11:00 and eventually found Cargo Lines. It is not a warehouse, only an office, along with 5 or 6 other businesses in a large building. Greeted in the office with indifference, and then finally a request to wait. 10 minutes of waiting and it our turn. (no other customers in the office, but all 6 people fully occupied with their computers). The woman I had dealt with on the phone and via email was sick. She was the only responsive person at Cargo Lines. Finally we are acknowledged and present our paperwork, pay the docking fee (about 120 euro per pallet), and receive the forms to present to the Douane. The woman helping us had hurt her right hand, so everything is performed one handed, so everything is in slow motion.

We to present the papers to the Douane office. Not the one two blocks away, but the one in the city 15 minutes away. The directions are not bad and we find it (all in French). The front entrance is no longer in operation, and after some failed attempts we finally find the office in the back corner of the block, opposite the main entrance. Someone was smiling on us, as we found the one open parking spot and it was large enough to park the truck.

We presented the documents to the folks at the Douane. Inventory, a declaration (obtained from the Douane via email) that the goods would not be sold and they are my possessions, a copy of the Livret de Famille, a copy of a gas bill with my wife's name, a statement by her that I am living with her, a copy of my passport and a copy of the long term visa. All was in order. There were some comical moments, like the Douane official signing in the block where I am to sign, by mistake. Scratch out the signature with a pen and a stamp after I sign and all is well. All in all, quite informal. Americans are ok at the moment, so they paid no attention to my inventory. I take it from the comments that other nationalities may not have it so easy. Never a question of what was in the shipment.

The woman at Cargo Lines mentioned the shipment would be at the warehouse which was "next door". Maybe she lives in the country where the next house is several miles away. Turns out next door was about 2 km from the office. The warehouse is Buffard (we found it was port 3161, much later). No address given on the documentation. We called directory assistance, and then after the GPS battery failed, called the office and received directions. Port number is very important. Street signs with port numbers are very good. Street signs with street names are not.

By now, we have taken the scenic tour of Le Havre, had a very pleasant lunch at a restaurant not far from Cargo Lines, and have finally found the warehouse. We present the documents to the agent, and oops, the Douane has given us the paperwork for some other shipment. We have visions of returning to Reims empty handed, as there is not time to return to the Douane and then to the warehouse before they close. No problem, just a photo copy of something, not sure what, and problem solved. Oh, and your signature please to acknowledge the receipt of damaged boxes (omg!).

Here is were the box truck came in handy. There was room for the forklift driver to place the pallet into the truck so unloading was easy. The driver helped me unload the pallet. Very easy. Then when the next pallet came out on the lift truck and the shrink wrap failed and boxes spilled onto the wet driveway, we suddenly had two extra helpers. Unloaded 5 pallets in a few minutes!

The rest was easy.

So final thoughts on ICGlobal and dealing with folks in Le Havre.

All in all, there were some seriously damaged boxes. Several boxes arrived with more tape than cardboard. Seems like they put everything back before taping, but I will probably never know. Had many boxes of hats. Several boxes partially opened, hats crushed, and I think a couple are missing (packed 10 to a box, but one box with only 8 but won't know till I have time to inventory). A few broken dishes.

There was some confusion in S.F. The information fro ICGlobal was the boxes would be palletized and shrink wrapped at the shipper in SF. The shipper said no, the palletizing would occur in L.A. This took place on New Years eve, so I was stuck. Had I the option, I would have cleared this up and insisted the boxes were palletized in SF. If you use this shipping method, make sure you watch your items palletized. I found heavy boxes on top of fragile boxes (broken of course).

While it might be possible to complete the process in English, my feeling is that it would be very difficult. Leave lots and lots of time! If everything works, and you are fortunate enough to find the right people, no problem. If not, it could be very difficult.

So the saga ends. Overall quite the interesting experience. Fortunately there are some good people out there.

Ron
 

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Great story - thank you for sharing.

It's one of the reasons it can be worth the extra money to have an international mover - they mess with all the clearing nonsense, and you have insurance to cover the almost inevitable small damages in the shipment.

Then again, I've also cleared a (small) shipment myself through Douane at Roissy CDG. One item went missing and (of course) the shipment wasn't insured. But the item was a painting done by my mother, so I'm not sure a monetary settlement would have resolved much. (I like to think that whoever now has the painting took it because they liked it... but I guess we'll never know.)

But like you said, I wouldn't want to try doing the clearance myself trying to get by in English.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Great story - thank you for sharing.

It's one of the reasons it can be worth the extra money to have an international mover - they mess with all the clearing nonsense, and you have insurance to cover the almost inevitable small damages in the shipment.

Then again, I've also cleared a (small) shipment myself through Douane at Roissy CDG. One item went missing and (of course) the shipment wasn't insured. But the item was a painting done by my mother, so I'm not sure a monetary settlement would have resolved much. (I like to think that whoever now has the painting took it because they liked it... but I guess we'll never know.)

But like you said, I wouldn't want to try doing the clearance myself trying to get by in English.
Cheers,
Bev
I would totally agree with Bev that using an International, door to door, mover is the way to go. Our last move was a breeze and there were only a few (silly) breakages caused by hasty packaging. Everything was palletized into 10' cubes at our house, sealed and steel banded and only opened at our new house. The insurance is worth it in case the container falls off the ship - which happens at the rate of one container, per ship, per day :eek:

David
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would totally agree with Bev that using an International, door to door, mover is the way to go. Our last move was a breeze and there were only a few (silly) breakages caused by hasty packaging. Everything was palletized into 10' cubes at our house, sealed and steel banded and only opened at our new house. The insurance is worth it in case the container falls off the ship - which happens at the rate of one container, per ship, per day :eek:

David

David.............

One container a day????? per day per ship....

Wow ...does not seem like an appropriate comment.......

Understand (now) the value of insurance .......will make sure all is palleted
before leaving my house...

One container a day falls into the ocean...................................?

Wow...

Thank you David.....

Karin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The big day arrived and Friday we made our way to Le Havre to collect my shipment from the US.

It could have been filmed as a French farce! Everything was uncertain, could have been a disaster, but in the end turned out fine, for reasons I will never fully understand.

We drove a 20 cubic meter truck from Reims. Could have chosen something smaller, but it turned out to have been worth the extra size.

Arrived in Le Havre around 11:00 and eventually found Cargo Lines. It is not a warehouse, only an office, along with 5 or 6 other businesses in a large building.


Greeted in the office with indifference, and then finally a request to wait. 10 minutes of waiting and it our turn. (no other customers in the office, but all 6 people fully occupied with their computers). The woman I had dealt with on the phone and via email was sick. She was the only responsive person at Cargo Lines. Finally we are acknowledged and present our paperwork, pay the docking fee (about 120 euro per pallet), and receive the forms to present to the Douane. The woman helping us had hurt her right hand, so everything is performed one handed, so everything is in slow motion.

We to present the papers to the Douane office. Not the one two blocks away, but the one in the city 15 minutes away. The directions are not bad and we find it (all in French). The front entrance is no longer in operation, and after some failed attempts we finally find the office in the back corner of the block, opposite the main entrance. Someone was smiling on us, as we found the one open parking spot and it was large enough to park the truck.

We presented the documents to the folks at the Douane. Inventory, a declaration (obtained from the Douane via email) that the goods would not be sold and they are my possessions, a copy of the Livret de Famille, a copy of a gas bill with my wife's name, a statement by her that I am living with her, a copy of my passport and a copy of the long term visa. All was in order. There were some comical moments, like the Douane official signing in the block where I am to sign, by mistake. Scratch out the signature with a pen and a stamp after I sign and all is well. All in all, quite informal. Americans are ok at the moment, so they paid no attention to my inventory. I take it from the comments that other nationalities may not have it so easy. Never a question of what was in the shipment.

The woman at Cargo Lines mentioned the shipment would be at the warehouse which was "next door". Maybe she lives in the country where the next house is several miles away. Turns out next door was about 2 km from the office. The warehouse is Buffard (we found it was port 3161, much later). No address given on the documentation. We called directory assistance, and then after the GPS battery failed, called the office and received directions. Port number is very important. Street signs with port numbers are very good. Street signs with street names are not.

By now, we have taken the scenic tour of Le Havre, had a very pleasant lunch at a restaurant not far from Cargo Lines, and have finally found the warehouse. We present the documents to the agent, and oops, the Douane has given us the paperwork for some other shipment. We have visions of returning to Reims empty handed, as there is not time to return to the Douane and then to the warehouse before they close. No problem, just a photo copy of something, not sure what, and problem solved. Oh, and your signature please to acknowledge the receipt of damaged boxes (omg!).

Here is were the box truck came in handy. There was room for the forklift driver to place the pallet into the truck so unloading was easy. The driver helped me unload the pallet. Very easy. Then when the next pallet came out on the lift truck and the shrink wrap failed and boxes spilled onto the wet driveway, we suddenly had two extra helpers. Unloaded 5 pallets in a few minutes!

The rest was easy.

So final thoughts on ICGlobal and dealing with folks in Le Havre.

All in all, there were some seriously damaged boxes. Several boxes arrived with more tape than cardboard. Seems like they put everything back before taping, but I will probably never know. Had many boxes of hats. Several boxes partially opened, hats crushed, and I think a couple are missing (packed 10 to a box, but one box with only 8 but won't know till I have time to inventory). A few broken dishes.

There was some confusion in S.F. The information fro ICGlobal was the boxes would be palletized and shrink wrapped at the shipper in SF. The shipper said no, the palletizing would occur in L.A. This took place on New Years eve, so I was stuck. Had I the option, I would have cleared this up and insisted the boxes were palletized in SF. If you use this shipping method, make sure you watch your items palletized. I found heavy boxes on top of fragile boxes (broken of course).

While it might be possible to complete the process in English, my feeling is that it would be very difficult. Leave lots and lots of time! If everything works, and you are fortunate enough to find the right people, no problem. If not, it could be very difficult.

So the saga ends. Overall quite the interesting experience. Fortunately there are some good people out there.

Ron
Ron,

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow..... more Wow.

Well...that does it....I would not be able to do what you describe...I think your French must be at least good conversationally.... then there is your wonderful (patient) french wife... You also did your homework and showed up with all the correct paper work.

Your comment.....


"Greeted in the office with indifference, and then finally a request to wait. 10 minutes of waiting and it our turn. (no other customers in the office, but all 6 people fully occupied with their computers).
"

I went to City Hall (here...southern California) to get a copy of something...
Went up to the counter...smiled........smiled again... Eight...maybe ten people were sitting at computers....one lady was cleaning out her purse...another was (slowly) taking off her tennis shoes and putting on heels.... another (man) was turned away from his desk talking to the man behind him.... There was a man sitting on a chair in the lobby who came up and told me he had been told to take a seat an wait for "the next available person".......... I played with my iPhone for about ten minutes before the nice man beside me was instructed that there was now an available person to assist him.......bless his heart...he told me to go first...

I think ...as much as I would like to save as much as possible on shipping...that I will need to pay someone to take care of the customs procedure.. I will probably have a 20 foot container....so will also need to have it delivered....I will be about 90 - 100 miles away from Le Harve.

Happy to know that there was no attention paid to your inventory...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this...it's helped more than you know.

Wishing you a wonderful life in France.

Best,

Karin
 

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David.............

One container a day????? per day per ship....

Wow ...does not seem like an appropriate comment.......

Understand (now) the value of insurance .......will make sure all is palleted
before leaving my house...

One container a day falls into the ocean...................................?

Wow...

Thank you David.....

Karin
Not sure about the statistic that one container a day falls overboard - but I do know of a case where the ship hit bad weather and waves apparently washed over the deck. When my cousin got her shipment, everything had clearly gotten wet in the process. Insurance paid for refinishing and repair of the items damaged.

If you go with an international mover, they'll handle the customs clearing and transfer the load to a local company for delivery. For my money, it's worth every penny.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not sure about the statistic that one container a day falls overboard - but I do know of a case where the ship hit bad weather and waves apparently washed over the deck. When my cousin got her shipment, everything had clearly gotten wet in the process. Insurance paid for refinishing and repair of the items damaged.

If you go with an international mover, they'll handle the customs clearing and transfer the load to a local company for delivery. For my money, it's worth every penny.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev....this is terrible....your poor cousin. I am sure some things could not be replaced or repaired. You mentioned you sent 500 pound by air freight....was this terribly expensive....would you recommend this for paintings/silver/photographs...things that could not (emotionally) be replaced...

Thank you again Bev.

Karin
 

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Hi Bev....this is terrible....your poor cousin. I am sure some things could not be replaced or repaired. You mentioned you sent 500 pound by air freight....was this terribly expensive....would you recommend this for paintings/silver/photographs...things that could not (emotionally) be replaced...
I moved from California to Europe twice - once paid for by the company and once on my own dime. I used the company experience to plan my own move.

The company provided for a shipment of up to 500 pounds via air freight. This was for the stuff you need right away - basically anything you don't want to have to haul onto the plane with you. Mostly I used this for shipping clothes (for the current season), kitchen utensils, other day to day living necessities. The air shipment takes about 4 to 5 days from when you send it. Yes, it's more expensive than the sea freight shipment, but the moving company included a limited air freight shipment in the estimate they gave me.

The regular sea freight shipment takes from 6 to 12 weeks - because the boat has to go through the Panama Canal and all that good stuff. (Takes a bit less if you're shipping from the East Coast.) The moving company will only insure what they pack for you, so again, it's money well spent (IMO) because they do take a certain amount of care in packing stuff when they know there's insurance riding on it.

You have to decide for yourself how you want to handle the "priceless" stuff. My tendency is to take it with on the flight - but you detach yourself pretty quickly from things as the weight of your baggage starts to increase. For things like family photos, I've mailed them to myself (or had a friend mail them to me after I get settled). Things do get lost in the mail, but it was quicker and easier.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi All,
I think it is mostly a matter of your financial situation. If you have the luxury of a professional mover, by all means, take it. If on the other hand, it is your dime and you have some time, it is quite possible to do it yourself. It is more work, and a little more risk, but the savings are substantial. Besides, it prepares you for life in France, where every day brings some little challenge.

As far as clearing customs and the shippers, here again, if you allow time, check to make sure you have someone who understands you, and make sure they are available, at least in Le Havre, it is quite possible to manage it with limited French. As is true of every situation in a foreign country, when things go wrong, it can be very frustrating and obviously having someone along who can speak the language helps tremendously in these situations.

A professional mover would have cost me 4 or 5 times the price I paid to ship and insure my goods. It was fully insured, so even if I had lost everything, I would have been compensated. Like any situation, if you want to minimize risk, you will need to spend time. In my current situation, the money is better spent on other more important priorities, like a Bibliotechque for instance, to store the many boxes of books ;-)

Ron
 

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David.............

One container a day????? per day per ship....

Wow ...does not seem like an appropriate comment.......

Understand (now) the value of insurance .......will make sure all is palleted
before leaving my house...

One container a day falls into the ocean...................................?

Wow...

Thank you David.....

Karin

There was a major article on this some time back in a magazine (Yachting Monthly UK) and the stats were amazing. It was featured there because of the dangers of hitting semi-submerged containers (they float about 3" below the surface) in a small yacht. The reason is that they stack them several stories high as deck cargo - deck cargo is cheaper to insure than hold cargo. This got so silly as to get ship designer to create a ship with no hold - just a below-waterline "deck" which would be continually pumped dry while at sea :eek:

OK :focus:

We just had our pre-move survey by Crown of Huntingdon Beach - initial impressions were right, this is a very professional company. Now for the quote :faint:

David
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I moved from California to Europe twice - once paid for by the company and once on my own dime. I used the company experience to plan my own move.

The company provided for a shipment of up to 500 pounds via air freight. This was for the stuff you need right away - basically anything you don't want to have to haul onto the plane with you. Mostly I used this for shipping clothes (for the current season), kitchen utensils, other day to day living necessities. The air shipment takes about 4 to 5 days from when you send it. Yes, it's more expensive than the sea freight shipment, but the moving company included a limited air freight shipment in the estimate they gave me.

The regular sea freight shipment takes from 6 to 12 weeks - because the boat has to go through the Panama Canal and all that good stuff. (Takes a bit less if you're shipping from the East Coast.) The moving company will only insure what they pack for you, so again, it's money well spent (IMO) because they do take a certain amount of care in packing stuff when they know there's insurance riding on it.

You have to decide for yourself how you want to handle the "priceless" stuff. My tendency is to take it with on the flight - but you detach yourself pretty quickly from things as the weight of your baggage starts to increase. For things like family photos, I've mailed them to myself (or had a friend mail them to me after I get settled). Things do get lost in the mail, but it was quicker and easier.
Cheers,
Bev

Hi Bev......

Smiling.......you have moved around quite a lot.

Have a number of quotes from shipping companies.... they all charge about $1,000 - 1,200. to come inside the house and pack the items...if you pack yourself this figure is deducted........however...............if they do not pack the items they offer limited insurance.......... so.

Understand about the air freight...have not seen that offered as part of the package but will ask... good idea.

Most are quoting me shorter 4 to 6 week time frames for delivery... I understand they are giving me best case but have told them I just really need to know as I need to book a flight close to arrival date and do not want to stay in a hotel until items arrive....

Bev...thank you.
 

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I moved from California to Europe twice - once paid for by the company and once on my own dime. I used the company experience to plan my own move.

The company provided for a shipment of up to 500 pounds via air freight. This was for the stuff you need right away - basically anything you don't want to have to haul onto the plane with you. Mostly I used this for shipping clothes (for the current season), kitchen utensils, other day to day living necessities. The air shipment takes about 4 to 5 days from when you send it. Yes, it's more expensive than the sea freight shipment, but the moving company included a limited air freight shipment in the estimate they gave me.

The regular sea freight shipment takes from 6 to 12 weeks - because the boat has to go through the Panama Canal and all that good stuff. (Takes a bit less if you're shipping from the East Coast.) The moving company will only insure what they pack for you, so again, it's money well spent (IMO) because they do take a certain amount of care in packing stuff when they know there's insurance riding on it.

You have to decide for yourself how you want to handle the "priceless" stuff. My tendency is to take it with on the flight - but you detach yourself pretty quickly from things as the weight of your baggage starts to increase. For things like family photos, I've mailed them to myself (or had a friend mail them to me after I get settled). Things do get lost in the mail, but it was quicker and easier.
Cheers,
Bev
Bev...I am assuming that all air freight goes into CDG... does this sound correct?
 
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