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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time for us to start researching shippers from the Eastern US to France. So far, we've been moving via checked luggage - everything from pots & pans, sheets & towels, etc. to our house in the Dordogne. We've also purchased furniture in France, so we only need to move a few things. When we do move, the contents will come in VAT free as it's all older (much older) than 6 months.

We're looking at moving some medium-sized things like a couple of small pieces of family heirloom furniture, 2 trail bicycles, artwork, and heavier small things like my wife's favorite cast iron skillet <s>.

From what folks have said, a modest container might work. I have a few questions:

  • Does anyone have names & contact info for container shippers you've used? Any recommendations of who to use or who to stay away from?
  • Does the shipping company pack or do we?
  • Are there different sized containers? If so, what are the sizes?
  • How does one get the container contents from the port of entry to one's home (in our case, in the Dordogne)? Are the containers delivered or do we rent a truck and re-pack it all into the truck?

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.

Ray
 

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There are only two size containers: 20FT & 40FT. Sounds like you have way too little for a container to make sense. What you want to look for is a "freight forwarder". The only "issue" with them if you need to know more or less home any cubic feet you are sending.

I sent about 2 cubic meters of stuff from Boston to Belgium once and I just dropped off the boxes at their warehouse and they then shipped it to my office in Brussels. You probably have more than that.

Different freight forwarders have different levels of service (with different prices of course). Some will come out & estimate they amount of stuff you have then pack it up in pallets, while others expect you to know how much you are sending and to pack it up yourselves.

Anyway, start calling freight forwarders in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are only two size containers: 20FT & 40FT.

Anyway, start calling freight forwarders in your area.
Thanks for the reply. Freight forwarders may be just the ticket.

For reference, how many cubic feet are in a 20 or 40 foot container? Or, what are the dimensions?

Thanks.

Ray
 

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It's time for us to start researching shippers from the Eastern US to France. So far, we've been moving via checked luggage - everything from pots & pans, sheets & towels, etc. to our house in the Dordogne. We've also purchased furniture in France, so we only need to move a few things. When we do move, the contents will come in VAT free as it's all older (much older) than 6 months.

We're looking at moving some medium-sized things like a couple of small pieces of family heirloom furniture, 2 trail bicycles, artwork, and heavier small things like my wife's favorite cast iron skillet <s>.

From what folks have said, a modest container might work. I have a few questions:

  • Does anyone have names & contact info for container shippers you've used? Any recommendations of who to use or who to stay away from?
  • Does the shipping company pack or do we?
  • Are there different sized containers? If so, what are the sizes?
  • How does one get the container contents from the port of entry to one's home (in our case, in the Dordogne)? Are the containers delivered or do we rent a truck and re-pack it all into the truck?

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.

Ray
Ray,

Check out the use of "lift vans" - they are wooden boxes which fit exactly into containers so you simply pack the number you need to make up the shipment. You can then easily share a container. Lift vans can be delivered to your house to pack, then sealed and shipped and delivered without opening.

If you pack yourself you will only be insured against total loss, damage etc is not covered. If the shipper packs it you can get complete coverage.

Cheers
 
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If you've got one of those "package shops" close by, you may want to drop by and run your shipping needs by them for further ideas.

I stored my parents' furniture with a local moving company and when I finally decided on a few pieces to ship over here to France, I asked the people at the movers' warehouse what or who they would recommend. They called one of those package shipping stores (you know, the kind of place that rents mail boxes and will pack and ship items via Post or UPS or overnight express or whatever they think will work the best).

The guy there was great - and handled all the arrangements to pick up and package the stuff. Part of the shipment went sea freight, and the second shipment went by express shipment (kind of like overnight express, but more like one week express because it was several large paintings). The stuff arrived, securely packed and ready to clear customs (for the sea freight). The paintings just turned up less than a week after the guy notified me they were on their way. No customs, no fuss.

This was in the Boston area - if you're in that part of the woods, let me know and I'll drop you a PM with the name of the place. Frankly, I was startled that the moving company would recommend a package store like this, but they did a really good job.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ray,

Check out the use of "lift vans" - they are wooden boxes which fit exactly into containers so you simply pack the number you need to make up the shipment. You can then easily share a container. Lift vans can be delivered to your house to pack, then sealed and shipped and delivered without opening.

If you pack yourself you will only be insured against total loss, damage etc is not covered. If the shipper packs it you can get complete coverage.

Cheers
David

Thanks. I think, in the States, you might be referring to shipping Pods. Maybe not. Do you have any company names?

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This was in the Boston area - if you're in that part of the woods, let me know and I'll drop you a PM with the name of the place. Frankly, I was startled that the moving company would recommend a package store like this, but they did a really good job.
Cheers,
Bev
Bev

I don't think we have a package shop here on Cape Cod (at least that I know of). But we're certainly close enough to Boston to go in and talk with them, especially given what you've said about delivery. Or maybe they can suggest someplace local if we call them.

Thanks!

Ray
 

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It was so long ago that I can't remember who I used out of Boston. They will come to your house to pick up the stuff. You'll have to pay for that though. So you'll have to find a company on the cape to save on that. I imagine there are a few companies on the cape that can do this. And they will normally wrap it up in a pallet or a wooden box (depending on what you are shipping) for you. The problem, I found, is estimating the volume needed for the quote.

As for what the cubic feet is in a container, I have no idea. Last time we shipped by container we had about 100m2 apartment and it fit is less than a 20ft container. Actually we used 13ft of the container. It really sounds like you don't need a container.

PS, I was on the cape today!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PS, I was on the cape today!
Wish I'd known. We're just outside Hyannis. Or at least, I'm here. My wife is still at our house in the Dordogne.

Based what everyone has said, I think we'll need only a modest amount of shipping space for a couple of pieces of furniture, a large wool rug we got in Turkey, clothes, and artwork. We've already furnished our house in France.

Ray
 

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Wish I'd known. We're just outside Hyannis. Or at least, I'm here. My wife is still at our house in the Dordogne.

Based what everyone has said, I think we'll need only a modest amount of shipping space for a couple of pieces of furniture, a large wool rug we got in Turkey, clothes, and artwork. We've already furnished our house in France.

Ray
Well, I didn't know either until this morning when we decided to get a sandwich in Sandwich. ;) Then we got "pain" at the airport. LOL

I did a quick google search and you will definitely find cargo/freight forwarders on the cape. If you have everything packed up you can just give the dimensions. I'm not as organized and wanted to find out how much it would cost before I decided what to bring. I don't quite remember correctly but I think it was US$300 for 1cubic meter of stuff door to door. Three old fashioned TV size boxes and a bike box, more or less. (that was more than 15 years ago though! :eek:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
-mia- said:
Well, I didn't know either until this morning when we decided to get a sandwich in Sandwich. ;) Then we got "pain" at the airport. LOL
Hope you have a safe trip. we had a house built for us in Sandwich at one time.

Thanks for the tips.
 

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David

Thanks. I think, in the States, you might be referring to shipping Pods. Maybe not. Do you have any company names?

Ray
No, pods are different. A lift van (and that is the term the US shippers use) is about 190 cu ft and holds about 1000 lbs. The benefit is that they fit into standard trucks & containers so they can do shared loads easily.

I won't recommend my shipping company but 'any reliable' should be able to quote.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No, pods are different. A lift van (and that is the term the US shippers use) is about 190 cu ft and holds about 1000 lbs. The benefit is that they fit into standard trucks & containers so they can do shared loads easily.

I won't recommend my shipping company but 'any reliable' should be able to quote.

Cheers
David

I see the difference - reliable. Sorry you had a difficult time of it. Thanks for clarifying the term. It's one I'd not run into before.

Ray
 

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I used a lift van to move here. Like David said, it's around 190 cubic feet. Door to door (everything included) was around $3000. I had quotes from a couple different companies that all were highly recommended, but the lowest was from Rainier. They did an awesome job, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. If you want, I can PM you the contact info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used a lift van to move here. Like David said, it's around 190 cubic feet. Door to door (everything included) was around $3000. I had quotes from a couple different companies that all were highly recommended, but the lowest was from Rainier. They did an awesome job, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. If you want, I can PM you the contact info.
Thanks for the information. YES, I would appreciate Rainier's contact information!!

Ray
 

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Lcl

It is called LCL in English, less than container load, and "groupage" in French. All removal companies or freight forwarders are well aware of it.

rates are far cheaper than own container.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is called LCL in English, less than container load, and "groupage" in French. All removal companies or freight forwarders are well aware of it.

Rates are far cheaper than own container.
Interesting. LCL originated in the railroad world (with which I'm qutie familiar) and originally meant "Less than CARload".

I wondered if that's what folks were talking about but was concerned that the term LCL wouldn't translate well.

Thanks.
 

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correct

Interesting. LCL originated in the railroad world (with which I'm qutie familiar) and originally meant "Less than CARload".

I wondered if that's what folks were talking about but was concerned that the term LCL wouldn't translate well.

Thanks.
correct, that is where it comes from.
 
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