Container / Moving Help
Hi Forum - Looking for your help. We are relocating to STT from Ohio as soon as the Rona virus allows us to and we are trying to get some ducks in a row. We want to send a 20' container down with our belongings + a golf cart (we are moving to water island). I've contacted Ocean Blue and Tropical Shipping and have their quotes but they are only a piece of this puzzle. Can those that have made this move from the states help me with how they pieced it all together.
Ideally, we will have someone load the container so it's done properly. That could be either at our home or somewhere closer to the ports. We can stage all the stuff in our garage. The whole thing that the container sits 6' above the ground has me stumped on how to get the golf cart in there but I know it can be done.
Option 1 - hire a moving company to load the container at the end of our street. Is this just a local company?
Option 2 - hire a moving company to load a truck at our house and drive it to a port such as Miami or West Palm Beach
Option 3 - hire a moving company to load a truck at our house and take it somewhere local to load into the container (this may be better than 1 b/c I'm just not 100% sure the container can get down our street + I know it can't get into our driveway.
Option 4 - find someone to call that can organize all of this start to finish.
Then, what about when it arrives in STT, do I find a moving company there to unload and take over to water island?
This is tricky and on top of it several companies are not being really responsive - possibly given the situation with the virus but unsure that's really the reason.
Who has made this move, with a container, and how did you do it all. Details pretty please 🙂 I have searched the forum and the internet and am still trying to find some good info.
Thanks so much.
I can’t help with the specifics of once the container arrives in STT but as for the loading, our experience was briefly.
We hired a small local moving company, one we had used in the past, they had 4 (strong) guys who both packed (expertly) our selected belongings and then loaded them (again expertly) into the container, so as to minimize the risk of damage. We had a few heavy items, a large tool chest for example that was a challenge. They fortunately had a lift gate on one of their trucks which made loading the really heavy stuff into the container a lot easier. Another option would be some strong ramps so you could drive/push the golf cart into the container.
We used Blue Ocean who coordinated everything but the moving men (on both ends), the trucker pulling the container parked on the street and the movers carried everything to the container. The driver took care of organizing the paperwork with the help of the movers. Our driveway is roughly 60 feet, so not very long. The movers made all the difference in the world, they were great. It took them a good 8 hours to pack and load, with only a 30 minute lunch break, to fill our 20 foot container. The trucker only waits 4 hours, so this cost us a little extra.
The movers did a great job as nothing got damaged in shipment. We had a similarly great team that helped unload, this goes a little quicker but makes on hell of a mess, piles and piles of packing materials.
I hope this helps and best of luck, I’m sure COVID-19 isn’t helping.
Have the container dropped off with a RoRo truck (like a flatbed tow truck) and deliver back to the Port.
I posted this a year ago in a similarly named discussion.
I suggest you purchase a container from a company that sells and surveys containers. That company will provide the necessary paperwork proving seaworthiness for your shipping company. We moved the stuff we shipped to a storage facility with a loading dock and then loaded our container there.
We then hired a crane to load the container onto a flatbed truck we hired to deliver the container to Miami for shipping by Crowley. We worked directly with Crowley - we expedited all the steps ourselves. All in, we paid @$7,000 and we'll get part of that back when we finally sell our container.
1. Purchased container
2. had container delivered to loading site
3. moved our personal belongings to loading site
4. completed inventory of all items to be shipped along with receipts for new large-ticket items (for customs). We counted boxes and simply labeled each box (think 3 boxes used kitchen items) for the inventory
5. arranged with Crowley for space on a boat. Corresponded with Crowley representatives by email.
6. loaded belongings into the container ourselves
7. hired crane to lift container onto flatbed
8. hired flatbed truck to deliver to Crowley dock
9. shipped to STX
10. arranged to have container delivered to our property on STX
We shipped a 40 foot container twice to STT from Atlanta and it was pretty easy. We contracted with Blue Ocean and they handled logistics to have the container arrive at our home in the US. We hired a local moving company to pack and load the container while the trucker waited. They just used a ramp to get everything into the container. Took about 3-4 hours to load the container as everything was already boxed and ready to go
Once the container arrived in STT we used Daniel at Beep Business to clear the container through customs and they arranged for a truck and labor to unload at our location and hauled off the empty boxes. Total cost door to door including customs fees around $13K-$14K from Atlanta for a 40 footer including all the labor trucking, shipping, etc. A 20 foot container is only a savings of about $1,000 to $1,500 so makes no sense to use a smaller container if you need the extra size.
@VIPirate -- is there any chance you could [roughly] break down that $13-14K to the different parts of the move?
We all don't have to go from start to finish and in a non port town. Thanks!.
I can second using Daniel and his Beep crew -- they are the ultimate in efficiency, transparency and a pleasure to deal with. And perform miracles when needed.
Here's a new thing though. I have a co-worker trying to relocate on a corporate move from Houston to West Coast FL. Because of the coronavirus, he cannot get a mover to come into his home and pack his family's belongings. They are going to pack themselves and U-Haul it.
@VIPirate -- is there any chance you could [roughly] break down that $13-14K to the different parts of the move?
The bulk of the costs are for the Ocean shipping. 40 foot container from Atlanta to STT was between $9K and $10K. Can save $500 to $1,000 for an interim stop in San Juan, but time was short and I didn't want to wait. We needed it all in place before Christmas holidays. (a 20 foot container would have been only $1,000-$1,500 cheaper) Shipping costs of course can vary depending on the time of year. Pre- Christmas is normally a very busy time which is when we shipped.
Note I did not purchase the marine insurance for any of my 3 shipments. I didn't feel it was worth the cost as the container was secured with my own lock and it was shipped direct to STT with no interim stop. With the exclusions of the marine insurance and low probability of a loss, it did not seem worthwhile and I was willing to take the risk.
Between $500 and $1,000 to pack and load container by moving company in Atlanta.
Between $1,000 and $1,200 to transport from STT port to our home, unload, unpack, and remove boxes.
About $2,000 for customs duties / fees and clearance in STT.
Probably could have saved a few hundred here and there by doing more of this myself, but hardly worth the time and effort and better to leave it to the pros.
I used Blue Ocean and Beep Business for 2 separate shipments of 40 foot containers (we were furnishing our entire home)
Plus I used them another time to ship a Jeep from the US to STT and get it registered. This was challenging as the Jeep needed to be picked at a car dealership, sent to the port and then ocean freight to STT, Customs Clearance and then registration.
The Jeep was less than a year old and title was not in my name, so not as straightforward, but saved quite a lot in Sales Taxes by not registering first on the mainland. Jeep is USA built so customs duties were minimal. Beep Business did an amazing job getting the Jeep cleared and registered and even met my wife at the airport upon her arrival to hand over the car and the new USVI title.
Both Blue Ocean and Beep Business had amazing hassle free service all three times that I have used them.
@jaldeborgh did you use movers to unload your container here? Unfortunately my plans didn't work as expected due to some confusion at the dock in Miami, so I am ending up having to rearrange my shipping plans. I've been trying to work with Ferrol on having it delivered to my home, but need it unloaded. Not sure if Ferrol can do this or arrange this as it has been a hard to have them return my calls. I stopped there today and hopefully they will get back with me shortly. Anyone else use Ferrol or Oneals? Any ideas on the unload piece? Thanks!
We used Ferrol to deliver our 20 foot container to our house. We purchased our container and are still using it for stuff because we're under construction.
If you're in quarantine - do you think a mover will actually unload into your home? Would you want them to do this now?
We did have a team of guys who unloaded for us. I believe they are separate from Ferrol, the owner was Richie, don't know his last name but his phone number is 340-227-0845. He was a super nice guy with a hard working team and his prices were reasonable. I seem to recall it was about $750 to get the container to the house and slightly more than $1000 to unload, with 4 guys for the better part of the day. They also carted a bunch of stuff off to the dump and helped put the heavy stuff where we needed it in the house. I hope that helps.
Thank you everyone for your help! It certainly gives me something to start with. I'm awaiting a quote from a company called Laser Moving, they said they are a one stop call and take care of everything. We are now thinking we need a 40' container and not a 20' therefore will need to unload in Crown Bay STT and into a moving truck to get over to Water Island. I too am on hold until the virus allows us to travel there of course so timing is TBC. Hoping in June but there are days that I feel that is becoming more unlikely.
@gators_mom It will be 2 weeks from now. so I'll be here almost 21 days at that point. I have a 20' container myself that will be delivered but will be empty. So they will drop that and need to empty the 40' into the 20' and the rest I just want stacked on the patio and we will work on it as we can. Unless they will just drop the 40' and can leave it hear for a few days until I unload it. Not sure what the costs will be.
I did exactly what you're contemplating, however from the Space Coast of Florida rather than Ohio. Blue Ocean Transport was great to work with. I did all my own packing and had everything staged in my attached garage before my 20' container arrived. Simply hired a local moving company (at an hourly rate) and told them to BE SURE to show up with ramps to get up into the container with. The only trick was to get the local moving company to be a little flexible on their end because Blue Ocean Transport couldn't really give me a good idea of their truck driver's arrival "window" until he was enroute and nearing my location. It all worked out great, the local movers got everything into the container well within Blue Ocean's allowable waiting time. When the container arrived in St. Thomas just a few days later, Blue Ocean's local broker took care of clearing customs, etc. and even recommended a local mover who safely and efficiently got my belongings from the container up to my place on the North Side. Remember, generous tipping of everyone from the truck driver who's waiting around, to the local movers on both ends goes a long way in relieving stress and assuring a smooth transaction and safety/set-up of your goods!
I wish you success!
Remember, generous tipping of everyone from the truck driver who's waiting around, to the local movers on both ends goes a long way in relieving stress and assuring a smooth transaction and safety/set-up of your goods!
This is key advice and has always served me well. The guys really work hard.
I would try to find a mover that can handle the whole shebang. I believe that most containers can also fit on the bed of a semi so I don't think it would be out of the question to have a company load your stuff up and take it to a port, where it can be loaded onto a ship without having to repack anything. If you're still on the lookout, I believe Three Men & A Truck do this type of thing. I know they ship internationally from the states so I would imagine they would be pretty well versed in these types of jobs and at least be able to explain your best options or point you in the right direction if they can't do it themselves.