Logistics of A Shipping Container for Site Development
I am considering a move to St John that would involve buying property and building a house. My thoughts are to purchase a new shipping container stateside and ship it filled with my home goods and supplies. Preferably a 40' HC (High Cube 9.5 feet) 1' higher than standard. It could also be 2, 20ft HC. Is anyone familiar with the challenges of moving a container to the site? i.e., height restrictions and moving logistics? I have read some of the post on purchasing a container locally, so I don't think this is completely wacky. Thank you in advance for any "island insight".
I’m not sure if you mean you want to use the container for housing or not? Or keep it for storage on site? I almost exclusively use Tropical Shipping for ocean freight. They will transport the container to St John as part of their quote. Rashad’s Trucking is who I use for trucking from Tropical to where I need it to go. You are going to want to off load the contents before it’s taken off the chassis. You will need to hire someone to do that (Rashad can recommend some people for that). If there is a governing HOA where your property is you have to see what their rules are about containers. If you are thinking of living in it that is a whole other story.
Thank you! Excellent resource. It is my intention to use the container as site development and storage. I am looking for a long-term rental if you know of anything on St. John. I will be traveling to St. John sometime this winter to explore. I may have to rent on St. Thomas for a while. I anticipate this being a multiyear project that I will be working on for 6 mo. annually.
Seems to me step one is to purchase a lot on St. John and then the rest will fall into place. The access to the lot will dictate the shipping container size and all the other logistics. The container is the easy part.
Long term housing on St John is a tough one unless you have a big budget. And even then it is tough. People who have lived her decades have had to leave because they couldn’t find housing. Honestly, if you have a site, I would look into getting a permitted RV and ship one down and just stay on site in that while you are building. You could even rent that out while you aren’t in it. That is how desperate people here are. The commute from stt to STJ can get old fast. But lots and lots of people do it. And obviously you need land. And for the house plans get a locally licensed architect/structural engineer, permits, etc etc.
While shipping a container to St. John may seem like the easiest option to carry your belongings and supplies, there are several obstacles to keep in mind. The logistics of transporting the container to your location, such as any height restrictions on the roads leading up to your property, may be a problem. Make sure the container's dimensions won't cause any problems by investigating the route specifically. The price of transporting the container should also be taken into account, as it varies depending on the route taken and other aspects. To guarantee you are receiving a good deal on shipping, it is recommended that you seek quotes from many businesses. Last but not least, think about whether or not you'll need special permits or local rules to bring a container onto the island. When faced with such obstacles, it can be helpful to seek the "island expertise" of natives or expats who have made similar migrations.
I’ll add that Tropical shipping is usually not the cheapest. But they have their act together better than most. I have lived on St John for 23 years and also do all of the logistics for the largest construction firm on St John. So I’m pretty familiar with the process.