Opinions on Shipping Companies please
I've been reading old posts on shipping companies. Lots of opinions. Lots of information. Lots of confusion.
I'd like to hear from those of you who have used Tropical, Crawley, VI Cargo or any others recently. Would you recommend them or recommend I avoid any of them?
We're shipping household goods (mostly books), furniture, and a car. Not necessarily together unless that makes the most sense.
Also, it sounds like VI Cargo leaves you on your own to get stuff to them in Miami. Do any of the other shippers coordinate with movers from other areas (in other words, do I have to find an overland shipper to get my stuff to Miami for all of them, or can I ship from Pennsylvania through the same company)?
It has been many years since I shipped items so I can't help with that, however, I would like to offer some advice. Be wary of shipping many books especially if they are collectible or family heirlooms. The damp environment here is hard on books unless you fully a/c your place. I used to have hundreds of books and had to throw many away due to mold & mildew. Also my husband has an antique family bible that has sustained a lot of damage (we hope to have it restored in the states). I have gone so far as to get an e-reader (never thought I would). If it's a matter of reading a lot there places that sell used books cheap and others that have book exchanges. Just my 2 cents.
In the past six years I've moved to, from, and back to STX. Each time we used local agents for big name moving companies (United, Atlas, Mayflower) They made all the arrangements regarding the container. They picked it up, brought it to the house, loaded it, and drove it to the port. On the STX end we used Bob Lynch Trucking. They are an agent for a few of the big name companies. And their people are awesome.
For two of these moves we shipped a car in the container with our belongings. One time we shipped our second vehicle ahead via VI Cargo. But that move was from FL and it was easy for us to drop it off oursleves in Port Everglades. There are companies that will pick up your vehicle and deliver it the closest port for shipping. What shipper they use will depend on who they are partnered with.
I read somewhere on here that you weren't allowed to ship household items in your vehicles. Yet, I met a couple while down there in Dec-Jan who had just moved to STX and they shipped a lot of their stuff in their vehicles. The USPS has a "book rate" for mailing just books in a single parcel; you may want to check with them.
Thanks, specialk. Very informative!
Do you have anything to report about shipping everything in a container versus shipping separately? Is it a cost thing to ship separately or together?
For us it was more of a convenience to ship all of our belongings together. When you ship with a container you pay a flat rate for the use of a container regardless of how much you put in it. That's a big plus when shipping a vehicle. If you fill a 40' container only half way you can usually fit a car in as well. The cost difference between using a 20'er for belongs and shipping the car separately was almost the same as the cost for a 40'er. We always chose the big box.
When shipping a vehicle - either in a container or separately - you cannot place any personal belongs in it. The only items allowed are things such as the spare tire, jack, owners manual...no boxes, pillows, suit cases... The fuel tank needs to be less than 1/4 full. The mover or shipping agent should advise you on the specfics.