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Receiving container in STX

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TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

Hi everyone,

I've been reading the board for a month or so now trying to get some more information for me and my wife's upcoming move.

I have a question that I can't seem to find a complete answer for when searching. What is the process for receiving our household goods and vehicles once they arrive in STX?

We are shipping down a 40' container that will have 2 vehicles and our goods inside. It should arrive on a Tuesday. Will it be available for pickup on that same day? Will they allow us to make a few trips with a pickup truck to haul our household goods to our house or will we be forced to hire a company to haul it all at one time?

We are planning to load the container at our house in Pittsburgh, PA on July 9th. It will then be trucked down to Jacksonville, FL for the trip over. Do you think if the truck is loaded on July 9th that it will make it to JAX for the July 15th sailing?

Thank you all so much for any help you can give us.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 12:44 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Call your shipping company to ask wht the process is for receiving our household goods and vehicles once they arrive in STX?
They are the ones that can best answer your questions.
The goods usually are not available the same day as ship arrival but you can check with them to be sure.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 1:09 pm
ernieandmaryjo
(@ernieandmaryjo)
Advanced Member

Which company are you shipping with? I can get you a local contact number, to the people here on the port that will handle your shipment when it arrives.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 2:41 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

I'm shipping with International Logistics, Meme St John. I think they use Sea Star out of JAX?

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 2:55 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Sea Star sails on Friday's out of JAX. Arrival is the following Tuesday.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 5:07 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

They also sail on Tuesday and arrive the following Tuesday but we're straying from my OP. I'm looking for information on what the process is once the container is at the port in STX.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 5:45 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Call the receiver in STX and find out their procedure.
How hard can that be?

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Posted : June 17, 2014 6:06 pm
ernieandmaryjo
(@ernieandmaryjo)
Advanced Member

Tommy, call Ferrol Trucking at 340-778-9602. They handle Sea Star freight here on St Croix; they have an office at the port. They can give you specifics about when and where you can unload your container. Hope this helps.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 6:14 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

ernieandmaryjo, Thank you very much. That was very helpful reply to my question.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 6:23 pm
OptimusPrime
(@OptimusPrime)
Advanced Member

I don't know how your specific company will handle it, but I can tell you that odds are you will not be able to get to your container the day it arrives in port. It took us two days after arrival to have our container delivered to our rent house, where we unloaded on site.

2 vehicles plus household goods is a pretty tight fit. I'm guessing yoy won't have much furniture? They required us to have the vehicle secured and separated from the hhg.

When the container arrives, get inside shut the doors and look for ANY signs of light. Our container had a quarter sized hole in it that some dock- jock covered with a sticker and painted over to hide. Had a lot of damage from rain.

Good luck.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 6:42 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

OptimusPrime(great handle), that's good advice. We aren't taking a lot of HHG's, couple beds, few chairs and some boxes pretty much. According to shipping company we can also load the 2 vehicles with goods as well since they will be sealed inside the container. I watched some videos on securing the vehicles inside the container with 2x4's and tie down straps so we'll have them secured as well.

I will definitely do the light check on the container now. I'm sorry to hear your things were damaged due to someone covering up an issue.

I guess we'll be taking an air mattress in our checked luggage since it looks like we may be waiting a couple days to get our things.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 6:50 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

someone has to clear it through customs, whether the shipper or if you are going to do it yourself.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 6:53 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

rmb2830, Is that something that I can do the day it arrives if I'm there?

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 7:04 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

Are you paying the shipper to do it? You might be.

You will need the shipping papers that the freight co will have after it arrives, and you will have to have included a specific itemized listing of everything that was in the container, new/used, receipts and origin if new with value/price. I don't know the procedure for clearing cars shipped as part of a container; we've only shipped cars through Tropical. The more info on your list, the easier it should be through customs. There have been times when they have wanted to examine a container's contents though, and you can't open it until they are present and then I guess you have to unload everything in front of the agent.
We always have our container trucked to our house to unload; no idea how/where you would unload the container at the Port. Perhaps someone else can give you more specific info, or speak to your intended shipper.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 7:26 pm
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

Exactly the same thing. We brought a few months ago a 40' container with two vehicles.
- you MUST have the title for both vehicles in your hand
- you MUST have the vehicles ready for inspection by Customs. Which means they better be right behind the door
- get a printout from a reputable source listing the weight of the vehicles.
We didn't know that, it was a massive pain (like held forever, storage fees, unloading on the customs dock, etc.)

Another trick is that shipper wants your original title... and so does Customs at arrivals.

On your other question, loading truck on 9th for delivery 15th should be fine, but you need to confirm with your trucking company. Note that typically the container cannot arrive the day of the sailing -- customs needs to inspect.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 8:40 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

Mixie,

- We do not have the original title for one vehicle as it has a lien. We do have a letter from the lienholder giving permission to ship the vehicle. That should be good enough right?
- The other vehicle was just purchased. We don't have the original yet but just a copy. Hoping to have the original by the time we fly down but you never know how fast PA DMV will process the paperwork.
- Did you ship goods with the vehicles and if so how did you get that stuff from the dock to your new place in STX? We could get a pickup from a friend to transport things but it would take a few loads. Not sure that's even an option.

Thank you everyone so far for the help

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2014 10:22 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Hope the letter is notarized or you may have a problem.
Get as many originals as you can.

Your other option is to hire a trucker to offload and transport your goods once cleared and released.
May spend money but at least it's done in 1 load.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 10:32 pm
Mixie
(@Mixie)
Advanced Member

Answering your questions TommySTX
1- Not sure on the lienholder permission. Check with your shipping company. Once in the USVI with a bit of finesse and affidavits, probably OK with the DMV.
2- A Xerox copy won't do, we had the same problem. They won't load your container on the ship without an original from your current DMV. Yes, nerve racking.
3- Our household goods were in the container. Note that they won't release the container until the vehicles... are clear. It seems it is a whole or nothing clearance; there is no such thing as taking a few boxes out of the container until then.

You have to pay storage fees for your container. And the shipping companies are not too keen on you coming in/out of the container. So unless you can unload in a few trips with a truck the same day, it is probably cheaper to get the container dropped off at your house. Then unpack in a week or so.

I second @ernieandmaryjo Ferrol trucking is a artist in his own right. He can safely squeeze a container in the craziest places.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 10:41 pm
gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
Advanced Member

We shipped a 20' from down island to STX.

When the container arrived, Tropical contacted us the next day after the container was unloaded from the ship.
We went to the Tropical office to pickup the paperwork and then directly over to the Customs office to clear the contents. We had a complete inventory of everything that was in the container including the paperwork/title for the car.

We then went over to the port and had the container lowered so that we could open it and remove the vehicle. I took the paper work over to Sunny Isle to pay the road tax on the car with our rental car and then over to get insurance. Then, we went back to the port to take the car to the DMV for licensing. I did not get a temporary permit to drive the car to the DMV. Some do!

We had the container taken to Sun Storage where we unloaded it ourselves.

An exhausting day but all pretty simple.

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Posted : June 17, 2014 11:05 pm
Spl123
(@Spl123)
Advanced Member

Hello Tommystx... Did you move yet? We are moving in October from Jersey and we are reading all the post to get finals decisions. I thought you were not allow to ship good inside your cars? Did it change? Another thing if you move already, how long did it take from PA to STX to arrive. And I will like to know more about your cars... We are trying to make a decision on buying here in jersey or in STX .. Please keep in touch. Thanks

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Posted : July 3, 2014 1:46 pm
Bill4705
(@Bill4705)
Active Member

About how much does something like this cost? No cars- just LR and BR and some boxes.

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Posted : July 6, 2014 12:43 am
cruzan1
(@cruzan1)
Active Member

I am so confused, I thought Meme St John and Internationl Logisitics handled all of this stuff for you?

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Posted : July 6, 2014 11:34 am
RandyNTaj
(@RandyNTaj)
Advanced Member

Reading this with both hope and dread. We just spent the whole day here in JAX doing the shipping thing:

1. Two vehicles on a 'flat rack' and we did titles (we own clear, no liens) and other required paperwork
2. Household goods (HHG) in a 20' container that will leave at noon tomorrow.

I stood in the warehouse today and cried as 10 guys helped us unload the rental truck and transfer to a 20' container. That is largely due to the STRESS of this kind of move and after 2 months of day-in-day-out moving stuff, multiple delays, huge logistics issues and a LOT of money.....our stuff is loaded, our cars are loaded and I am sitting in a hotel room, exhausted. Mojito in hand. Siamese at feet. TIRED, tired, tired.

We had moved the HHG from CO to NC and in/out of storage as part of the sell/sort/keep/trash process, then into a truck again in NC to come to JAX. Got in last night at midnight....and spent from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today handling the logistics, multiple runs to the port, trailers, trucks....and a partridge in a pear tree. My tears were from the fatigue and overwhelming feeling of how massive this move is...so be prepared. Best laid plans....and so on. We figured we'd have to do the transfer from truck to container....and it took us SIX HOURS to load the truck the two of us.....in July heat. So quite frankly I was dreading this afternoon (we could not load at 7:30 a.m. when it was cool) of slogging thru a warehouse with all our stuff into a dark container and being worthless and hurting for the next few days.....the 10 guys who did the transfer were my heroes and I had to go and hug them all for their help in making today NOT SUCK. I will have to go more into detail later--- as WE'RE NOT DONE YET!

I have awesome stories...and horror stories.....and we're not on STX yet. So......when I am not influenced by the mojito and fatigue I will probably have to recount our move for others to glean info and lessons from......but for now, keeping your sanity, wits, sense of humor and faith do help. Oh, and PAPERWORK in order is a lifesaver.

So...following this thread....and will have input when we recover.

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Posted : July 8, 2014 1:13 am
RandyNTaj
(@RandyNTaj)
Advanced Member

....in reply to 'call your shipper/receiver' for information.....

Lessons we have learned in the last 4 weeks:

1. You may rarely speak to the same person twice, and the person you NEED to talk to is not there
2. Information may be slow in coming, and then may be subject to change with little, or no, notice
3. You will be asked to be in two places at once at times--- don't ask us why.
4. Calling sometimes results in the most torturous game of phone tag, ever.
5. Sometimes no one has an answer

Hopefully some of the other suggestions will not result in the things found here.....and we'll have good information to help answer this question when we get to STX to receive our things.

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Posted : July 8, 2014 1:18 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

When speaking with anyone, whether it company structures, Utilities, Gov, entities, it is usually good to get their name and their direct phone/extension, email and keep it so that you consistently deal with the same person. If that does not work - request the person in charge and deal with them directly. Not saying it works all the time but odds are better. Plus, you have a dates, times and who said what to whom and what was quoted.

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Posted : July 8, 2014 2:25 am
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