Shipping 20 foot co...
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Shipping 20 foot container & car to Florida

New Member

Am shipping a 20 foot container to Florida for further transport to the west coast. Also shipping my car to Florida as well for pickup there.
Wondering if anyone has experience doing this and can offer some tips or advice as to things to consider and especially things not to do.
Was customs clearance difficult or problematic? Appreciate any helpful thoughts.

Topic starter Posted : July 19, 2010 12:39 pm
FL Barrier Islander
Trusted Member

I just gave this information to another poster

All the places you needed to get your stuff out of "Customs" prison are sort of in the same general area of subbase and Frenchtown. Not saying everything is right next door to each other but at least within walking distance. Here's what we did and it goes in the order I've listed.
1. Tropical Shipping to get paperwork that says that your stuff is there and ready to be released and picked up - this place is east of Crown Bay Marina but before MSI, past the "container" yard.
2. Then go to below the Seachest (ACE Hardware), across from the partial/consolidated shipment Tropical office, there's a gate/fence you have to go into. There's an office there where you need to have them stamp your papers.
3. Now you need to go to the customs house which is next to the fish market in Frenchtown down near where the Kon Tiki is getting fixed. To get to this place, from the Crown Bay Marina, you'll head east. See Banco Popular on your left and a school on your right, you want to turn right. We have always done this on foot so ....I can't tell you how to do it by car. But anyway, behind the school will be a soccer field and behind the soccer field is the place you need to go. You must be prepared for what's going to happen in this place. You must be prepared to show detailed inventory. Bill of Lading is ok but if you have anything else that lists everything in your container (and any receipts), that would maybe help to avoid rejection and a 2nd or 3rd trip to these interrogators. You must have PROOF of everything made in the USA if new. If you don't have proof, you will have to pay tax on anything new that you cannot prove is made in the USA. You may say that everything you have is USED. If you haven't already packed/shipped your stuff, anything may consider opening the box, plugging it in, or taking it out of the box, and then repack it and then......voila!'s USED. They have every right to open the container if they're so inclined so don't LIE. The tax that they make you pay really isn't much....well, I guess it depends on what you have in there.....for us, the tax wasn't much. This place will take credit card and........I think they are now also accepting cash though at the time we went, we had to leave, go get a cashier's check, and come back. BUT, now I think they take cash also.
4. THEN, Back to Tropical.......not the Tropical that you stopped at first but a different location though on the same road. Actually, you would have passed this Tropical office on your way to Step 1. You will need to go to the Tropical office for the container yard. You'll see it because it's right where you'll see all the containers behind a chain link fence with a gate.

Why the hell they can't just all "get along" and put all these in the same building/place..........ok. ok. forget I vented that.

You will have additional stop because of the vehicle but I tell you.......we engaged the services of BEEP (which is just east of Crown Bay Marina, heading east before you get to Pueblo) to get our vehicle thru the BMV. We just gave BEEP the proof of insurance (and it has to be a local scammer.....oh, i mean INSURANCE company) and other vehicle related paperwork. BEEP did the BMV part, handed us the paperwork and we did all those things above. There's an excellent service provider we have found since then...."I'll Do it For You"
I’ll do It For You (Jodi Ann)
Office: 340-775-0635
Cell: 340-998-4774

Also, you will need to arrange to have the container taken from the yard to your final destination. I would recommend that you plan that for the day after you've done the "custom's prison" dance. Anything and everything can go sideways in this process. Just give the people that will get the container to your designated plate the paperwork.

Good luck!

Posted : July 19, 2010 2:30 pm
New Member

Thank you for your response. The only problem with your advice is that this is excellent information for someone "receiving" a container to the Virgin Islands. In my case, I am "shipping" a container to Florida and then to the west coast. I am also shipping a vehicle to Florida where I will be picking it up there. If anyone has had experience in doing this (maybe you left once and came back?) I would appreciate any personal experience that you may have had. Thanks.

Topic starter Posted : July 19, 2010 3:06 pm
FL Barrier Islander
Trusted Member

ooops. silly me. Nope. Can't help. Only ever done the dance in STT. Not in Florida. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted : July 19, 2010 3:12 pm
Advanced Member

I would think that your shipping company would be able to best assist you. Who are you using, or do you know yet? We used Flemings Transport for our move here, and they were wonderful. Good luck!

Posted : July 19, 2010 6:24 pm
Trusted Member

1/4 tank or less of gas in car to be shipped
Nothing packed inside the car (I had something very dear to me stolen)
Tax clearance form on car
police clearance form on car
Takes roughly about 2 weeks out of Stx to Tropical in WPB FL (west palm beach fl)
pay the fee when it clears customs and you pick up
it's pretty easy

Posted : July 19, 2010 10:40 pm
Advanced Member

I just shipped my car to Ft Lauderdale. It wasn't bad. You need to get two forms on STX to get the car off the island. It had to be dropped off on a Thursday to make the boat which leaves every other Sunday (as of June). Dropping it off took around an hour with the various locTions to visit. Took ten days to get to FL. Picking it up wasn't a big deal. Ask for them to email you the bill of lading before you go pick up, so you can go straight to customs without going to the shipping place first. I went to customs (outside the port) and then walked the mile to the shipping company. Then after I showed all the documents they gave me a ride to the actual location of my car. It didn't have a (new) scratch on it. 🙂 Insurance is optional while shipping, and we paid for a little, but they said they have never had any problems and I believe them.

I cannot remember the company's name. Was it Crowley? I know we worked with Don. .

I mailed my boxes with USPS over the course of a week and a half but they all arrived in Florida on the same two days, about two weeks after I mailed the last one.

Good luck with everthing. Feel free to PM me.

Posted : July 21, 2010 12:38 pm
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