Life can be a handful when it changes direction…
In a previous blog, we shared with our readers a noticeable shift in the number of export shipments, which I attributed to the US currency dropping in value against the Euro.
Now, with the recent fires devastating large areas of Southern and Northern California, we are witnessing many of them being forced to relocate, warranting a surge in residential moving services.
The individual stories are heartbreaking, especially when brought to us first hand by a shipper who survived the fire but had losses that forced them to take a new direction unexpectedly.
Our forwarding company is working with a couple leaving the Santa Barbara area to a farm in Koala, Hawaii. Their circumstances were dire, and the decision to move in with their children was a tough one, but it was a necessity.
Out of respect for their privacy, let’s call them “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”
Mr. and Mrs. Smith contacted us after reading our blog on shipper own container (SOC). They described their predicament and explained that they needed to store what was left of their household goods, including their car, and ship it all to Hawaii.
After reviewing their written freight request, at first, I acknowledged it and then I requested a phone appointment, wanting to obtain greater details and context. We morally felt compelled to service Mr. and Mrs. Smith in a way that would ease the anxiety. Any forwarding company experienced and caring enough could quickly identify the absolute best way of handling the shipments as economically and soundly as possible.
The overseas shipping companies
To our client, shipping household goods overseas seemed like an overwhelming task. To an international shipping company with over 30 years of experience their needs were straightforward. They needed to transport their household goods to Hawaii as quickly and economically as possible.
We put in place our plan of action, which we shared with our shipper, priced it, then gave them the timeline involved.
The job involved us buying through our contacts 1×40’ shipper own container (SOC), sea-worthy and certificated, survey the household goods and the vehicle, then send a flatbed to pick-up the ocean container. We chose a flatbed rather than having the container left 4’ off the ground on a truck chassis because it could not be done with the topography of their location.
The container was delivered and placed on the ground the way you would tow a vehicle on a flatbed using a low angle. We packed the household goods and braced the shipment. We loaded the car on the floor, blocked and braced it securely as well as built a ramp above the car to utilize the space above the car.
A booking with the steam line was made, reserving space on the ship with specific last receiving and sailing dates. The container was sealed on the premises (US Customs seal), matching the documentation given to the carrier (container number, seal number, etc.). The ocean container on the flat bed was returned to a container freight station (CFS), where it was picked by a crane and placed on a truck chassis.
A local dray to the terminal took place to meet the receiving deadline. The cargo was shipped to its destination port in 10 days. Once at the destination port, we had to dray the container to a local CFS and get the container onto a flatbed tow truck. We delivered to the farm and lowered at a low angle the container to the ground.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were there to receive their SOC and the cargo inside the container. We had told them to break the seal and open up the doors of the container to inspect the shipment in the presence of the driver, making sure that everything was in good shape. No exception was taken on the truck bill as our bracing and securing kept everything in place.
Since Mr. and Mrs. Smith own the container, they now have a great storage unit on the property.
As a small international freight forwarding company we have the opportunity to get to know our clients and the stories behind their shipments. We have the unique ability to see their shipments through from start to finish. When their shipment was complete, Mr. & Mrs. Smith invited us to Koala. It felt like friends worked together and they were happier and able to breathe more easily, ready to start a new chapter in their lives.