Though the bulk of our activity is consumed by industrial, oversized, overweight cargo and commercial shipping, ETC International Freight System has not forgotten our roots in transporting household goods.

We are in the process of delivering a 20’ ocean container from Piedmont, CA to La Spezia, Italy. To save some money, the shipper has requested to self- load the container of personal effects and furniture. Whether for a commercial or household account, when containers are delivered, they are on a truck chassis 4’ off the ground, a typical height of a dock. Shippers loading household goods need to be aware of the loading difficulties and in the absence of a dock or a forklift. The use of family members or temporary workers can be a solution for packing the items (paper-wrapping the furniture and boxing the personal belongings) as well as loading, blocking and bracing. Auto-loading is not recommended from a residence and unless, the shipper is handy and can access a tow truck with a hydraulic flatbed raising to the back of the container. Shippers taking on the responsibility of self-loading, takes on the liability as well. Cargo insurance may offer a total loss coverage only. Thus, any partial loss or damage would not be covered.

Additionally, shippers loading themselves have a choice to choose a live load, which gives a small free window to load of two hours; or, they can keep the container up to three days and pay for two trips instead. Coordinating a live load is not a simple affair for household goods. In effect, the shippers would need the crew at the domicile with the cargo packed by the curb. Auto loading and building a platform over the vehicle, we recommend to let us do that after we pick-up the car or the shipper delivers it to our warehouse near the port where the ocean container would stop by our warehouse to complete the auto load at the back of the container by the doors (regulation requires the vehicle by the door). Delivery time can vary with crowded terminal and heavy road traffic. The expert shippers at can offer to pull the container the night before the delivery and be kept overnight at the truck terminal for an early with a timelier delivery, added cost apply.

On-site packing and loading can be offered and very much recommended to most shippers. ETC International Freight System will validate your original title with the US Customs and return it once validated. A booking with the steam line reflects on our shipping documents, which ETC will send you a draft for approval. We recommend to thoroughly verify all origin and destination information, as changes would result in an additional charge by the carrier.

Before reaching its destination in La Spezia, Italy, as your forwarder, we have our agent review all documentation to prevent any potential issue with the Italian Customs. As a footnote, it does not exclude a random inspection or delays in the clearance at the port. However, it increases a smooth and timely overseas delivery. The receiving party must be reachable and available to the agent at the arrival of the vessel and the days that follow.

We offer shipping options and what matters to us and the shippers is always to know the choices and ETC Intl. Freight System is happy to share our vast shipping experience.
Call us for a quote at 310-632-2555 or email us at
Happy shipping!



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