First step is to decide among your family members, the items which you MUST take with you keeping in mind that each item will cost you some money in moving regardless of size & weight.
Best is to determine if all your items can be boxed because there are lot more choices of transportation carriers when your items are boxed. Unboxed items such as Furniture etc. requires special handling and can only be shipped by using specialized carriers who are lot more expensive and takes longer transit time due to packing and process.
In the process of packing, you should try using the original boxes in which you bought the items but if you don’t have them now, try finding strong boxes (preferably double ply) which are more sturdy and strong. Just so you know, there are boxes available at a reasonable price for quite a few items in your household such as Mattresses, Garments on hanger, Couches & Sofas, China & dishes etc.
These boxes (& other packaging material such as Bubble wraps, Tapes etc) can be obtained from most of the stores selling packaging material listed in yellow pages or from nearest stores – Walmart, Office Depot, Office Max, Longs etc.. You can obtain these boxes from us (Fairmacs – minimum order of $200) also, as long as you provide us enough notice to have them delivered to your door.
Once you have the packaging material, start packing items which are important & must be shipped. Start marking the Box on the boxes after packing and add them to your Packing List. Never try saving in packing material cost because it plays a big role in safe & sound transportation of your goods. Actually, this is the only part you do with your own hand in your move because the rest of the portion takes several hands of others while being transported.. Good packing always pays off.
Make a packing list reflecting what you have packed in each box by Box. Don’t place all heavy items in one box i.e. your books should be segregated between few boxes instead of making one box too heavy containing books only. Don’t ever pack your valuable items & documents such as Jewelry, Certificates, Property titles, currencies, Insurance Policies, Family photos, Phone book etc. in these boxes because you should carry them with you. Don’t ever pack any dangerous goods, perishable item, items which have oil or gas such as Lawn mover etc. because they require special professional packaging. This might delay your shipment &/or cost extra for transportation, repackaging, storage etc.. Don’t pack Pistol, Rifle & their ammunitions or items which require export license before they can be exported.
Labeling plays an important role in shipping and is part of your responsibility. Each box MUST have Ship To address and it’s number such as Box 1 of 5, Box 2 of 5 etc.. These labels should be at two opposite side of each box and so as special labels such as Fragile, Direction arrow, Too Heavy etc.
Packing List is another important part of your moving because it not only identify the items in each box but also is needed for insurance, customs clearance etc. A detailed packing list saves time of everybody until the packages are in the final room at destination.
It is important that you can estimate Number, Weight & Dimensions of your pieces before you start finding out the expense for shipping &/or packaging. Otherwise it is difficult to compare price between one transportation carrier to the other. Mostly Household Goods & Personal Effects are charged based on the size of boxes but weight also is checked to find which one is higher. When shipping by Sea: – Find cubic feet of your cargo using the following formula – L”xW”xH” divide by 1728 = Cubic Feet (cft) When shipping by Air – Domestic (within USA) – Calculate the volume weight of your shipment using the following formula – (density factor of 194 per cubic inch) – L”xW”xH” divide by 194 = Volume weight in Lbs International – Calculate the volume weight of your shipment using the following formula – (density factor of 166 per cubic inch) – L”xW”xH” divide by 166 = Volume weight in Lbs
Another component of shipping cost is local pickup transportation from your residence to our (Fairmacs) nearest terminal. If you book a full container, the container comes to your doorstep, else, arrangements need to be made to take it to the port of loading. If your shipment is small enough to fit in your (or your friend’s) vehicle, it might be worth the savings to bring it to our nearest terminal to save pickup charges which start from a minimum of $50.
Shipment loading and unloading is also the responsibility of the shipper unless you asked us & paying extra to provide this service separately. When using commercial or terminal locations with a loading dock, this is not an issue. But for residential pickup and/or delivery this detail to be considered. In many cases you may want to plan on having friends, relatives, or neighbors on standby to help with the loading and unloading. In some cases additional services such as lift gate may be required, but the additional costs are to be considered. Always remember a “truck driver” does just what the title implies: drive the truck. The driver is never responsible for loading or unloading, although under reasonable circumstances he or she may help.
If you plan to load the ocean 20’st / 40’st container by yourself with the help of your friends or hired labor, it is best to have the container loaded in such a way that the bottom layers totally cover the entire floor space of the container which makes less likely to encounter damage. Layer your boxes & furniture in such a way that there is minimum movement possible. Of course, it goes without saying that your stuff needs to be packed to withstand the long journey. Pls keep in mind that self loading is at your own risk and poorly loaded container damages will be your responsibility. Also while container is in your possession, it is at your risk & expense so you should make sure that neighbor will not have problem and the city’s regulations allow you to park & for how long.
Shipments less than 100 Lbs (45kg) costs as much as 100 Lbs. It is better to pay extra to airline and carry that piece with you as an extra luggage. If your shipment is under 300 Lbs, it is suggested to check shipping charges by air to your destination because the difference between air & sea cost might not be that much.
For your international shipments, customs require proper documentation without which the shipment can not be shipped/delivered ǆ Dox First, Load Later. There are penalties/fines upto $1000 for late/not submission of these export documentation. It is shipper/consignee’s obligation to provide these following documents to us on time. 1. Packing List 2. Value of the goods 3. Personal ID and 4. SLI (Shipper’s Letter of Instruction) which contains information required on the Bill of Lading (if by Sea or Truck) / Air Waybill (if by air). If we are not provided with the appropriate documents in time (at least 48 hours in advance excluding weekends & holidays), we try to hold the shipment in our warehouse or at port to save you from penalties & fines but that may cause extra expense to you for storage etc. and it of course delays your shipment. Sometimes, when it is too late to hold the shipment for some reason, any penalty/fine will be to the account of cargo and must be paid before the shipment is released to either shipper or consignee.