HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expect?

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expe

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:28 pm

329 cu ft would certainly fit into one standard liftvan, and a scaled down liftvan of 125 cu ft.

Standard size being around 208 cu ft.

There is no need for a 20 ft container for a shipment of that size.

And I think since you are getting so much discrepancy in the quotes, you should seriously consider the in home visual estimate.

Remember that International shipments are non binding, so you need to have all the possible loose ends on the table BEFORE your goods are picked up, so you know all the scenarios that could play out.

I don't think the overseas movers can come out to do a visual, but we don't refer to those we don't trust to be ethical.

If you go with Rainier, I know they would ask that Mayflower agent to go out and do a visual. Maybe you should mention that if they can't do the visual you will consider Rainier.... That might light a fire....

Good luck with your relocation.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expe

Postby hardatwork » Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:39 am

All of the four recommended movers here will be competitive and provide excellent service for the consumer.

In this one case where the poster has weighed, measured all of his goods, and pointed out there is good access for the pick up and delivery I think it might not be necessary to do an in-house estimate. He has already done the work for the mover. I always preach get an in-house estimate, however in this case the premove survey has been done by the poster.

I applaud the poster for doing such a thorough job in preparing his goods for an accurate quotation

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expe

Postby mw210461 » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:24 pm

No, no need really. All is in std shipping boxes, sitting in a garage, along 2 walls, man high).
SouthernWinds came in with a reasonable document and a quote at $4500, I keep that for reference.
The others haven't responded since Sat (today is Tue, I give it another two days).

Through a business friend I received a quote from a commercial shipper on the WEST COAST (he actually wants to truck my stuff from CO WEST to then ship EAST to Germany, since Ocean freight is cheap, interesting!). His quote was very detailed about all the fees/surcharges, and based on my precise numbers about vol and wght. He came in at a remarkable $3700, as far as I can tell. I did like that, and am very tempted to use their service.
If the experience is positive, I will recommend them in this useful forum, for now I'd like to keep their name out of the race (a search didnot reveal anything here nor on the web, but they are in NVOCC).

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expe

Postby Noone » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:15 am

You might want to check exactly what is included in the commercial estimate.

For household goods, the quote usually includes customs clearing. Many commercial clearers won't touch household goods, which might put you into a bind when the shipment reaches the port.

Also, household goods shippers are better able to deliver to residential areas than commercial delivery companies. Unless your home has a loading dock, you might find delivery means they bring the truck and open the door. The same with pick-up. They might be expecting palletized goods, and your things are not.

As for the going west to get east, check on the transit time. The shiplines might be offering a better price because it's going to China (or somewhere in between), and then taking a second boat to Destination. This might not make a difference to you, but it might. This is called Trans-Shipping, and it's very common.

If you don't know what to look for in a quote, post what was quoted here, and the pros can help.


Great Experience with PriceBreakShipping

Postby anhudgins » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:50 pm

Just wanted to offer my 2 cents on the forum since I just went through an international move. I contacted several international moving companies to discuss my needs moving from Washington DC to Panama. While there seemed to be several decent ones to choose from, I chose PriceBreak Shipping and worked directly with Richard Bells.

I chose door to door service with a 20 foot container. Everything went smoothly - the packers were on time and finished packing within 2 hours, the container made it to the Baltimore port safely and then was shipped out. Since our goods arrived in Panama before us, Richard worked directly with his contact in Panama to find storage for 1.5 months for us. When it was time to have the container delivered, I contacted the approprate folks, gave them the date and time and they showed up, unloaded and were gone within 1-2 hours. Nothing was damaged and Richard kept in touch with me every step of the way.

The price was fair and I paid a minimal amount at customs even though my goods were valued at more than $40k.

Please feel free to email me directly at if you have questions. By the way, Panama is amazing.

Allison Hudgins

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expe

Postby mw210461 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:40 pm

Just to keep all informed who are following the story.

I decided to go with SouthernWinds (one of the recommended ones here).
Despite their higher quote ($4500, 15% above the next best one, 40% above the most dubious PriceBreak(!)Shipping), still way below others) they gave me a very detailed process description, used ample 'slack' calculations for the bundling/palletizing process, so I hopefully do not have to expect any negative surprises with them.
A quote from an unknown shipper in Oakland, CA was too dubious: first they could not convert cft to m3 (c'mon, a shipper doesn't know that??),
then they 'forgot' to include costs for palletizing/bundling and lastly all calculations up to the very end still only used my NET numbers for weight/volume, KNOWING that the crated shipment will be bigger and drive up costs in unspecified ways - they even admitted that.

Pick-up is arranged for Oct-16 now, SouthernWinds calculates EIGHT weeks (all others said 5, mmh?) for the shipment from CO to the center of Germany, and I want to make sure all arrives prior to the holidays.

Thanks for the comments and advice I received so far - will give final update when all is over...



Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expect?

Postby Guest » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:00 am

As promised here the final result of my attempt to move 320cft of goods safely from CO to Germany with an American shipping company (Southern Winds):


Southern Winds (once recommended in this community here) has turned out to be totally dishonest, unreliable and incompetent.
Their action caused financial and material losses and damages to my possessions.

I can ony warn potential customers to look elsewhere and stay away from Southern Winds.

- I ordered and paid for a CRATED shipment of my 89 boxes; in fact they deliberatley shipped them as LOOSE cargo overseas, squeezed into a container with other crates; the boxes arrived as loose pieces on a truck in Germany.

- the boxes were ATTEMPTED to be crated at my premises in CO, due to complete incompetence of the hired movers they were unable to fit 320cft of boxes into 2x200cft of wooden crates. They packed the SMALL ones first and then obviously failed to load the larger boxes! In the end several boxes were left uncrated on the truck. What happened then I cannot say for sure, but read on

- I only received 85 of my 89 boxes, 4 were entirely missing, others were damaged beyond recognition, most were ripped open

- Southern Winds or their subcontractors went IN MY ABSENCE through my boxes, i.e. the boxes were cut open, reduced in size to make them smaller, items were shifted, removed (probably when accidentally destroyed)

- boxes were tampered with so much that ALL labelling (mine, their OWN labels) were missing, even the truckkers were not sure if this was my stuff

- many boxes arrived torn open, I was handed individual articles (even tax document) as loose pieces right out of the truck!

In total 200lbs of my goods are gone now, estimated at $1500-$2000.
I paid $4500 for this 'service'. With a lot of pressure I could settle for a 'voluntary' credit of $450.

The losses and damages are mine to keep, as well as the memory and agony. Among the losses an entire collection of 80 year old shellac records.

I would like to publish pictures of boxes (before and after) online to show what to expect when shipping via Southern Winds. Is there a place in this forum to do so?


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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expect?

Postby roshan1 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:54 pm


I note that you moved fro CA to Germany using Southern Winds. Can you tell me who was your local agent and were you in the Bay Area that you were moving from?

I am moving from Sunnyvale CA to London and looking at using Southern Winds. The local agent is Broadway based in Vallejo. I am wondering if you used the same people. The guy that came to see me is David from Broadway. He seemed efficient.

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Re: HELP: 320cft (4000lbs) from CO to Germany - what to expect?

Postby roshan1 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:05 pm

Please ignore my first message - I just realised you moved from CO and not CA.

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