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  1. #1
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    Cargo container info for US folks

    I had a few members PM me and ask me to start a thread on the Cargo container process.

    Where to begin. Firstly I want to go on notice that what I post here I am not liable for and your results may vary.

    Firstly I guess some questions you need to ask yourself is what do you plan on bringing over and what do you want and need?
    Arguably there will be some that will say "Buy it all in Thailand". That is an option but I would like to offer a counter to that thought

    As we all know, some things in Thailand are just not the quality you get in the US. Tools being one, furniture being another along with bedding, clothing, etc etc. So what one needs to do is make sure that the cargo container cost is offset by what you will not have to buy here in Thailand. Its hard to assess that quite honestly so some of your decision will boil down to personal preference. We stocked up on things. things you do not think about until you get here in Thailand and go "Crap!!!"

    My wife and I loaded a 40 foot container from front to back. We did it ourselves and I highly encourage you do it yourself.

    Some comments for what they are worth

    1) List, label and take pictures of everything. You will need it at customs plus it protects you in case something goes missing. Albeit if it goes missing you are not going to be bale to do much about it other than complain. . We lost nothing

    2) One of the biggest challenges in loading a cargo container is finding the right packing materials, boxes, foam and blankets to protect your belongings. Most of that stuff can be picked up free or bought off Craigslist very cheap. Buy more than you think you need, Better to have extra, trust me.

    3) Inside the cargo container you have welded loops top and bottom spread out every 3 feet. I used ratchet straps that I bought from Harbor Freight for $7.99 for 4. I bought like 50 of them. I use them for lots around here now. My FIL loves them

    4 ) Maximize your capacity. My wife stored stuff in drawers in the chests and china cabinets. Start in the back and fill it top to bottom.

    5) Moving blankets are essential. And when done you can give them to the local Wat for people in winter. We did that.

    6) If you have really good top notch 110V hand tools, kitchen appliances, etc do not be afraid to bring them. I did even though numerous people told me to leave them behind. Most are cordless drills and blowers and and my wife some very nice Kitchen aid deals. I bought a 5000w converter from 220V.com and I just plug it in and can use for all kitchen stuff, I charge all my 110V stuff. Same with my TV. My Samsung big LED TVs were all 110V. To sell it off in the US for virtually nothing then come buy it here makes no sense to me at all. The Big converter was $187 and the 2 750w units for the TVs were $50 each and work great. $100 for both versus buying expensive TV's. Heck some top quality TV's here in Thailand are near the price for the cargo container where as in the US they are cheap. I also the converter for my 12v 6amp motorcycle battery charger, My 12v 50am Volt car battery charger. I used my Dewalt Sawzall to cut up stuff and no problems at all

    Who to use?

    You can find numerous shipping and cargo containers agencies. I recommend getting 3 estimates. I used Siam International out of Los Angeles. They were great and friendly. Took care of everything basically. If your wife is Thai she can call and talk to them in Thai. My wife did and it was much easier.

    Some things you do not expect

    1) They give you 1 day to load the container. They drop it off out front and they pick it up 24 hours later. So be prepared to hustle. You can have it longer but they charge you per half day and its expensive

    2) They are not responsible for your belongings and I would no insure your container, I did not. I figured if it went over...Well that's life

    3) Do not forget the cargo container cost does NOT include transportation to your location from port. The port can offer that for you and Siam International can also coordinate that

    When you container lands in Port, they will call you. This is when it can be weird. You may or may not be subject to inspection. The new General has really picked up the inspection stuff. Even though your wife has been outside the US for 2 or more year and she is not going to be taxed they have other ways to tax you. One thing we got nabbed on was looking like we had new stuff never used. That was my fault. I should have loaded it further in the container. We got clipped for it and ended up having to pay $500 dollars in Duty Taxes to get it out and done. Our total fee from California for 40ft was $5690 for everything to our door. Its a steal if you knew what I brought over and how much I didn't have to go buy. Plus there were things I wanted here that I was not going to part with.

    In the end the process is pretty straight forward. The trek across the ocean is 23-27 days. Allow for a few extra days as sometimes the port is full and the ship anchors off shore for a while.

    I am glad we did the container. I have the things I wanted here and all my tools for car repair and the yard. Our furniture is all Hardwood and match the plan of the interior of our house. It would have taken years to get all that here plus the time to track it all down. Most is in BKK which makes it inconvenient and lets be realistic, HomePro is OK but......

    Hope this helps

    You can PM me with specific questions
    Last edited by JPPR2; 20-06-2016 at 08:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    Excellent info. Good job.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Excellent info JP. I agree that if you have a houseful of decent quality stuff, it makes eminent sense to bring it over by container. Good job. I'm sure you saved a bundle. Again, thanks for the info. Not useful for me though . . . unfortunately.

  4. #4
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    Thanks JPPR2, for your information on this issue. I was on the fence about this and even thinking of getting rid of everything and buying new. However, I'm sure we will still purge a lot of junk we will not need. Could such a shipment be covered under your homeowners insurance?

  5. #5
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    Firstly, you are all welcome. I wanted to post it all before I forgot.


    Quote Originally Posted by runker
    I was on the fence about this and even thinking of getting rid of everything and buying new. However, I'm sure we will still purge a lot of junk we will not need.
    What was nice Runker was tossing all the crap that we tend accumulate and only bring the things of importance. I cannot say it enough that if you are going to do yard work or sustain your on place, quality tools are just too hard to find in Thailand, I brought sledge hammers, shovels, rakes, picks, plumbing tools etc. I wish I had brought a good power washer. I bought a Black & Decker unit here and it works OK but doesn't have the power for tough jobs. works OK on a car.


    Quote Originally Posted by runker
    Could such a shipment be covered under your homeowners insurance?
    Actually I asked about that and it appears it is dependent on your policy. Some companies do

  6. #6
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    Few other things

    I sat last night and a few things popped to mind

    Purchase some shrink wrap. Its a must. You can securely wrap everything and it protects your items. I bought 2 big rolls from Lowes. I imagine Home Depot has it.
    we wrapped everything well and we opened up the container it was how we had loaded it.

    Also keep in mind the cargo container is left on its trailer at your place. Check to see if it has a ramp. If not, you will need help lifting heavy items in. I had 2 friends help me move most and secure in the container. I also had the advantage of borrowing the forklift from my previous employer. But sans a Forklift you can do with out, just have to pack some stuff lighter. Again you can hire people to load your container but that just adds cost if you are trying to keep it economical.

    When quoting freight forwarders/container agencies make sure you can load your own. I had one that had to load my stuff. They wanted $11,323 to do my container. I passed. Of course if cost is no issue then have them do it all. They will come and box and load and insure it all. The value just wasn't there for me to want to do it.

  7. #7
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    As we all know, some things in Thailand are just not the quality you get in the US. Tools being one, furniture being another along with bedding, clothing, etc etc.
    I don't agree with this statement. There is lots of good stuff here. It is just a bit more difficult to track down and more expensive.

    Tools? OK Craftsman is not here, or maybe. But Snap-On is here as is Beta, Facom and...
    Furniture IKEA is IKEA Ok maybe not good but there is other stuff here.
    Bedding can't say as I don't have 1000 thread count sheets! Sealy is here if you need posturepedic!

    There is nothing wrong with bringing all your stuff but the best use of the container will be to keep it on the property and turn it into a workshop with a good lock so the relatives don't get anywhere near your tools.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    As we all know, some things in Thailand are just not the quality you get in the US. Tools being one, furniture being another along with bedding, clothing, etc etc.
    I don't agree with this statement. There is lots of good stuff here. It is just a bit more difficult to track down and more expensive.

    Tools? OK Craftsman is not here, or maybe. But Snap-On is here as is Beta, Facom and...
    Furniture IKEA is IKEA Ok maybe not good but there is other stuff here.
    Bedding can't say as I don't have 1000 thread count sheets! Sealy is here if you need posturepedic!

    There is nothing wrong with bringing all your stuff but the best use of the container will be to keep it on the property and turn it into a workshop with a good lock so the relatives don't get anywhere near your tools.
    To your point VN, the problem is that while yes you can find the top tools and such it's mostly in BKK and at a steep price which is why I say the container will work for those that want to have quality tools. As you know in the US they are way cheaper. I wasn't going to go back and forth to BKK to buy things. So maybe a Cargo container for folks in BKK isn't necessary.

    As for the cargo container and keeping it on the property that is an option most certainly. The one thing to keep in mind is lthat they take a lot of maintenance to keep rust down. Again personal preference. The actual rental cost of the container was $2056. I know for that price I wouldn't want to keep it.

  9. #9
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    It is best to always get insurance.If a ship runs aground etc and is badly damaged, you can be up for a portion of the repair. Believe it or not.This is maritime law and it does happen. Insurance protects you from this.

  10. #10
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    All very good advice, but for completeness. It would be interesting to know about how to go about getting a container load of personnel belongings out of Thailand.

    This would be interesting for folks who are considering going back the other way.

    Did your container require fumigation prior to entering Thailand, to ensure no invasive pests were present.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Listerman View Post
    All very good advice, but for completeness. It would be interesting to know about how to go about getting a container load of personnel belongings out of Thailand.

    This would be interesting for folks who are considering going back the other way.

    Did your container require fumigation prior to entering Thailand, to ensure no invasive pests were present.
    Can't help ya Listerman, I would imagine that could happen the same way. Contract out of the port in Thailand using the same agency. That's a guess of course. No idea what you can and cannot bring into the US. I would imagine the list is pretty strict especially with anything wood.

    As for fumigation, cannot answer it. I do know all cargo containers are cleaned as there is a cleaning fee that you get back if all is in order.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Listerman View Post
    All very good advice, but for completeness. It would be interesting to know about how to go about getting a container load of personnel belongings out of Thailand.

    This would be interesting for folks who are considering going back the other way.

    Did your container require fumigation prior to entering Thailand, to ensure no invasive pests were present.
    Yes interesting though the post was I think probably more are intending to go the other way after a few years.

  13. #13
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    Pics for suggestions

    I found some pics of our cargo container and how we packed our stuff.



    This is how it will be delivered



    Some of our belongings to be loaded. I thought I was being organized by placing stuff on pallets and loading in with my works forklift but Its like a Jig saw puzzle and some of the stuff I had to take off the pallets. But no issue, just a learning exercise. As you can see Moving blankets, shrink wrap and good carboard to protect furniture corners is important.



    My SST BBQ pit covered and banded.



    I had 4 friends help me load and put in the container.



    That's what it looked like when I closed the doors



    That is the only tag you will get. You cannot lock your cargo container. Take a picture of it so you have the number. The only time you can put a lock on it is once it has left the port of Thailand to be moved to your home. I highly recommend you do this.

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