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Thread: We are sending a half full container LA to Auckland

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    New Zealand

    Default We are sending a half full container LA to Auckland

    This month (February 2010), we are shipping a 40 foot container from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Auckland. At present we are filling it with two 6 x 10 cargo trailers purchased at Home Depot, which takes up about 22 feet, plus a crate on pallet about 6' x 4' x 3'. The trailers are professionally packed containing furniture, and will be processed tax free under an inheritance. We are handling all our own paperwork, having emigrated from the USA to NZ in 1997, and learned the ropes (it's not that complicated).

    We are looking for someone to share the container space.

    It is important you have your goods professionally packed (so the contents can be insured) into crates that use MAF approved materials (see , and have it delivered to the freight warehouse in LA. The warehouse is a professional packing firm, so they can make other arrangements if you want to send a moving truck. We are still working out the final costs, but it certainly will be cheaper than using a moving company all the way. Once you have the crate packed, we suggest you check to get discounted (backhaul) quotes on trucking to the port. Set what you think is a good price as your max and see who will bid. Make sure to specify how they are to get your stuff onto their truck, some have lifts, hoists and others have lowering tailgates.

    We recommend avoiding anything that gets MAF upset, such as feathers, food or dirt, and if you must bring in such stuff, have it at the door end of the crate or trailer. There is enough room for a car or boat although we prefer crates that will help anchor our two trailers so things don't move around on the high seas.

    We will have no liability for your property, and based on my own experience, you should buy insurance. One of my containers arrived in 1998 with a big hole in the top and a six figure insurance claim - 45 days of rain poured in, and then the mold cooked as it went through the tropics! They paid once we got complete estimates of repair costs - which took a lot of time.

    Be prepared, pad, waterproof and protect. That's why we are using trailers this time and why crates are a good idea. We were able to watch everything being wrapped and packed, and in the container it provides an extra level of protection. It also means we don't have to pay a trucking company to deliver the goods on the other end. Once cleared, we will tow them home.

    We will handle the paperwork out of USA, and when it arrives, it will go to a bonded warehouse for devanning. This is a simple matter if it is trailers and crates on pallets.

    You either need to be in the country, or hire a customs agent to process your paperwork at 50 Anzac Ave, in Auckland. You present your passport with immigration stamps plus a detailed list to MAF and to Customs. As an immigrant, there should be no taxes or duties, just some fees. MAF and Customs will then inspect, and if no issues, will release the property for you to pick up. As an immigrant, it probably works best if you are in the country, since then there are no questions that you can't answer there and then. You also may find it easier either to rent a car, or buy a cheap one off since the warehouses are usually not downtown. If uncertain, buy a Toyota, Nissan or Honda*. You present your passport, your detailed list of contents, and the paperwork that the shipper provides.

    If you are not an immigrant, but just want to bring some stuff in (like new lawnmowers, 220v whiteware et. [see websites like] motorcycles, etc), you should know the routine. Pay the duty, get clearance.

    If you declare (or they find) controlled items, they will be taken away for processing. For example, feathers are fumigated, honey is destroyed. If you have a single cobweb they find on furniture, it triggers fumigation which can be expensive, and we don't want to be associated with it. CLEAN EVERYTHING... including the insides and undersides of chairs and sofas. If you are uncertain, have it treated or fumigated before it is packed and keep the certificates for presentation. If your furniture has termites or bugs, send it to Salvation Army, don't bring it. If you bring guns, declare them and they will be held by the arms officer until you get a firearms permit (takes 6 months and costs hundreds and there is not much to shoot at so why bother?). Pack all such stuff at the door end to make it easy for them. It is very important that there are no surprises for MAF or customs. As soon as they find a surprise, it is their duty to look at everything with a fine toothed comb (and xrays, dogs, etc), and the costs start to rise rapidly especially if stuff has to be placed in a fumigation chamber. Detailed lists and a clear understanding of what is OK makes processing much easier. If in doubt, call them and ask.

    Based on what you are bringing, we will work out the cost sharing, which must be paid in advance (we're not a business, we don't give credit).

    PM or Email me at I'll reply with a phone number in Arizona and we can then chat.


    * On the car buying, you may be interested in looking at and then look at "Honda Accord US Wagon". These are Japanese domestic models (right hand drive) that were made in the USA by Honda and shipped to Japan. They tend to be in the mid 1990's in year, and cost in the NZ$2,500 to $5,000 range. Just avoid any high km ones. It's a bit strange to buy a US made Honda in NZ, but they are good, comfortable and have no issues when they start adding ethanol to the gasoline over here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    New Zealand


    PS: Spoke with the shipping company and they suggested we also say they will inspect all goods to make sure what is packed is legal. Good point. Consider it part of the terms.

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