Skip to main content

CHOOSING AN INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING COMPANY

As I've explained in previous posts, I have no desire to write handbooks. Nor do I wish to cause anyone to choose one product or service over another simply because my wife Cathey and I have made our choices. I'm simply telling the story of our experiences as we prepare to move from our home in the USofA to our home in France. Do your own due diligence. Don't depend on mine.

There are bunches of international shippers. You can find ads and links on expat message boards. There are portal sites that will submit your request for a quote to an array of shippers. If you know someone working in a major international corporation in your area, see if you can find out if the company has a go-to shipper.

Once we had the names of several shipping companies, even before I went to their websites, I began looking at sites that aggregate reviews of them. Let's talk about reviews for a minute.

I operate under the assumption that folks are more likely to write detailed reviews on company or aggregating websites if their experience has been unsatisfactory. You can find the same negative review on different sites if the reviewer is sufficiently pissed off. Cut and Paste facilitates shouting at the wind. Furthermore, if only 1% of the cargo that goes through the Port of New York every year is lost, damaged or delayed, that's nearly 1,000,000 tons of cargo. You're dealing with multiple complex international  systems. It's a crap shoot. Sometimes you lose.

In other words, I read as many reviews of as many companies as I can. Then I go by my gut

I decided to ask four companies for quotes. We exchanged emails. I sent lists. I got quotes. I asked questions. Three of the quotes were so close as to make no difference. Nearly identical. The fourth quote was 15% less than the others. NY International Shipping.

NY International's salesman was the most persistent, thorough communicator. He answered every email promptly and he followed up to make certain that I understood the information that he had sent. Yes. I know. A good salesman can convince you to buy a bad product. But one telephone exchange convinced me.

I asked the NY International salesman why I should trust a quote that was so obviously low. First, he asked me to hold for a few minutes to review the quote to make certain that there was no mistake. I liked that. He didn't pretend to have my quote in his head. It was a serious question and he seemed to be attempting to make certain that his answer was equally serious.  When he came back to the phone, he confirmed the number and added, among one or two other things, that they had a really good, efficient and effective agent in France who saves them money. That connected with one of the reviews of NY International that I'd read lauding their agent on the French side - good communication, solved problems...

So, at the end I settled on NY International Shipping. I'll post on this topic again as events warrant and  once the move has been accomplished.

EDIT: To skip to my review of New York International Shipping after our move was complete, click HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days. Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December. The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the f

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for. The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama. As always, start at the church. There's just something about the color of the sky... For some reason, French Santa seems to prefer climbing in through the windows than down the chimneys. Like I said, through the vines. Headed for the little hilltop. Lousy camera in my cheap tablet. Thems ain't clouds. Thems the Pyrenees. And