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Old 20-08-2017, 14:18   #1
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Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

Has anyone used the barrel system of shipping personal effects. We will be shipping from Canada to St. Martin and wonder if there is a standout company or any advice on this.
Thanks in Advance!!!!!
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Old 20-08-2017, 14:59   #2
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

Sell everything, or donate it, or give it away. Dont waste your time and money shipping anything, costs and headaches are not worth it. When you arrive at your new destination, take the cash you would have spent on shipping on purchasing and shop for what you actually need.
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Old 20-08-2017, 17:11   #3
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Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

We use tropical shipping but you need to get it to the shipping depot. Cars and all. A half container will set you back about 6k or so from Miami.
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Old 20-08-2017, 17:22   #4
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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Originally Posted by All is found View Post
Has anyone used the barrel system of shipping personal effects. We will be shipping from Canada to St. Martin and wonder if there is a standout company or any advice on this.
Thanks in Advance!!!!!
Ive shipped a lot of stuff, big and small, from the USA to various countries, but never heard of the "barrel system"...what is this?
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Old 20-08-2017, 17:26   #5
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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Sell everything, or donate it, or give it away. Dont waste your time and money shipping anything, costs and headaches are not worth it. When you arrive at your new destination, take the cash you would have spent on shipping on purchasing and shop for what you actually need.
Tend to agree if shipping for relocation (unless someone else, like employer is paying). Used house hold goods can be sold & bought for pennies on the dollar.

Ive wasted a LOT of money shipping/storing used house hold goods around. We are almost finished relocating from Guatemala to Panama...almost everything is staying in Guatemala this time.

OP: What and why are you shipping?
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Old 21-08-2017, 08:58   #6
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Old 21-08-2017, 09:01   #7
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

Lots of Island folk used to post barrels via air frt to most of the islands from Toronto. Most of the carriers had access to an Iata special commmodity rate for air frt of this type. If you have time it is far better to work with a shipping agent that can set it up as ocean frieght. Takes longer, but is less expensive. Peruse the local papers for ads.
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Old 21-08-2017, 09:15   #8
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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Old 21-08-2017, 09:28   #9
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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......but never heard of the "barrel system"...what is this?
It's not a 'system'. It's just a barrel. A plain old barrel, as has been used for centuries upon centuries. Put your stuff in a barrel, then load it for shipping.

They are commonly a heavy cardboard for dry goods. Steel barrels are still used and blue plastic barrels as well.
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Old 21-08-2017, 10:29   #10
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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It's not a 'system'. It's just a barrel. A plain old barrel, as has been used for centuries upon centuries. Put your stuff in a barrel, then load it for shipping.

They are commonly a heavy cardboard for dry goods. Steel barrels are still used and blue plastic barrels as well.
Yes, very familiar with barrels, I buy the plastic ones on this end for various projects. Ive used them to build composting toilets, composting bins, and fuel tanks. However Ive never heard of a shipping "system" using them.
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:08   #11
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

We were in the process of setting up a villa in Antigua, from scratch, when the purchase deal fell through. Spent a lot of time running down the best method to ship everything from linens to appliances. There are freight companies (in our case Miami) who will accept and securely store your items, then ship (weekly if you wish) to your destination, as you direct. In Antigua anyway, there are customs brokers the freight companies work with to clear your shipment on to its final destination. Without exception everyone we spoke with confirmed the economics of doing it this way, not to mention selection at home is far better (than in Antigua anyway). You can even ship directly from the point of sale to the freight warehouse assuming you don't need to see your purchase first.
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:20   #12
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Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

+1 Sailmac


It's actually fairly common for non mainland areas. For the Caribbean it turns out that Port Lauderdale is the key shipping hub. Because the barrel shipping goes out of Lauderdale there are a number of providers.

Frankly it wouldn't be a bad way to send a load of spares or supplies to a long-term cruiser somewhere in the Windwards.

Give some of these folks a call:

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Old 21-08-2017, 15:15   #13
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Re: Advice Needed Shipping Personal Effects to Caribbean from Canada

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We were in the process of setting up a villa in Antigua, from scratch, when the purchase deal fell through. Spent a lot of time running down the best method to ship everything from linens to appliances. There are freight companies (in our case Miami) who will accept and securely store your items, then ship (weekly if you wish) to your destination, as you direct. In Antigua anyway, there are customs brokers the freight companies work with to clear your shipment on to its final destination. Without exception everyone we spoke with confirmed the economics of doing it this way, not to mention selection at home is far better (than in Antigua anyway). You can even ship directly from the point of sale to the freight warehouse assuming you don't need to see your purchase first.
Certainly local economics are a consideration. Also if you can get household goods in under a retirement/residency program at reduced/no duty.

E Carib is painfully expensive. Here in Central America selection and price are pretty good. Local furniture makers are common. And, there is always an expat moving on and selling their stuff (just picked up a nice BBQ and Juicer here in Panama that way).

Most of the furniture at my home in Guatemala was made by my guys (already on payroll) of local wood and bambú grown on site...so relatively cheap, keeps locals employed and is in the local style.
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