Sending a container to the other side of earth

Friday 16:00: Container arrives

Almost all our stuff is wrapped in cardboard, ready for the container. It’s slightly raining, but the weather forecast is good for tomorrow to fill it!

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Friday 17:00: Opening the container

Our first impression: OMG, that’s quite an old model. The label of that rusty dented box says it was built 25 years ago. Imagine the distance this container must have travelled in its life so far. Can’t find a valid CSC seal which is required for ship transport.  Smells like trouble. Having a first look inside as the rain stops: Smells like mould! The timber floor disintegrates partially and so do the rubber-seals at the doors. How shall we get this thing through customs in NZ? More importantly: How can we avoid that all our stuff will smell like mould when we unload it in a couple of months from now? Trying to reach someone at the moving company but no luck. Friday afternoon – everybody gone.

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Saturday 08:00: Tempted to return the container

Here we are, with a wet container. 15 desperate phone call attempts to the moving company later: There is definitely nobody available to reach at that damn organization. Neither the agent we always spoke to, nor their CEO on his mobile number. Amazing service! OK, what’s the options we have? Either return that ugly thing, try to get the packing people to come over once again in a week when we are no longer there and risk that it will delay for another couple of weeks to get the stuff shipped or: make the best of it and wrap everything in foil to avoid smelly furniture.

Saturday 12:00: Container upgrade

Off we went to the hardware store, buying 5 rolls of packing foil for the furnituere, 2 rolls of strong foil to seal the rotten floor, a couple of silicone tubes to fix all the holes and plenty of styrofoam to cover the rusty walls. The helpers already arrived and we’re sweating wrapping all our cardboard ‘packages’ once again in foil.

Saturday 14:00: Logistics

Every item in the container must have a number (ideally on all sides to be able to find it again later) and a description in the catalog for shipping and customs. Heavy boxes need to be placed near the bottom, light ones to the top. Heavy furniture to the front section of the container (in case the truck strongly brakes), things we will need first in NZ to the back section. Sounds simple in theory, but can be quite a challenge when the helping hands already start to clear your rooms while you’re still struggling with foil works and writing numbers on all the boxes and packages. ;)


Sunday 12:00: Everything in!

No way we would have ever been able to do that without our helpers! Despite having a whole weekend of time it was very tough to get finished before pickup on Monday morning. We’ll sleep on air beds in our guest room tonight.

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Monday 09:00: Bye bye container – See you soon!

It’s a strange feeling seeing all your property moving away. Hopefully we will see everything again before end of the year – in a good condition! Chastine Maersk, please take care of our stuff.