Pack n Send Blog

Houston International Shipping Co. Sees No Strike at East Coast Ports

Posted on Tue, Feb 05, 2013

After reporting that dock workers at the Port of Houston have reached a new contract late last year, it looks like port operators on the east coast have also reached a tentative contract. 

What this does is prevent interruptions in both container loading and unloading at major east coast ports. We have listed what can occur if the tentative contract is not approved by members.  

Loaded containers will sit idle at ports if an agreement is not reached.  While the containers are waiting to be loaded and unloaded, shipping lines will charge storage fees. Customers will pay more for a strike that they are caught in the middle of any port strike. Loaded containers at the ports with strikes can be charged a $1000 “congestion fee”. This is basically a payment for containers to sit on ships or in the docks while they are waiting to enter or exit a port. The ships still have expenses while their personnel wait for loading or unloading of containers. Think food, gas, and payroll expenses.

Ships waiting to load cargo may have to wait it out at the port so that they do not leave with empty loads. The charges they incur would be sure to drive up shipping prices.   While some companies may be able to ship items via air, this is an expensive alternative. Larger items and chemicals may not have an air option available to them. Consumers in a recovering economy would not want to pay additional costs. Some business would have no choice but to air freight items that are necessary for production.

The Port of Houston workers did not strike before the ever important holiday season. The east coast workers have saved both Valentine’s Day and the Easter Season.  If products had to be rerouted to ports that were not striking, consumer goods prices would have risen. These rerouted items would need to be shipped over land to their final destinations.  Think clothing, TV’s, snow removal equipment, shoes and flowers.  Many extra expenses would have been incurred when shipments were shipped over land.

If the ports do get congested with ships, it will take longer to unload and sort all of the shipments.  There was the possibility of goods taking longer to clear customs. The staffing would have the same, but there would have been many more containers to sort through at one time. 

There was a concern that the strike would have occurred in parts. The ports would probably have continued to process both food and ships that carry passengers and automobiles that were loaded as roll on, roll off. The cares that were shipped in containers would have still been delayed. These non contanerized items would not be affected as far as unloading. Even while trying to unload the cars and passenger ships, there may have been delays in the ports due to back up congestions. Passengers on ships are often in a hurry to depart in order to catch a plane to their final destination. Not only would port business be affected, but rental car and airline traffic would also have been affected.

These settlements are wonderful news for the economy in general, but also for families that rely on wages to meet monthly bills. With the economy still in a slow recovery mode, port strikes could affect many business and families in a negative manner.  

While pack n send is located in Houston, TX we do ship out of both east coast ports, west coast ports, and of course we ship through the Port of Houston. With both coasts and the Port of Houston settling contracts this year, it should make for much smoother shipping in the coming year.



Tags: Cargo Shipping Houston

Computer Shipping - Houston Company Answers Questions

Posted on Fri, Jun 22, 2012

 Pack n send is addressing computer shipping separately from electronics shipping in this blog.  Customers call us with questions frequently about how to pack computers.

When looking for a company that can pack and  ship your computers ,make sure that they offer  shipping options.  They should be able to ship boxes, pallets, truckloads or containers of electronics.

Be sure to ask questions about packing. Does the company you choose have experience packing and shipping high value computers.

The computers should be packed as follows:

 Individual computers should be  prepared for shipping using antistatic plastic or bubble wrap. Once the computer is wrapped, it should put into a double wall box with a minimum of 3" of Styrofoam peanuts or solid Styrofoam pieces protecting the electronics equipment.

Large quantities of computers should be boxed and then placed on pallets framed with 1x4’s, Styrofoam and thick cardboard.  Protective wrap should  then put  around the entire pallet.  

Ask if the company you choose to use offers onsite packing, crating and shipping.

As an alternative, ask if the company has the capability to pick up your computers.

Does the company you choose offer full value coverage in case of loss or damage during the pick up, packing and shipping process?

There are other areas that need to be addressed when shipping high value computers.

For more information about shipping electronics, please fell free to contact pack n send at  713 266 1450.

iBook G4 1iBook G4	  Computers / Laptops


Tags: Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Crating and Packing Houston, Electronics Shipping Houston, Houston Packing Services, Freight Forwarding Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Container Shipping Houston, Computer Shipping, Equipment Shipping, Houston Computer Shipping

Rail Freight versus Truck Freight-Houston Company Looks at England

Posted on Tue, Aug 16, 2011

  Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Santa Fe R.R. freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill.  1943 March   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b> Title from FSA or OWI agency caption. Transfer fr...Notes: Title from FSA or OWI agency caption. Transfer fr..." title="Santa Fe R.R. freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill. (LOC)" class="draggable ui-draggable" style="top: auto; left: auto;" />

US – Across the world supporters of its undoubted advantages view rail freight as a magic bullet which will take huge swathes of trucks from their nation’s roads and reduce energy consumption and pollution simultaneously. Whilst reality may never reach the giddy heights of expectation, certainly in smaller countries like the UK, sending bulk cargo by rail is preferable, and more practical for the greater part of larger journeys.

In India and Eastern Europe for example the development of rail infrastructure makes sound financial and ecological sense, and a favorable commercial environment may be sensible route to future success. But what of those countries which have been shipping long haul cargo for decades? There appears to be a growing lobby in the US to take a hard look at this method of shipping goods, primarily because of pricing policy.

When Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway group swept in for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad last November it came as a surprise to many. Mr Buffet however would not go ‘all in’ on a deal for the country’s second largest rail freight company unless he saw a future profit, and uppermost in his mind may well have been the way the freight rail tariffs are arrived at.

We have seen the anti trust authorities sweeping through other parts of the shipping world relentlessly of late, funded principally by the fines they extract from the guilty parties but two sectors have remained above it all, container shipping through permissible ‘stabilisation agreements’ and rail freight.

Much of the health of cargo carrying railways is due to Harley O Staggers senior who saw his bill to deregulate the rail carriers pass into law just three months before he left office in 1981. The Staggers Act opened up what had been an ailing system by allowing the free negotiation of freight tariffs without state interference or approval as long as a monopoly did not exist.

Now it seems that a hearing on federal rail policy before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is about to reconsider the Act. Chair of the committee which convened on Wednesday, John D Rockefeller, has already commented on a report named “The Current Financial State of the Class I Freight Rail Industry,” and his views are transparent.

Senator Rockefeller states that whilst the rail operators plead poverty, they are in fact statistically one of the richest industries in the country. Operators still seek large sums from the federal authorities to fund infrastructure improvements, usually with favorable results. Expect sparks to fly as the truck lobby faces up to the rail contingent yet, as anyone who understands the complexities of freight understands, these two need each other in what will become an increasingly intermodal world.

The rail freight report prompted a stern response from the Association of American Railroads but there is of course no right and wrong in this situation in that the rail groups need money for considerable maintenance and improvement costs but opponents argue that these are very long term investments and the rates currently charged to customers are way above the level needed to produce a reasonable return. It is unlikely messrs Buffet and Rockefeller will be dining together for a while.

Pack n send has taken this article from the Handy Shipping    Guide.  Watching the changes in the freight industry always interesting to pack n send. 

As old as this industry is, it always exciting to see new developments in freight shipping in the United States.

For more information about freight shipping in the United States please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston

Possible Nigerian Freight Scam

Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2011

Possible Nigerian Freight Scam

NIGERIA – With the eyes of the world are fixed on a country in the grip of election fever, according to local press reports a major investigation by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is under way after several local freight forwarding agencies were accused of forging import documents to enable shipping containers to pass into the country without being scanned. Recently local agents have claimed goods are being cleared much faster than previously and cynics say fraud may be the reason why.

The dangers of such activities are obvious and the penalties likely to be swingeing with directors of the companies involved liable to arrest and prosecution if a prima facie case can be made against them. Twenty seven agencies in Tin Can Island Port have reportedly had their licences suspended after the accusation that they had been using the supposedly secret passwords of Customs officers to allow their Single Goods Declaration forms, and thus their import boxes to pass into the green lane where no scanning is required.

The Tin Can Island chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agents (ANLCA) is no stranger to controversy, in recent days it has been accused of violence toward demonstrations

Until Africa can change not only its ways but its image, this attitude from the US, European and Asian communities will persist and must be frustrating for those on the continent who are trying daily to bring about a modern, untainted freight and transport infrastructure.

 Pack n send is republishing  parts of an article from the Handy Shipping Guide. We try and report both positive and sometimes negative occurrences in the freight and  cargo industry.

 For information about shipping freight and cargo from Houston, please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Houston Mover, Freight Forwarding Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston

Possible Freight Monopoly Affecting Houston and US

Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

US – There are rumblings of discontent in Washington at the moment about the behaviour of the rail freight carriers, some of whom are being accused of monopolistic behaviour. At a recent hearing of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) rail freight customers demanded federal intervention in a move which may be seen to be taking the industry back where it was before the 1981 Staggers Act.

The Act removed government intervention and led to a recovery of an industry which had been in the doldrums for a decade whilst theoretically protecting against anti trust behaviour. Now, in the intervening years, there has been a degree of polarisation with buy outs and failures resulting in an almost baronial system with little competition on vast sections of track. Dozens of independent railroads have now been distilled down to a handful of mega carriers.

When Warren Buffet made his move for BNSF in 2009 critics said he paid billions of dollars over the book price and now those same opponents say his Berkshire Hathaway group has a monopoly over a large client sector which will be forced to pay a premium rate for cargo by rail as they do not have access to an alternative carrier.

Certain industries, principally coal, chemical and agricultural products, have the ability to appeal the rates they are charged before the STB but the waters are muddied by dozens of exemptions such as container traffic where competition is deemed sufficient and the Association of American Railroads, which represents such industry giants as BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern will have a fight on its hands as the economic noose tightens on producers and consumers alike. Now the veteran leader of the Senate anti trust committee, Sen. Herb Kohl, 77, has this week sworn to make it a priority that his team push for more control over the behaviour of the rail carriers and they will need to defend themselves vigorously to convince the sceptics.

The general feeling amongst many objectors is that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of the rail companies. The industry reply is that not only have the train companies spent billions on getting where they are, the need for infrastructure investment is a pressing one and more regulation will simply lead to a poorer service for the future.

Pack n send is constantly tracking trends and news reports in the domestic and international freight markets.

This article appeared in Handy Shipping News. Pack n send is reprinting this as a service to our customers.

For more information about shippingfreight from Houston, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Santa Fe R.R. freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill.  1943 March   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b> Title from FSA or OWI agency caption. Transfer fr...

Tags: Freight Receiving Houston Texas, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas

Cargo Shipping Containers -New Use

Posted on Fri, Mar 04, 2011

Pack n send looks world wide for alternative uses for cargo shipping contaniers.   Douglas  Britts column in the Houston Chronicle discussed “unorthodox porposes as a cooperative, self sustaining village make largel of shipping containers.” We found the following detailed story by David Theis.  Enviornmentally smart construction and alternative use of shipping containers is always of interest to pack n send. 

By David  Theis

In Houston, there are visionaries, and then there is Nestor Topchy. At least, that’s the impression you get when you hear him talk about the  Hive  project. Hive is his brainchild, but it’s one that others have eagerly agreed to share.

Hive is an ambitious undertaking, but the concept behind it is surprisingly easy to grasp. Topchy and friends hope to construct a sort of self-contained urban village out of shipping containers. The proposed design, which Topchy worked out with architect Si Dang and others, calls for a square exterior wall comprising shipping containers stacked two deep.

The large space inside the walls (right now Hive is projected to cover 6.5 acres) will be filled green space, including trees and ponds, a few plazas, and the piece de la resistance, the “inner Hive,” a swirling, circular labyrinth made of six layers of stacked containers. The inner Hive containers will be connected by gradually sloping, wheelchair-accessible ramps.

Topchy and friends want Hive to be as self-contained and village-like as possible. So they’re hoping that containers in the outer walls will become home to a wide range of activities, from shopping to car repair to music making, while the inner Hive will be dedicated to quiet activities, such as writing, painting and meditation.

On the other hand, if worse comes to worse, and society does actually collapse, they’ll be able to close the Hive walls, medieval style, and plant a big garden. Survivalists and artists, no place but Texas. Topchy’s timeline  calls for the Hive to be completely finished by 2015.

For more information on  container shipping as well as freight shipping, please call pack n send at  713 266 1450.

News_David Theis_Nestor Topchy_Hive_shipping container_city

A rendering of what the Hive would look like if the dream comes true.



Tags: Houston Medical Equipment Shipping, Shipping Freight Houston, Crating and Packing Houston, Container Loading Houston, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Packing Housotn, Cargo Shipping Houston, crate houston texas

More Information about Improved Shipping from Houston

Posted on Tue, Feb 22, 2011

Exports from Houston and Galveston increased to $95billion last year from $75 billion in 2009, and that's higher than the $90 billion exported from the region in 2008. Oil led the exports, bolstered by stable, relatively high prices. Crude ended the year at $91.38 a barrel, up about $10 from the start of 2010.

Last year's imports of $117

billion, while up from $92 billion in 2009, were below the $151 billion recorded in 2008. Oil also led the gains on the import side.

Rise in drilling equipment

Higher oil prices helped drive more demand for drilling equipment and cargo that crossed the Port of Houston's docks last year.

Houston's Palletized Trucking has moved more oil field equipment, containers and other cargo lately, and now it's hiring truck drivers again.

It's also planning to increase rates 5 percent to 7 percent this year as prices have increased for fuel, trucks and labor, said Michael Rex King, Palletized Trucking's president and CEO.

His sales were up 20 percent to 25 percent in January compared with the same month in 2010.

For the full year of 2009, sales dropped by 40 percent.

Joachim said World Trade Distribution's business has picked up 15 percent since last October, but it is still 15 percent less than 18 months ago.

"That's still a significant hit," Joachim said.

As trade rebounds, companies must react to find equipment and space on vessels after shippers reduced capacity in the last 18 months.

Pack n send has republished portions of this article written by Houston Chronicle journalist Jenalia Moreno.  We look for positive upswings in the Houston and US economy for both freight and cargo.

 For more information about packing, crating, cargo and freight shipping from Houston, Texas please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Shipping Houston, Container Loading Houston, Cargo Houston, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Packing Houston, Crating and packing Houston Texas, Shipping Antiques Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Container Shipping Houston

Cargo Growth Slow but Looking up

Posted on Thu, Jan 27, 2011

 MORE than three-quarters of IATA members reported an increase in cargo business during Q4 2010, the association says amidst a cautiously positive forecast for this year.

While IATA members expect a profit for 2011, factors such as rising fuel prices mean confidence in further significant improvement has taken a hit, the association’s quarterly survey finds.

By November 2010 the volume of international freight tonne kilometres was up more than 20 per cent on a year-to-date basis compared to the same period in 2009. The recovery in traffic, driven by the pickup in world trade, has almost been as sharp as the fall experienced going into the recession.

Freight volumes reached a new post-recession peak in May 2010 but dropped back by mid-year as the restocking phase of the inventory cycle came to a close. Since then volumes have stabilised in line with the level seen immediately prior to the recession.

In the latest survey the proportion of respondents expecting further improvement in airfreight volumes over the 12 months ahead remains around 60 per cent – indicating that continued growth beyond restocking stimulus is seen as likely this year.

Expectations for cargo yields over the 12 months ahead point to stability with 57 per cent of respondents reporting ‘no-change’ likely. Freight growth is moderating back towards the rate of global trade growth while capacity is entering at a faster rate which will put downward pressure on load factors and temper further rises in yields.

Pack n send has reprinted this article from Air Cargo News as a service to our customers.

 Any article showing improvements and upward swings in the worldwide economy are good for both Houston shipping and shipping worldwide.

For more information about packing, crating, cargo shipping and freight from Houston Texas, feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

7/01/05  This 727 from Falcon Air Cargo decided to Go Around at this altitude. He was landing at Rwy. 08 on the north section of the airport (SJU). From what I recalled this happened due to a bad approach. He came in high and wasn't going to ...

Tags: pallet houston texas, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Crating and packing Houston Texas, packing houston texas, Shipping Antiques Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston

Cargo bomb originating in Namibia -Adjustment to Cargo Shipping

Posted on Thu, Jan 20, 2011


As reported in Air Cargo News, the worldwide air cargo industry must be ever vigilant  when placing cargo on airplanes.

NAMIBIAN police have discovered a suspected bomb while loading the cargo hold of an Air Berlin flight departing Namibia.

“A subsequent X-ray [of the luggage] revealed batteries that were attached with wires to a detonator and a ticking clock,” the German authorities said in a statement. “Only the ongoing forensic investigation will show whether this was a live explosive.”

Thomas De Maiziere, Germany’s interior minister, said the country had been warned it would be targeted for its role in the Afghan war. “There is reason for concern, but no reason for hysteria.”

Pack n send is awaiting notice of new embargoed countries at this time for  air cargo shipping.

As we are notified, we will update our blog.

For safe air cargo shipping, or questions about air cargo, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.


Tags: Freight Shipping Houston, cargo shipping, Cargo Shipping Houston

Cargo Like This? Not Houston Cargo

Posted on Thu, Jan 13, 2011

freight forwarding houston texas  

 If we had not seen the attached picture, I  am not sure that we would have even read the attached article. In the United States companies are diligent and meticulous about weighing containers more than once to make sure that ships are weighed correctly. We are reprinting portions of this article and the picture from Handy Shipping Guide so that our customers can see what happens in other areas of the world. image: UK shipping container tonnage freight FCL

Shipping Container Weights-A Freight Fraud that Can Cost Lives


UK – WORLDWIDE – Once upon a time it was cube cutting that was the fraud of choice for the world’s freight forwarders but with the burgeoning trade in full load containers (FCL’s) over the past few decades, often stuffed with consolidated cargo from different consignors, a new and potentially much more dangerous, problem has arisen.

Under declared tonnage in shipping containers, deliberate or not, has the potential to put lives at risk. Gantries, fork lift trucks and other handling equipment may not be up to the strain and, in worst case scenarios, ships can be incorrectly loaded leading to instability.

 “On the 1st December, the World Shipping Council (WSC) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) announced that they were urging the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to establish an international legal requirement that all loaded containers be weighed at the marine port facility before they are stowed aboard a vessel for export. This has major ramifications for ship owners and terminals alike as the IMO is unlikely to ignore these two powerful bodies.

“Implementation of any legislation on this subject is clearly some years away but terminal operators would do well not to leave everything until the last minute. As the WSC/ICS announcement makes clear, this information should be made available to ship planners and will mean modifying the data links between the machine weighing the containers and the terminal’s operating system.”

The organisers of the conference have expressed a belief that because this is recognised as an important safety issue, some carriers may be prepared to pre-empt any IMO legislation by voluntarily introducing weighing at certain terminals. The general consensus at the conference was that those carriers who operate their own terminals would be best placed to do this, followed closely by those terminal operators with particularly strong links to specific carriers.

One point stressed by several delegates was that it is important to weigh ALL containers, including empties. Apparently there have been a number of cases where ‘empty’ containers have been found to be loaded with waste products and to put these on board a vessel in a stack containing genuine empties could easily initiate a stack collapse. It was also pointed out that there was a strong case for weighing unaccompanied trailers before they are loaded on freight RoRo vessels. This is already mandatory on RoPax vessels carrying 12 or more passengers.

Security experts also point out that an explosive device placed in an empty container would stand a better chance of being detected if empties had to be weighed. So far, the WSC and ICS have only shown concern regarding overweight containers. They should expect representations from various quarters demanding that all containers should be weighed. The real issue here is actually the misdeclaration of container weights, not just under declaration of cargo.

The UK P&I Club’s Communications Director, Nick Whitear says he feels stakeholders should start to consider their options immediately commenting:

“Any new legislation will require carriers to change their systems so that they can accept this new data and be ready to act when inaccurate weights are detected. Also, if they are not doing so already, ship owners need to start educating their customers about the importance of making accurate weight declarations so as to avoid any problems in the ports.”

For assistance with freight forwarding houston texas , please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Cargo Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Container Shipping Houston