Pack n Send Blog

Shipping Containers and the Logistics of International Shipping

Posted on Fri, Jul 20, 2018

Shipping Containers and the Logistics of International Shipping

picture of ocean freight ship used for international shipping

International shipping can be a daunting task. There are so many details to handle and one of the most challenging can be the packing and shipping of one's household goods. Decisions have to be made about what to sell, what to store, and what to ship. Once the items have been sorted, what is the best way to get them overseas? 

Using Air Freight for International Shipping

Air freight might seem like an attractive option because it is a faster method of shipment, but there are limits to the weight that can be shipped and the price is substantially higher.

Using Ocean Freight for International Shipping

If ocean freight is your choice, the next decision involves deciding what size of container is needed. You may want to  use pallets for the organization and shipment of your goods. 

Full Container Load (FCL) 

Standard shipping options include 20 foot or 40 foot containers. Shipping by FCL means the entire container is filled with one customer's belongings. This is recommended if one is shipping multiple pallets or a large amount of furniture or household goods. A 20 foot container can hold approximately 10 pallets and a 40 foot container approximately 20 pallets. 

Less Than Container Load (LCL)

If your household goods only require one or two pallets, then you will wish to consider sharing container space with other customers. The cost for shipping is based on how much volume your goods require in the shared spaced within the container.  The charges are based on the number of cubic meters that you are shipping.

Contact Pack n Send for Help With Domestic or International Shipping

If you are facing a domestic or international move and need quotes or advice, consider Pack n Send, based in Houston, TX. Contact us for information and support. We professionally wrap and pack your household goods and handle all of the paperwork for easy international shipping around the world. 

 

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping, Container Shipping Houston, International Shipping Containers

Tips to Ship Ocean Freight Internationally to Argentina

Posted on Mon, Jul 09, 2018

Tips to Ship Ocean Freight Internationally to Argentina

Argentina flag pinned on map of South America

 

Ship Ocean Freight Internationally to Argentina

Argentina has a large European influence and many expatriates move there for their careers or permanent relocations from various other parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. If moving to Argentina, you have options to ship by air or ocean freight. 

When shipping overseas to Argentina, there are some important things to know about international freight, cargo, and more. There are also certain goods that cannot be shipped to Argentina. Prohibited items include alcohol, cosmetics, artwork, clocks, medical equipment, plants, toys, and many more. Check this complete list of prohibited and restricted items.

Background Information on Argentina

According to Nation Facts, Argentina is the second largest country in South America, and its capital is Buenos Aires. The official language of Argentina is Spanish, but English is gaining traction in large cities because of Argentina's high literacy rates among its citizens. In pop culture, Argentina is well known for Eva Peron, the inspiration for Evita, the Broadway musical and 1996 film starring Madonna. If you ever watch Dancing with the Stars, you're likely familiar with the Tango, a sultry dance which originated in Argentina. Argentinians enjoy soccer as their primary sport, referred to as football in their nation. Argentina is an exporter of many items, including wine, wheat, and beef.

There are many attractions and sights that draw people to Argentina. Buenos Aires is its largest city with more than 16 million people who love its rich history, culture, cuisine, and beaches. For nature lovers, the Andes Mountains and Patagonia are quite popular. There's also plenty of public transportation to get around in cities in Argentina, including buses, trains, trams, ferries, and cabs. When planning to visit Argentina, it's a smart idea to check the weather beforehand. The country experiences all seasons, from cold winters to hot and humid summers. 

Pack n Send Helps You With Shipping to Argentina

If you need to ship items to Argentina, it can be tricky to know exactly what can and cannot be shipped because of prohibited and restricted items. Using a professional packing and international shipping company can be extremely valuable when preparing items to send to Argentina. Professionals can help save you time, worry, and unnecessary expenses.

Contact us to learn more about shipping items and goods internationally to Argentina. 

 

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Tags: Shipping Company Houston, International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping, international shipping

International Shipping to Switzerland

Posted on Wed, Jun 20, 2018

International Shipping to Switzerland

beautiful Switzerland mountain town

International Shipping to Switzerland

If you fall in love with Switzerland and decide to move there, you will find few shipping restrictions for your international cargo in case you don't want to let go of your newly bought furniture set.

According to the USPS there are some items that Switzerland will not accept:

  1. Arms
  2. Weapons
  3. Firing caps
  4. Loaded metal cartridges for portable firearms
  5. Non explosive parts of artillery fuses
  6. Articles made of celluloid
  7. Human remains
  8. Live plants and animals
  9. Lottery tickets and advertisements for lotteries
  10. Mini-spies (miniature wireless transmitters)
  11. Radar detectors

Switzerland requires that a phone number be included when mailing a package to a PO Box and recommends that a phone number be included when mailing a package to a street address.

Switzerland - More Than Just a Beautiful Country!

Switzerland is more than just a beautiful country in Europe; it has so much more to offer than its beautiful landscapes which include many mountains and lakes! Switzerland is a country full of culture and history, making it a great tourist destination. It is also one of the countries with the fewest mailing restrictions. So, if you are planning a trip to Switzerland and you happen to enjoy it so much that you decide to move there, we have some helpful tips for you.

Below, we have included some popular places to visit.

Background Info on Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the safest countries, with one of the lowest crime rates in the globe. Sixty percent of Switzerland's energy comes from a hydroelectric power source, so they are very friendly to the environment. You can experience all the seasons without it ever getting too cold. On another note, Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The Swiss have a "median income level of $100,000 US dollars, which has continued to grow exponentially over the past few years."

Places to Visit in Switzerland

All of this makes Switzerland a popular destination. Here are three places you should visit.

Zurich

One of the most popular places to visit is the city of Zurich. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and offers a variety of museums and art galleries. You will be met by medieval architecture taking you back to the old days. The airport is only 15 minutes away from the town center.

Geneva Old Town

Another popular destination is Geneva Old Town. Geneva is a historic and popular location where you will find the cathedral of St. Pierre and the Place du Bourg-du-Four. Geneva is also the international seat of the United Nations. French is the official language spoken in Geneva.

The Matterhorn

Nature lovers can visit the Matterhorn (Zermatt). This mountain is said to be the main symbol of Switzerland. It is not too far from Zurich. You can find out more details on the places mentioned above along with 97 other amazing places to visit at 100 Best Things to do in Switzerland.

 

Get Help Shipping to Switzerland With Pack n Send!

At Pack n Send in Houston, we require a phone number and or email address for all international freight and international package shipping.  When shipping non document items to Switzerland via common carrier or via freight shipping a commercial invoice needs to be prepared. For any individual item that is valued at more than $2500, an ITN number is needed in order to export the item from the United States.

So, if you are travelling to Switzerland and want to know what cities to visit, or are sending international freight to Switzerland or even sending small packages to Switzerland, please feel free to contact us for more information.

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping, International Cargo, Shipping to Houston

Shipping Overseas for an International Move

Posted on Fri, Jun 15, 2018

Shipping Overseas for an International Move

freight ship and airplane shipping goods overseas

The prospect of moving overseas can be exciting but daunting. There are many details to manage in a short amount of time.  Making arrangements to move personal belongings is a key element of an international move. 

Using Ocean Freight for Your International Move

Ocean freight is the most affordable option for moving personal items. Airline transport is fast but is always more costly and has weight and size restrictions. Ocean containers can hold a variety of large and heavy items such as furniture or cars. Ocean containers are also very durable and safe for transporting goods.

Shipping companies can help customers secure a "LCL", or less-than-a-container load, which means that goods from several individuals or companies share a single container. Shipping companies help to ensure proper container loading, transport, and delivery of these personal goods. Some international clients even order goods from the United States, like furniture and vehicles, and have them shipped because the products may not be available where they live or may be of a lesser quality.   

Utilizing the Port of Houston

One of the busiest ports in the United States is the port of Houston. According to statistics from 2017, the port of Houston ranked 1st in foreign waterborne tonnage and 2nd in total tonnage. It is a busy and popular port, shipping and receiving items from all over the world. The number of containers that Houston handles has increased steadily since 2006.

Most of the international tonnage which arrives in Houston comes from Asia, while most of the tonnage which leaves Houston heads to the Americas and North Europe. This increased business has resulted in the need to implement infrastructure projects to expand and deepen the Bayport Channel, allowing for the docking of larger ships.  

Contact Pack n Send for Help With Your International Move 

If you are anticipating an international move and need to consider a safe and secure method of transporting your personal goods, contact us at Pack n Send for an estimate today!  

 

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Internatinal Freight Shipping Houston, Port of Houston Shipping, Houston Shipping

International Shipping to Guam - What You Need to Know

Posted on Mon, May 28, 2018

International Shipping to Guam—What You Need to Know

picture of a busy street in Guam

Background Information on Guam

Guam is actually an unincorporated U.S. territory in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is only 210 square miles, with a population of fewer than 200,000 people. One of the main reasons the U.S. maintains a presence there is to have military personnel and equipment at Andersen Air Force Base. This location played an important role in the Vietnam War and still has about 7,000 U.S. troops living there at any given time according to an article from ABC News (an Australian news outlet).

International Shipping to Guam

Having said that, many people in the U.S. might be thinking, "I want to send a package to Guam" and not know where to start. With international freight shipping in Houston, Texas, it's easy to send a  package to Guam.

Because Guam is so small, they import most things including food, cars, and clothing. So if you are shipping to Guam, there is probably a need for your goods. When shipping to Guam, you need to make sure you aren't sending any prohibited items. Check out this link from the USPS to read about international shipping restrictions. If you want to ship something that has certain restrictions like tobacco products, medical equipment, medicine, or batteries, make sure you read about the requirements so your delivery goes through.

Ship Your Goods to Guam With Pack n Send!

If you need to ship a package to Guam, Pack n Send can help! We can give you a quote on international shipping to Guam. We can arrange a cargo shipment to Guam if you are transporting a lot of goods   in a 20 foot container or need  help  to get your small  package across the ocean, pack n send can help! For more information about international freight shipping and cargo  in Houston, contact us today at Pack n Send.

 

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping, International shipping service, International Shipping to Guam

The International Shipping Scene in Brazil

Posted on Tue, Apr 24, 2018

The International Shipping Scene in Brazil

Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Brazilian Economy

The Brazilian economy is rated among the top ten economies in the world by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This economy is characterized by a great reliance on import substitution, which has ensured a rapid growth in the economy. This effort has led to Brazil being rated as one of the countries with the highest level of importation with reference to its GDP.

International Shipping: Brazilian Imports

One of many of the products imported by Brazil is auto parts. Their main supplier is Mexico, with whom they have fixed quotas for exchange so as to ensure fair competition with those auto parts produced locally. Another large import in Brazil is electronic gadgets and components. Due to Brazil's heavy reliance on the importation of this commodity, this sector has short-term industrial policies which have been coherent with the policies used in telecommunications and information technology. Transmission and reception parts are also imported. These include telephone units and equipment used to receive and transmit images, voice, and any other forms of data. Communication parts which use digital techniques are also imported.

Tourist Attractions in Brazil

Apart from business, Brazil also forms a big hub for tourists with a variety of tourist attraction sites that appeal to international travelers and local tourists alike. From being home to some of the world's largest football teams to having tropical beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon rainforest, and the Pantanal wetlands, the sites for tour visits are endless.

Container Transport and Ocean Freight in Brazil

This country also offers unbeatable rates for container transport and ocean freight. It has 18 ports from the United States and 16 ports from Spain. From being an economic hub with major opportunities for investors to being an outstanding world wise tourist attraction, Brazilian business continues to grow, and so does the number of people who choose to invest in it! 


Is your business looking for someone to ship items from Houston to Brazil? Contact us today for more information. At Pack n Send we have unparalleled experience in international shipping and international freighting. We build custom crates as well as custom pallets. We look at the safest and cost effective ways to ship your merchandise.

 

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping, Shipping to Brazil, International shipping service

International Shipping Tips: Sending Large Items From Houston to Israel

Posted on Sun, Apr 22, 2018

International Shipping Tips: Sending Large Items From Houston to Israel

city of Jerusalem in Israel

Israel is a country in a constant state of expansion, making it the perfect place to find buyers for large items like furniture and art.

Israeli institutions often go a step beyond simple utility. Consider the Hebrew University Medical Center, both a crucial hospital for treatment and research, as well as the host of the internationally renowned Chagall Windows. The 12 sequential stained glass panels by famed artist Marc Chagall tell the story of the Israelites, bringing in countless art aficionados to the kind of location that otherwise might be devoid of tourism.

Your Houston business likely has customers waiting for you in an eclectic, growing economy like Israel's. The first step? Sorting your process for international cargo shipping from Houston to Israel. Here are some tips to get you started:

Find A Trained Professional To Prepare Your Items

Furniture, antiques, art, and other items that are notoriously difficult to ship even domestically are some of the highest demand products from Israeli customers. 

You'll need your items to be packed securely in appropriate international cargo containers that meet both Israeli customs standards (especially proper marking, which we'll get into) as well as a unique fit based on your item's shape, material, and weight.

Consult with a certified Houston shipper trained in international shipping techniques for each type of item you plan to send. Give them all the information you can on your item, of course! For example, furniture crafted from softer wood might need different packing materials than a more robust variety, and it never hurts to make sure your international shipping partner is aware.

Follow Israeli Shipping Protocol

The most important aspect of international shipping from Houston to Israel is following Israel's particularly exacting standards for labeling. Trade regulations between the United States and Israel are not particularly harsh; however, their labeling standards for all international items are expected to provide more information than many countries require.

The U.S. embassy in Israel outlines the full details here. Make sure to read this document in full! Of particular note:

  • All information must be printed in Hebrew.
  • English translation is allowed, but the text cannot be larger than the primary Hebrew information.
  • Include your full business or personal address.
  • Include the full name, address, and business name of your Israeli importer/buyer.
  • Use contrasting colors between the background and text of your labels.
  • The weight or volume of the product must be marked visibly on the shipping crate, in metric units only.

Before You Sell, Know Your Restrictions

Israeli imports from the U.S. are very much open. The relationship between the two countries is close, and business relationships between U.S. and Israeli citizens are very much encouraged by both governments.

Most of the restrictions -- a full list is provided here -- are boilerplate for importing items into any country. A few notable exceptions relevant for Houston international shipping:

  • Gas grills are allowed, but they require contacting the Israeli Standards Institute to make sure they're acceptable for import.
  • Mobile phones require approval of the Ministry of Communications before sending.
  • Gambling machines of any kind are prohibited (notable for antiques dealers).

Find a Full-Service Shipper in Houston

Above all, you'll need a good Houston shipper with experience in international freight and packaging. To learn more about how to take on the challenge of safely shipping your large items to Israeli customers, don't hesitate to contact us today!

 

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Tags: Shipping to Israel, Shipping Company in Houston, International Shipping Houston, international shipping

What You Need to Know About Shipping From Houston to Mexico

Posted on Thu, Apr 05, 2018

What You Need to Know About Shipping From Houston to Mexico

plane shipping items from houston to mexico

Houstonians are prone to having good business and personal relationships with Mexican businesses and friends -- certainly, the location encourages it! 

The everyday casual nature of communications between Texans and Mexicans makes it easy to forget that, due to customs regulations, international trade laws, and more, shipping from Houston to Mexico is actually something of a complex process. Shipping companies in Houston, Texas generally have experience with the process, but hiccups remain common.

Here are the basics on what you need to know to make sure your item gets over the border:

Shipping Restrictions to Mexico

Outside of the complex customs process, which we'll address shortly, there are few barriers to shipping items from Houston to Mexico.

Due to fluctuating exchange rates and tariffs, many items shipped from Houston to Mexico are not heavily regulated, like video game consoles and other consumer electronics, vinyl records  and even simple kitchen or home appliances.

 

Notable restrictions to keep in mind before shipping:

  • Textiles are limited. If shipping raw materials, you'll have to apply to do so first.
  • Cosmetics and toiletries require prior approval from the Mexican Department of Public Health before shipping.
  • Coins, precious stones, or jewelry made of precious metals/stones are prohibited.

Set Up Your Shipment Beforehand

There's a bit more documentation than average required for shipping from the U.S. to Mexico, despite sharing a direct border!

First, of the many shipping companies in Houston, Texas shipping to Mexico, try to go with one that has a great deal of experience with the process and lots of positive feedback from customers. Changing customs requirements are always a complex process to navigate, but more importantly you'll appreciate the advice they'll pass along for getting your Mexican customer the information they need to receive your shipment.

Lucky for you, much of the process happens from the receiving end in Mexico. They will arrange a Mexican-based shipping company to pick your item up from customs, examine it for proper documentation, and finally reach the destination.

You'll need to let your recipient know when you're sending the item and arrange the process to have their carrier pick it up. An experienced Houston shipping company will help you smooth this process along and help  eliminate issues along the way.

Go Through Your Shipping Checklist

Before shipping, make sure you have all your bases covered, especially for commercial-level transactions. One of the better shipping companies in Houston, Texas will have the know-how to guide you through the process, but in the interest of being prepared, here is the documentation you'll absolutely need to have in order and affixed to your packaging:

  • Import/Export form
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin (for commercial transactions)

Find the Right Houston Shipping Company

Few Houston shipping companies will have zero experience with sending items to Mexico. However, you'll want to make sure you go with a company that has both years of experience with the process and prioritizes staying on top of the rapidly changing standards and requirements. To learn more about the right way to minimize issues getting your items across the border, contact us today!

 

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Tags: Shipping Company in Houston, Shipping to Mexico, International Shipping Houston, Houston Shipping

Riding the Construction Boom: Shipping from Houston to the United Arab Emirates

Posted on Mon, Mar 19, 2018

Riding the Construction Boom: Shipping from Houston to the United Arab Emirates

houston-shipping-tips-united-arab-emirates

The United Arab Emirates is in the midst of an economic boom, leading to a huge uptick in construction projects. That presents a huge opportunity for American businesses, especially sellers of the high-quality furniture and office accessories that UAE contractors and interior designers are clamoring for.

From futuristic experimental massive construction projects to the more classic education and business infrastructure expansion that always keep pace with a broadening economy, there are plenty of opportunities for Houston businesses and private furniture/art dealers to ply their wares to major UAE customers.

Here is some simple advice for how to handle Houston freight shipping smoothly and efficiently to make sure your products arrive quickly and safely:

Packing Furniture or Other Large Items for Ocean Freight Shipment

For furniture dealers, Houston pallet shipping services are easily the best option, particularly the lower cost ocean freight services. Air transportation is faster, but more expensive, and with so much cross-continental business with the UAE relating to in-progress construction jobs, arriving slightly earlier is less of a concern.

While you can package your products personally, it's recommended to use a professional freight service to handle that aspect for you. Certified, trained freight shippers know how to take the many steps to customize their packaging tactics for each individual item they encounter, leveraging both formal training and experience to approach the task.

Do take the time to pass along any relevant information, however. You know your furniture, antiques, or other sensitive products better than anyone. Pass along information on your product's building materials, any parts that might move during shipping, and anything else that comes to mind.

In the most basic sense, your furniture or other large items will be covered in thick synthetic wrapping, supported in key locations by custom-cut Styrofoam, and secured to a base deemed legally appropriate for Houston pallet shipping to the UAE.

Know Which Items You Can Sell to UAE Customers

The U.S. embassy to the UAE maintains a helpful list of restricted items and key information on shipping products and textiles to your customers there.

Many of these aren't relevant for furniture sellers engaging in Houston freight shipping to the UAE, although we do recommend reading the entire article (it's really not that long!). Here are some notable restrictions to keep an eye on:

  • Gambling devices of any kind (this might be relevant to antiques dealers in particular)
  • Lithium metal batteries (potentially relevant for newer furniture that may have electronics built in)
  • Products made in Iran (notable for international furniture businesses who may have collaborations with Iranian manufacturers for certain custom goods)

UAE restrictions are relatively minor, but as always, it's better to know before you sell an item than when you have to call a disappointed customer later!

Take Advantage of Local Shipping

The best way to ensure your items are handled right is to personally select an experienced freight shipper right in Houston.

Look for the following:

  • Experience in international shipping to multiple countries
  • Good feedback from previous customers
  • Custom packing processes depending on the item
  • Knowledge of properly labeling packages to eliminate issues when processing through customs

Looking to Ship to the United Arab Emirates? Contact Pack n Send!

If you'd like to learn more about how to properly ship your furniture, antiques, or other large items to the United Arab Emirates, don't hesitate to contact us today. We're a frieght shipper in Houston with unparalled experience and expertise, and we look forward to making sure your goods make it to the UAE quickly and safely.

 

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Tags: International Shipping Houston, Shipping to the UAE, Houston Shipping, International Freight Shipping Houston, United Arab Emirates

International Tips and Tricks: Shipping From Houston To the United Kingdom

Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2018

International Tips and Tricks: Shipping From Houston To the United Kingdom

international-shipping-houston-united-kingdom

The United States and the United Kingdom share a language and (to an extent!) a culture. Because of this special relationship, private citizens and businesses alike are prone to finding themselves with the need to send items directly from the U.S. to the U.K., especially from economic hotbeds like Houston.

Despite the similarities between the two nations, shipping to the U.K. does have numerous quirks to navigate. Here are a few notable things to watch out for, some tips on securing your items, and a sampling of the types of restrictions you might run into:

Familiarize Yourself With Import Restrictions

The United Kingdom has relatively strict requirements for imports, which items sent through a Houston shipper will be subject to regardless of the recipient.

The U.S. government maintains a helpful document that covers the major restrictions, while the U.K. updates their full list here.  We recommend at least reading through the U.S. summary (it's not that long!), but here are some selected examples of restrictions relevant to sending items through your local Houston shipper:

  • Self-defense sprays, like pepper spray
  • Meat and dairy products produced outside the EU
  • Plants that aren't sent directly to the recipient for personal consumption
  • Coins or precious stones
  • Live fish

As you can see at a glance, these are relatively obscure restrictions, some stemming from the broader sphere of EU regulations. Exceptions for many situations can be applied for with the U.K. government.

Special note: If you're considering sending raw wood or bark through your Houston shipper, the U.K. and by extension the EU have major restrictions on the species and the condition of the wood, largely as a measure to prevent the spread of invasive insects or other tree blights. 

How To Prepare Your Items For International Shipping Conditions

Our close relationship with the U.K. doesn't remove the unfortunate fact that your items will have to survive the rigors of international shipping and processing through customs before they reach their destination.

Large or small items need to be packed securely and meet labeling standards for the recipient country. It is recommended to take extra steps to secure your items.

For large items, a local custom crater in Houston is the best option. They'll make sure your item is packed to arrive without issue, handle the rigors of scrutiny by customs, and pass along any warnings if they know of any restrictions you might run into.

Special note: Shipping items to Northern Ireland requires both the city name and the county name fully legible on the shipping label.

Shipping From Houston, TX to the United Kingdom

If you're looking for the right Houston shipping company to ship your good to the United Kingdom, look no further than Pack n Send!

You can contact us at Pack n Send to learn more about the particulars of getting your items packed professionally and our of guarantee a safe, legal trip to your recipient.

Tags: Shipping Company in Houston, International Shipping Houston, international shipping, Shipping to the United Kingdom