Author Topic: Shipping: Rainer Overseas (personal experience)  (Read 328 times)

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Offline AweSam

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Shipping: Rainer Overseas (personal experience)
« on: February 06, 2018, 10:28:09 PM »
I know when I was looking for shipping companies, I liked to see reviews or suggestions on here so thought I'd offer one on my experience.

We used Rainier Overseas to ship a lift van (~200cubic feet) of personal belongings from Los Angeles to London. Overall it was a good experience. I would recommend them. Here's more detail:

What we were bringing: no furniture, but our possessions (dishware, clothing, collectibles, etc.), an iMac, a bunch of camera and filmmaking gear, and some small bits and bobs. Because of the filmmaking gear and iMac, it was a pricey load to insure but manageable.

First step: getting a quote. We had a free evaluation by a very friendly man who told us we'd get away with one lift van for about $2300.

Scheduling pickup: we scheduled pickup for December 8th, 2017. Three men came and wrapped up everything we hadn't packed ourselves, which was basically dishes, a mirror, our folding bikes, and a couple of frames. Took them about 2 hours to get everything packed up.

Travel time: this took a while. It was Christmas time so it took a while. We were initially expecting the shipment to arrive in port in the UK on January 13th, 2018 but the storm in the northeast US delayed the boat by a week. It arrived here on the 20th. It took one full business week to be cleared at UK customs then another week in the warehouse of the UK shipping arm for secondary customs. Our stuff was not opened at either customs checkpoint.

Arrival/Pre-Delivery: On February 2nd (Friday) I was emailed to say the shipment had been moved to the North London distribution center and I'd get a call on Monday to schedule delivery. They called me around 1pm on Monday with ability to deliver the following morning at 9:30AM.

Delivery: 9:30AM they showed up on the dot. Took about 35 minutes to unload and unwrap everything. One box was mildly damaged, but nothing serious. A trash can my husband loved (he's weird) was the only thing that we'll claim on the insurance on.

Good communication. We had David Wiviott as our agent in the US and he was great about immediately responding to emails/calls.
Movers were super friendly and professionally on both sides of the pond.
Scheduling pickup and delivery was seamless.
Things were in good shape.
Costs were reasonable.

Wish we had been given better tracking info for the boat.

I know this isn't the most polished review, but hope it helps someone out if they're curious about Rainier!

Met: August 2009 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Engaged: November 2012
~US Immigration Process~
Married: October 25th, 2013 (Los Angeles, USA)

Application Submitted Online: October 18th, 2017
Biometrics + Docs Sent: October 23rd, 2017
Documents delivered per UPS: October 25th, 2017
Received in Sheffield email: October 25th, 2017
Decision email: November 20th, 2017 (18 BD)
Passport received: November 22nd, 2017 (APPROVED)
Travel to UK: December 28th, 2017

Offline Ciel81

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Re: Shipping: Rainer Overseas (personal experience)
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 08:35:12 AM »
Very helpful thanks.  Looking to have some of my things shipped over after 10 years of living here! 

Offline Nan D.

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Re: Shipping: Rainer Overseas (personal experience)
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 02:03:05 PM »
We also used Rainer, with David as our moving guru. It was an emergency switch from the provider we planned to use, and was put together for us in three days. (AKA, called them on a Wednesday, they packed us up that Saturday).  The contractor they used on the California end, Sullivan, was excellent. We took the "slow, cheap boat" option.  Our stuff was packed on the 22nd of April and it arrived here in the UK and was delivered in early July, as expected. David gave us the name of the boat and a link to a tracking site on the web and we watched its progress through the Panama Canal, etc. (Our stuff has traveled more than we have!)

The movers on this end were not as careful, and we noted that although we had "heavy" or "stack on top" stickers plastered all over the boxes of books and some of the more delicate stuff they were disregarded - we saw boxes of books stacked on top of the fragile, etc.  We had very minimal breakage, and that was probably more caused by us not wrapping things as carefully as we should have. (We self-packed a few of the boxes.)

David was available to answer questions, was very soothing (we were in panic mode) and made some very useful suggestions to help us along. We had three lift vans and paid just about $5K from start to finish getting our stuff from SoCal to Scotland. The neat thing about using the consolidator service is they go by square footage, not by weight, and we had a LOT of books and other heavy items.  Also, it would have been cheaper earlier in the year, or in late fall, but we were kind of locked in to when we needed to go. I definitely recommend them as a freight consolidator.  You do have to remember that they just arrange everything, and have independent contractors who do the actual hefting, so it might be conceivably be possible to get a contractor on one end or the other who was not up to par. But we were happy with the service we got.