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Topic: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.  (Read 1644 times)

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Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« on: September 23, 2018, 04:47:30 PM »
Soooo....

I'm searching all over the web trying to find an international shipping company with a solid record and reputation. Does one even exist? Every time I think I find a decent one I then come across a bunch of bad reviews about that same company. There also doesn't seem to be many newer reviews on movingscam website and not much to choose from on Google reviews. And I somehow don't trust the reviews as anyone could write a fake review.

I was looking into Rainier after seeing a few people say they were happy with them and spoke to a guy there but after emailing back and forth I just felt as if he didn't feel like being bothered with me. I felt as if he didn't really read and/or understand my first email and what I was trying to convey. And then he sent me an email that basically says "it sounds like you may need more time to get organized" after I told him I wanted someone to come out to do a survey (upon HIS initial suggestion!). WTH??? No, I know exactly what I want to send but I'm trying to figure out how much I'd need to leave behind/get rid of in order to get my shipment down from two liftvans to one. And then I called his direct phone number as listed on their website. He just answered the phone "hello" in a non-businesslike manner and then it sounded like he was eating in my ear, as though I had interrupted him in his private life. In which case, he should have let the call go to voicemail. So, I'm not getting the best vibe there.

I really would like to use a company which would do all of my packing as well as the paperwork. I have a large collection of crystals, rocks, and minerals that MUST come with me as well as musical instruments and a 27" Mac. Obviously these are all very fragile items and I'm terrified about shipping because I have had a horrible experience with the company that moved me from Los Angeles to Miami. I don't really have the time or patience to do the UPakWeShip type thing. I'd rather pay someone to handle it all even if it costs more.

Feeling desperate because I am physically ready to move TODAY but I have to get my stuff shipped and I've got 28 days left on my visa to arrive in the UK. Otherwise, I'm just going to have to leave my things here and travel back AGAIN - which I am sooooo tired of doing after two years - to pack up and move it all at a much later date. And of course, that will cost me even more money from having to buy airfare again and keeping it all in storage that much longer. I am just ready to go home and stay home. It's been a long exhausting couple of years having a long distance relationship.

Is there anyone here who has had a relatively recent happy experience with shipping from the US to the UK? Anyone with any suggestions or recommendations? I am all ears.
Living with my love in Penrith!
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Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 05:16:57 PM »
I used ranier moving and they contract with a local company to pack and move your items. Make sure you have enough insurance to cover the value of anything you ship as there are no guarantees it will all make it unscathed on a cargo ship. I had no issues, even though a few boxes were a bit banged up nothing was damaged.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk



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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 05:17:30 PM »
One of my closest friends moved UK to USA last year and used Robinsons.  She said they were very good at handling everything.  I'd give them a call.  Looks like they do "moving to the UK."  :)


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 05:27:39 PM »
I used ranier moving and they contract with a local company to pack and move your items. Make sure you have enough insurance to cover the value of anything you ship as there are no guarantees it will all make it unscathed on a cargo ship. I had no issues, even though a few boxes were a bit banged up nothing was damaged.

Thanks, Margo. May I ask how big of a shipment you had and what you paid? Did you feel their communication was good? Overall, did you feel pretty confident and secure with the level of service they provided prior to actually receiving your belongings?

One of my closest friends moved UK to USA last year and used Robinsons.  She said they were very good at handling everything.  I'd give them a call.  Looks like they do "moving to the UK."  :)

I believe I saw Robinsons mentioned elsewhere as well but have yet to check them out. Will give them a look. Thanks, KF!
Living with my love in Penrith!
-------------------------------------------------
Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
APPROVED!!!


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 05:58:24 PM »
Thanks, Margo. May I ask how big of a shipment you had and what you paid? Did you feel their communication was good? Overall, did you feel pretty confident and secure with the level of service they provided prior to actually receiving your belongings?

I believe I saw Robinsons mentioned elsewhere as well but have yet to check them out. Will give them a look. Thanks, KF!
I had a 100cu ft pallet. It was about $1500 I think but I don't remember the exact number. There was an issue with the local company so it was a bit last minute but prior to that everything was smooth. All the documents etc were handled by ranier and I was happy with them. If you need to have the shipment packed in the next 28 days I'd start getting quotes ASAP. Do you have your TOR already?

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk



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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 06:26:50 PM »
I had a 100cu ft pallet. It was about $1500 I think but I don't remember the exact number. There was an issue with the local company so it was a bit last minute but prior to that everything was smooth. All the documents etc were handled by ranier and I was happy with them. If you need to have the shipment packed in the next 28 days I'd start getting quotes ASAP. Do you have your TOR already?


Where did you move from? I was quoted $2900 for 200CF (1 liftvan) and $4100 for 400CF (2 liftvans). I think it sounds pretty fair. Maybe?

I do not have my TOR yet. Does it take a long time to get that? Is it something the moving company does or that I must do separate of them. I didn't even know about it until a couple of days ago. Ugh.  ??? :\\\'(
Living with my love in Penrith!
-------------------------------------------------
Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
APPROVED!!!


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 07:09:24 PM »
Caution: minor vent ahead!

Looking at this TOR stuff... Yeah... <sigh>
Probably going to have to fly back here after I go get my BRP. I just can't see how I can accomplish all that I need to do to get moved in the next 28 days. Not to mention, I've got a cat and a dog I've got to move over from California later on as well and I see now that they need to be included on the TOR. And I have to do it all by myself because my husband has used his vacation days already this year. I feel overloaded with so much on my shoulders. Feel like crying. I'm so tired. I just want to go home and sit down in front of the log burner and sip tea. I'm over airports and planes and traveling back and forth. Haven't had a normal life in over two years.  [smiley=bigcry.gif]

Living with my love in Penrith!
-------------------------------------------------
Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
APPROVED!!!


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 07:26:19 PM »
Caution: minor vent ahead!

Looking at this TOR stuff... Yeah... <sigh>
Probably going to have to fly back here after I go get my BRP. I just can't see how I can accomplish all that I need to do to get moved in the next 28 days. Not to mention, I've got a cat and a dog I've got to move over from California later on as well and I see now that they need to be included on the TOR. And I have to do it all by myself because my husband has used his vacation days already this year. I feel overloaded with so much on my shoulders. Feel like crying. I'm so tired. I just want to go home and sit down in front of the log burner and sip tea. I'm over airports and planes and traveling back and forth. Haven't had a normal life in over two years.  [smiley=bigcry.gif]

The logistics can be overwhelming. I found it hard enough and there was no 28 day nonsense back then... or TOR for that matter!
Write lists. It'll help you to prioritise and get things in some sort of order.
 [smiley=hug.gif]
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 08:52:41 PM »
Yes, I had an excel spreadsheet with everything I needed to do, prices and times! It helps.

Apply for TOR now. It's good for 12 months and the shipper you go with will need the number.

I'll be honest, I haven't had a "normal" life since I met my husband. It was 4 years of using all vacation time to see each other, then selling house/car, then moving into a UK house safer for me, struggling with the NHS and 6 months of fighting for meds, and now massive employment struggles. It's easy for some people, but I feel like the more established you were in the US the more challenging it is to adjust here. Because of the job crap I can't afford to go home, I'll probably never see my grandma or my dad again, and that is weighing on me. But I know (thanks to this forum) I am not alone, I'm not the only one struggling, and it does get better.

Just be patient with yourself, they don't make it easy to move to the UK!

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 10:41:47 PM »
The logistics can be overwhelming. I found it hard enough and there was no 28 day nonsense back then... or TOR for that matter!
Write lists. It'll help you to prioritise and get things in some sort of order.
 [smiley=hug.gif]

So overwhelming and I just don't know how to get through it sometimes... But then again, I felt the same way with the visa application process and that worked out just fine. Good idea to write some lists. As organized as I'd like to think I am, I suppose I could run an even tighter ship for now. Thanks for the encouragement!  :)

Yes, I had an excel spreadsheet with everything I needed to do, prices and times! It helps.

Apply for TOR now. It's good for 12 months and the shipper you go with will need the number.

I'll be honest, I haven't had a "normal" life since I met my husband. It was 4 years of using all vacation time to see each other, then selling house/car, then moving into a UK house safer for me, struggling with the NHS and 6 months of fighting for meds, and now massive employment struggles. It's easy for some people, but I feel like the more established you were in the US the more challenging it is to adjust here. Because of the job crap I can't afford to go home, I'll probably never see my grandma or my dad again, and that is weighing on me. But I know (thanks to this forum) I am not alone, I'm not the only one struggling, and it does get better.

Just be patient with yourself, they don't make it easy to move to the UK!

You're right about that! Not easy at all to move there. My husband ought to know how much I love him just by the fact that I'm doing all of this!!  [smiley=laugh4.gif]

It definitely sounds like you've been through quite the whirlwind, too, Margo! I think people glamorize moving to another country. In fact, I'm sure I'm guilty of it as well. It sounds like a fairy tale when, in all actuality, the getting there can be quite a horror story. I agree with you that if one was already very established in the US it is difficult to condense and consolidate one's life for a big overseas move like this. I think if you're quite young and just getting started then it's easy. But I'm a middle-ager and this is quite a lifestyle overhaul at this point of my life.

I was previously married and had a big house in Los Angeles. After I got divorced, I had to downsize, get rid of so much of my stuff and sell my house. I already feel as though I have been stripped bare. Now, I feel like I'm having to pick and choose over my few leftover belongings and well, I just don't want to part with most of it. So, it's gonna have to come with me. I've done far too much sacrificing already in the last few years of my life.

I hope somehow soon you'll be able to find good work with good pay and that maybe somehow you'd be able to get back to the states to visit with your family. I really do empathize with you... My grandma is 89 and bedridden with dementia and so I know I am basically saying goodbye to her when I move. That's the hardest part. We must try to stay hopeful though. Better days are on the horizon.  [smiley=heart.gif]

Thank you so much for the advice and help. I'll get through it all soon enough!  ;)
Living with my love in Penrith!
-------------------------------------------------
Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
APPROVED!!!


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 01:19:10 PM »
I also used Rainier - they saved my bacon when UPakWeShip fell through at the last minute (long story, best forgotten).  I used their "slow boat" service, which was that they consolidated my crates with others and when they had enough to fill a container my stuff shipped.  They used Sullivan Movers in San Diego on the pack end, and a local mover in the UK, Britannia (a bit less stellar, but ok) to deliver, unload, and haul it up the two flights of stairs. Because I was doing a consolidated shipment I got  a discount over the full price. We were moving in high shipping season, and had basically 2 and a half lift vans (which makes 3, I guess). Everything, packing, paperwork, etc., cost me about $5,000, including full loss insurance. That was less than the UPakWeShip would have been anyway, for a self-pack and deliver to their warehouse move.  (Not sure what "high season" is, but I think it is from late Spring through Summer. It should be cheaper to ship at other times of year.) 

Like you, I brought things like a rock collection, 1/3 of my book collection (about 30 cases of books), my 500LPs, etc, that I could not part with.  I phoned Rainier on a Wednesday afternoon, and the guys from Sullivan came on Saturday and loaded us up. That was on like 22nd of April. Our stuff got here within three days of the predicted date (mid-July), which worked out fine for us. They gave us the info on the boat it would be loaded on and we were able to track it from Long Beach through the Panama Canal and up to England.

That's very odd, the behavior you're talking about. I wonder if there's more than one Rainier shipping company out there?  I worked with this guy - David Wiviott <davew@rainieros.com> and he was extremely helpful.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 01:23:06 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 01:21:16 PM »
PS  I cannot say enough good about the guys from Sullivan. They were absolutely wonderful. So you might try to see what they can do for you. Our moving guys were Allan and Matthew, and they managed to even get our Ikea wobbly furniture packed in such a way that it made it over here just fine. Fully international-move wrapped and crated. Real pros.  My contact at Sullivan   was Nicole  and she was very patient, explaining everything I needed to know. Here's her contact info:

Nicole Deffendoll
International Move Coordinator
RIM Certified
The CMS Companies
Sullivan Moving and Storage
Agent for UniGroup Worldwide
Direct: 858-244-5486
Toll Free: 800-854-2600 ext. 3005
ndeffendoll@sullivanunited.com

If you aren't completely confident with Rainier handling the move, perhaps Sullivan can handle it directly for you. (Not sure how that would work.)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 01:31:23 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 01:25:49 PM »
Dave is who I contacted as well. They only had one company in Buffalo they worked with, and they were very very slow to confirm the date and time they could pick up my shipment. :( But that was entirely on the Buffalo company, not so much Ranier, and they apologised profusely. I'm sure in bigger cities they probably have a few people they work with!

I shouldn't have commented about not being able to go home. My uncle passed away yesterday :( (We knew it could happen anytime, it was a miracle he lived as long as he did due to congenital issues - but it still stings.)


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 01:30:12 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Margo.


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Re: Does a decent shipping company exist? US to UK.
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2018, 02:39:32 PM »
I also used Rainier - they saved my bacon when UPakWeShip fell through at the last minute (long story, best forgotten).  I used their "slow boat" service, which was that they consolidated my crates with others and when they had enough to fill a container my stuff shipped.  They used Sullivan Movers in San Diego on the pack end, and a local mover in the UK, Britannia (a bit less stellar, but ok) to deliver, unload, and haul it up the two flights of stairs. Because I was doing a consolidated shipment I got  a discount over the full price. We were moving in high shipping season, and had basically 2 and a half lift vans (which makes 3, I guess). Everything, packing, paperwork, etc., cost me about $5,000, including full loss insurance. That was less than the UPakWeShip would have been anyway, for a self-pack and deliver to their warehouse move.  (Not sure what "high season" is, but I think it is from late Spring through Summer. It should be cheaper to ship at other times of year.) 

Like you, I brought things like a rock collection, 1/3 of my book collection (about 30 cases of books), my 500LPs, etc, that I could not part with.  I phoned Rainier on a Wednesday afternoon, and the guys from Sullivan came on Saturday and loaded us up. That was on like 22nd of April. Our stuff got here within three days of the predicted date (mid-July), which worked out fine for us. They gave us the info on the boat it would be loaded on and we were able to track it from Long Beach through the Panama Canal and up to England.

That's very odd, the behavior you're talking about. I wonder if there's more than one Rainier shipping company out there?  I worked with this guy - David Wiviott <davew@rainieros.com> and he was extremely helpful.

Dave is who I'm communicating with... Hmm... Maybe I'm just being oversensitive? This is a stressful time. I'll reach out again today and see what happens. And in the meantime, I'll reach out to a couple of others. Seeing so many have used Rainier and been happy makes me think I just ought to go with them. Thanks for sharing your experience with me.  :)

Living with my love in Penrith!
-------------------------------------------------
Married: 17 May 2018
App type: Priority spouse/settlement visa
Online app submitted: 6 Aug 2018
Biometrics & Docs sent: 9 Aug 2018
UPS delivery to Sheffield: 13 Aug 2018
Email - app received/being prepped by ECO: 15 Aug 2018
Decision made email: 14 Sep 2018
Documents returned: 17 Sep 2018
APPROVED!!!


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