by Stephen Aron
I continue to read a lot of misinformation in the postings and on the blogs about moving household goods to Ecuador.
This article is specific to shipping from the U.S., but it is relevant for shipments from most countries. No companies will handle the entire move from your country of origin to delivery in Ecuador. Even if you contract the complete service with one company in your country of origin or in Ecuador, you need to know the other companies, which will serve as subcontractors, involved in your move. You need to make sure that they are all licensed and qualified to handle your shipment.
The “vessel operator” is the company that will supply the container that carries your household goods. Vessel operators don’t deal with the public, so you will communicate with them through an “ocean transport intermediary.” If you chose to purchase your own container, the vessel operator will charge a premium to carry a “shipper-owned container.” If you are planning a smaller shipment that doesn’t fill your own exclusive container, a “consolidator” will arrange several shipments in one container and make them available in Guayaquil through a “deconsolidator.”
You need to know from which port of exit your container will leave and the transit time between there and Guayaquil. If the sailing is not direct, ask which ports/countries your container will transit. Also ask to see the proposed shipping schedule.
Each vessel operator has its own representatives in Guayaquil who set the local rules and charges, such as the “container deposit guarantee.”
Know in advance how much “free time” they allow for you to return the empty container to them after their vessel discharges your container in Guayaquil, and how much you’ll owe if you exceed the allowed free time. Prepay the local charges assessed by the agent in Guayaquil in your country of origin, or have these charges spelled out for you, in detail, in writing, especially when you are dealing with a deconsolidator.
The ocean transport intermediary (OTI) is also known as a “freight forwarder” or “non-vessel-operating common carrier” (NVOCC). These are licensed by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The license is issued after a thorough check of background, trade references, proof of experience, and financial responsibility, as well as the posting of a bond. The FMC gives advice and information on household goods, international moves, and licensing on the website: http://www.fmc.gov/ under the headings “Public,” “OTIs,” and “VOCCs.” This body investigates complaints by the public. If a shipment is not handled correctly and to your satisfaction, you should contact the Federal Maritime Commission.
The OTI is responsible for booking space with the vessel operator and arranging to position the container at your residence or the warehouse storing your possessions. They file the export paperwork on behalf of you (the shipper) and make sure that you (the consignee) have the required documents to clear the shipment at destination.
The OTI does not arrange packing or loading, but can generally help you with recommendations or refer you to moving companies with which they work. You are expected to supply all the information required for the shipment and all the export paperwork, but a good OTI will work with you to ensure it’s all correct.
For instance, the weight of your effects is very important; your effects will be weighed in Ecuador prior to being released in Guayaquil and any discrepancy will delay your shipment.
Most people can only guess at the weight of their belongings, but this information is available for free, online at the ocean terminal where every export container is weighed. Since the OTI can get this weight for your documents without a charge, there is no need to pay the movers or the trucker to scale the load.
An “international moving company” in the origin country is not a good option for Ecuador. Most know how to pack for international transportation, but generally don’t know the import regulations and lack the knowledge to provide the detailed packing list required for Ecuador. Even if you can get a mover to keep a list as they pack, the time it takes makes it cost-prohibitive. .........read more: http://cuenca-news.gringotree.com/shipping-101/#more-618
--"No one knows more about shipping containers to Ecuador than Stephen Aron. He has been in the shipping business for more than four decades, from the very beginning of the containerization industry. With his extensive knowledge of vessel operations and inland logistics worldwide, he can answer any questions you might have about moving your household goods to Ecuador.
Stephen has moved his own household goods internationally on many occasions, including seven transatlantic crossings, so he can identify and empathize with the concerns of anyone contemplating their move to Ecuador, especially for people who have never moved overseas. Based in Florida, Stephen has moved hundreds of containers to Ecuador from just about every US state, and several Canadian provinces, as well as Europe and Asia."--