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  • Barging a shipping container

    Hi!
    Does anyone on here have experience barging shipping containers (probably one or two 20 footers) from a port town like San Diego, Long Beach, or Los Angeles to Anchorage? Are there rules or restrictions on what you can put inside them (besides illegal stuff obviously)...like my truck, household stuff, and horse hay? Any advice from someone who has done it before would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

  • #2
    It would probably be cheaper to start the barge trip at Seattle. Get in touch with Northland Services,or Totem Ocean Trailer Express.

    I don't know if shipping hay is all that good of an idea. Its a pretty common crop up here. If you wanted alfalfa you would need to bring it with you.

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    • #3
      I use Northland Services from Seattle to Anchorage. In my experience it's far cheaper to truck stuff to Seattle, then barge it up here. It is also my experience that you can usually drive to Alaska cheaper with your personal goods than you can ship stuff. Now, if someone else is footing the bill it might be worth shipping. Northland Services number is 1-800-426-3113 The other container company I have dealt with is Alaska Marine Lines, but I don't have their number handy right now.
      Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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      • #4
        container stuff

        They ship alfalfa hay to Alaska all the time in containers. Best to talk to the shippers about restrictions.
        Kevin
        Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? roud: AkKevin The one and only

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        • #5
          when i shipped my reloading gear and primers and powders and loaded ammo i shipped it in a 40 ft long container unit and it was fine i told them about everything in the container and they put the signs on it and we double sealed the locks unit and they loaded it on the barge without a problem ..

          just tell them up front about what in the container in the first place.

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          • #6
            Here's a great shipping container guy

            Originally posted by AKcowgirl81 View Post
            Hi!
            Does anyone on here have experience barging shipping containers (probably one or two 20 footers) from a port town like San Diego, Long Beach, or Los Angeles to Anchorage? Are there rules or restrictions on what you can put inside them (besides illegal stuff obviously)...like my truck, household stuff, and horse hay? Any advice from someone who has done it before would be greatly appreciated.
            Thanks
            Yes.

            Very smart to ship from a port city, any. If inland (L48) you're best off renting a Uhaul and driving it to the West coast port town and loading your container yourself. Put your own lock on it, and chances are your own lock will still be on it (along with the seal the shipping company puts on it) when you see your container next, in Anchorage. Though its possible, not probable, that customs opened it.

            Time it right, if they store your container for more than X days without you picking it up, they'll charge you more. Takes about 4-6 weeks to ship it.

            Here is a solid guy in the biz: http://www.akcontainer.com/ This guy grew up in the shipping biz and now owns the family biz. Very honest and does what he says he'll do, and when. He can also have your container in Anchorage delivered to any street address. No extra last minute "fees" (a.k.a. highway robbery, since you're likely already commited).

            So far as what not to ship, he'll give you a list. Zero liquids, period, and that means zero. The containers endure extreme temperatures enroute. There are other rules. He has them.

            You haven't lived until you've seen the total mess of the inside of an ink jet printer because its dumb owner didn't remove the ink cartridge before shipping it to Anchorage in a steel container. :whistle: Yes, ink in an inkjet cartridge is a liquid.

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            • #7
              We have gone through several shipping companies. The one we use now, and get the best service ever, is Alaskan Express Services. their terminal is in Federal Way, WA. Toll free 1-866-252-7529

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the information, company names and numbers I appreciate it!

                AK Ray, the original plan WAS to drive everything up since it is considerably cheaper, but my hubby has leukemia and a road trip like that would wipe him out to say the least....I guess he could fly up before me but then I don't really want to do that drive alone, pulling some type of trailer through Canada. (I have driven WY to AK and then AK to CA, but not alone and not pulling a trailer or driving a moving van). I will look into starting the barge in Washington, but that would mean getting the container from San Diego to Washington so I will have to research how to make that happen (yay for internet research!).

                AK Kevin, I have been wanting to get into importing hay to AK for a lonnnnngg time (since the last time I lived up there and had to pay the outrageous hay prices). I am currently just a few hours away from the Imperial Valley where they grow OUTSTANDING alfalfa (I feed mainly Bermuda, but throw in an 1/8th of a flake of alfalfa at dinner for a treat), so that is why my first thought was to fill the remainder of the space in the container with alfalfa that way I could at least re sale it....or just fill it with Bermuda and use it myself. Although my dad wants/needs more solar pannels up there in Chickaloon too so there are many possibilities with what to fill the extra space with

                FamilyMan, thanks for the tips! We are actually just about an hour and 45 min. from Los Angeles and a little more to Long Beach so that should help out being so close to a port. I am worried now though if the extream pressure causes things to explode...........my husband is a graphic artist and has lots of computer and printing stuff.....how bad is this pressure you are talking about? Are computers safe to be shipped like that? EEekkk. Don't want his equipment exploding or imploding. I will get in touch with your shipping guy for sure! I guess if there is a zero liquid policy then putting my little mazda truck in the container is out of the question (not sure if it ever was in the question since I can't imagine how you would go about securing it inside to keep it from jostling around).

                Thanks again for the info and tips.........and don't worry folks, although we are moving from California we are not crazy California people invading Alaska I grew up in Alaska (hubby is from MT) and when I left AK to work on a horse ranch in MT when I was 17 I thought I was only leaving Alaska long enough to work on a few ranches, go to college and then make my way back up to AK a few years later. Somehow a few years for college and working etc. turned into 12 years, so after 12 years it is FINAAAALLLY time to come HOME!

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                • #9
                  computers and mazdas

                  Originally posted by AKcowgirl81 View Post
                  FamilyMan, thanks for the tips! We are actually just about an hour and 45 min. from Los Angeles and a little more to Long Beach so that should help out being so close to a port. I am worried now though if the extream pressure causes things to explode...........my husband is a graphic artist and has lots of computer and printing stuff.....how bad is this pressure you are talking about? Are computers safe to be shipped like that? EEekkk. Don't want his equipment exploding or imploding. I will get in touch with your shipping guy for sure! I guess if there is a zero liquid policy then putting my little mazda truck in the container is out of the question (not sure if it ever was in the question since I can't imagine how you would go about securing it inside to keep it from jostling around).
                  Best way to get a vehicle here is to sell it there and buy another one here. Seriously though. Check out Anchorage Craigslist, that's where I make all my major purchases here.

                  Second best way to get a vehicle here is the Alaska Marine Highway: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.shtml

                  Computers, sure, they ship in a container just fine. Pack'm well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FamilyMan View Post
                    Zero liquids, period, and that means zero. The containers endure extreme temperatures enroute. There are other rules. He has them.

                    You haven't lived until you've seen the total mess of the inside of an ink jet printer because its dumb owner didn't remove the ink cartridge before shipping it to Anchorage in a steel container. :whistle: Yes, ink in an inkjet cartridge is a liquid.
                    FamilyMan,
                    I just realized you said extreme TEMPERATURES....not extreme pressure. Apparently I can't read and thought you said pressure. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the containers went through extreme pressure......but now that I can actually read it makes more sense they go through extreme temperature changes. haahaaa. Silly me.
                    Also, yeah I am realizing more and more that I will probably have to sell my little truck I have had forever It is at the point where the resale value is so low I wanted to be able to drive it till it dies, but I am not about to spend more than its worth to get it up there. Geeee moving was so much easier when everything I owned fit in the back of the little truck and I could just go from ranch to ranch and live in their bunkhouses!
                    p.s. I am still trying to figure out how to properly reply to these posts...how to use the "use quote" feature etc. sorry if I am posting all wrong

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AKcowgirl81 View Post
                      p.s. I am still trying to figure out how to properly reply to these posts...how to use the "use quote" feature etc. sorry if I am posting all wrong
                      You're doin' great.... don't worry about a thing. :topjob:

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                      • #12
                        I ran into something rather counterintuitive when I shipped my truck up in June. I had a truck and all of my girlfriends household stuff. (had to bring it so she couldn't change her mind

                        Anyhoo, I asked if I paid to ship an entire container, if I could simply put my truck in the same container, and pack stuff around it. They said no way. (and didn't really give a reason.) So, all the household stuff came on pallets (shipped by the pound....ouch) and the truck was all by itself in a separate container.

                        But, I have a topper on a fullsize truck, so we got about 1500 pounds of stuff in there. (They let you load the vehicle to the max road weight.).

                        This was with Northland Services out of Seattle,(or maybe tacoma), they were pretty decent to work with, but definitely not cheap.

                        Good luck.

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                        • #13
                          Shipping fees are determined by the tariffs on goods inside the container. Household goods is one of the most expensive categories. You may be successful arranging barge transport yourself but may be better off using a freight broker. Alaska Marine Lines is who I'd call to start the process and get an idea of what things cost. If you ship on a barge (as opposed to steamship) you should make sure the container seals well and that your stuff is secured well. The barges don't move through the storms as smoothly as the big steamships, and they're on the water longer, too.

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                          • #14
                            I know this is a long dead thread, but if by chance the original poster is still watching it - how did things work out?

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                            • #15
                              Czechsix, We ended up driving up, only brought what fit into the back of the truck and a 6'x6' space in the horse trailer. Didn't ship anything

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