Home, NEW STUFF & UPDATES



  NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE PARTICIPANTS  


If you are not yet a participant please read the following pages carefully.  They contain information you will need about WHAT WE DO, WHAT WE CAN'T DO and HOW IT WORKS.  
If this community service meets your needs please go to the GET STARTED page, 
click on the "Step 1 of 1" button and complete the short contact form.   We will then call you to personally ensure all of your questions are answered and to explain the process.  
Alternatively, feel free to call or write with your questions. Our contact info is in the column to the left.

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      IMPORTANT UPDATES BELOW      

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UPDATED May 15, 2017


DON'T WAIT.  
The JULY closing date is  
JULY 28, 2017
Arriving in Uvita mid to late August

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SEE THE LATEST  >> SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS << before you ship.


It is always best to to BE EARLY. 
  • We typically receive 35% to 60% of our cargo in the last 5 days.  This is after we have already made our ocean freight bookings.  As you can imagine this makes planning difficult.  At 35% we will have room left over.  If however, like March, 80% shows up in the last 9 days then some of that cargo will have to wait for the next container.  
  • On the flip side, dates can change.  Since our prices are fixed, we must reach a certain fill level (around 93%) in order to pay for the load.  If the container does not look like it will be sufficiently full then the cutoff must be adjusted.  Again, not knowing how much will show up at the last minute we can only make our best guess.  The earlier your packages are in our possession the better we can plan.
  • Packages arriving the last two days risk being held up in warehouse processing and missing the container.
Remember your RECEIPTS and PACKING LISTS
  1. Electronic copies of RECEIPTS are required for anything purchased new.  This always applies to anything over $100 but you must be prepared to provide any receipt on request.
  2. Electronic copies of PACKING LISTS, with the declared values, are required for repacked and personally packed boxes.  See #1 if your repack includes anything new.
  3. If we do not receive the required documentation from you we cannot ship your package.
  4. ALL DOCUMENTATION MUST BE ELECTRONIC.  Paper copies in/on the packages are of little use to us as we must process all of our paperwork electronically without the benefit of having the packages in our hands, both in the US and in CR. PDF via email is the preferred format.


---------------------------------------------------------------UPDATED July 9, 2017


The May/June cargo has arrived in Uvita.

If you have not yet picked up your packages

please contact us for an appointment.

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UPDATED Nov 23, 2016

 This is SOOOOO important 

PACKING LISTS NOW REQUIRED! 

ALL PACKAGES OF PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS NOW MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A DETAILED INVENTORY WITH INDIVIDUAL DECLARED  VALUES.  IF YOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES NEW ITEMS THEN VENDOR INVOICES SHOULD BE INCLUDED WITH THE PACKING LIST.  WHEN YOU ARE PACKING UP YOUR HOUSE IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A GOOD IDEA TO KEEP A DETAILED RECORD OF WHAT WENT IN EACH BOX, 

AND NOW  IT IS REQUIRED  BY CUSTOMS. 

Customs requires a packing list, by box of all contents with declared value or invoice for each item.  An item can be a set or group of items like "silverware" or pots", or individual items like "helmet" or "coffee maker".  If the item is used you can declare garage sale prices -- the price you could buy or sell a like item in the same condition for at a garage sale.  If the item is new you should include the invoice.  Pictures of your goods are a good idea for YOUR records.  We may occasionally request a picture to help answer your questions relative to packaging, liabilities, legalities, etc but they otherwise serve no useful purpose for us.  Please do not send pictures unless we have requested them.

An electronic copy of the packing list should be sent to us in PDF or MS Office format.  If you simply cannot work with those formats let us know.  A paper copy can be included in the box if you wish

IMPORTANT NOTE:  INSURANCE ONLY COVERS PROPERLY DECLARED ITEMS!


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We’re EXPANDING

Beginning immediately we will be growing our

primary service area to include our friends and neighbors in

QUEPOS & MANUEL ANTONIO


After 3+ years of forwarding many, many thousands of packages for our local friends and neighbors here along the Ballena coast, we will now officially begin sharing

our little secret with our coastal neighbors to the north.  


While we continue to support customers throughout Costa Rica this is the first stage of a general expansion of the Primary Support Area within Zona Sur.  

If you would like to see your community included please call or write.



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UPDATED Feb 11, 2016

URGENT

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
THE FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE RESTRICTED ITEMS LIST
PRESENTED ON THE 'WHAT WE CAN'T DO' PAGE. 

NO FOOD, in all forms. If it is edible consider it food.
NO ANIMAL FOOD / TREATS
NO SUPPLEMENTS & NO ESSENTIAL OILS
NO MAKEUP & NO PERFUMES
NO MEDICINES & NO OINTMENTS
NO SOAPS OR CLEANERS OF ANY TYPE

NO LOTIONS & NO SUN SCREEN

NO INSECT REPELLENTS  & NO INSECTICIDES

NO SEEDS & NO FERTILIZERS
NO E-LIQUID for E-cigarettes

  NO TIRES

NO LIQUIDS OVER 4 fl oz

PLEASE SEE MORE RESTRICTIONS ON THE "WHAT WE DO" PAGE.


In general, we are now restricted from importing FOODS, PHARMACEUTICALS, CHEMICALS, or HEALTH & BEAUTY AIDS.  If it falls into one of these broad categories and it is a 'consumable', meaning YOU PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH or otherwise USE IT UP, do not ship it.  

If you are not sure about something then please ask.  If the warehouse finds ANY restricted item FROM THIS OR THE FOLLOWING PAGE, including liquids in excess of 4 fl oz, then the entire package is set aside pending instructions from you.  Returns, forwarding and repacking are subject to standard warehouse processing rates of $50/hr (min $25 chg).


I would like to offer some perspective.  In defense of CR, importation of most of these products is controlled by virtually every country in the world, in one form or another.  If you think this is difficult then try importing controlled items into the U.S. or Canada without a product specific license.  Also, we all know that used up tires are an environmental problem throughout the world.  CR is no different and importing tires requires an approved environmental plan for dealing with the depleted carcasses.  

We are working to acquire permits to import some of these items but it can be expensive and take a very long time.  Please watch your email and this website for updates and changes.  

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THE BARGAIN PACK

Anything 1/2 cubic foot or under will be billed at a flat rate of $12.50*

AT POPULAR REQUEST THIS PROMOTION IS EXTENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE


HOW BIG IS 1/2 CUBIC FOOT?  A half cubic foot is actually quite a lot of volume -- think large men's shoe box and anything that will fit into it -- car or appliance parts, electronics or even shoes :-).  Need a new bathing suit?  Want some new sunglasses? Did you leave your favorite sweater in Kansas (probably where it belongs) or maybe a big stack of mail at Mom's?  Now you can get it from Ft. Lauderdale to Uvita for just $12.50.
  • a large toaster
  • three 3-liter soda bottles side by side
  • my big head
  • USPS large Flat Rate box
Calculate It Yourself, multiply W" x L" x H" and divide by 1728.   That will give you cubic feet.  If it is .5 cf or less then a package of that size costs just $12.50 from our warehouse in Ft Lauderdale to our warehouse in Uvita.

Caution: just because you ordered something small doesn't mean that e.g. Amazon will pack it that way.  
The standard rates will apply to items exceeding .5cf.

Price includes volume and warehouse charges but does not include any insurance.

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April 1, 2016

an APRIL FOOL'S SURPRISE, no joke

Beginning with the March container APPLIANCES JUST BECAME CHEAPER TO SHIP:

  • If your item requires a pallet for loading and unloading you will be billed a flat $75 pallet surcharge (instead of pallet dimensions to the top of your package :-)
You will be billed only for the shipping of your item plus the surcharge.  It's that simple.  The $75 covers both the billable volume consumed by a pallet plus and cost for the pallet itself.  This will apply to most appliances and any other item that is either too heavy or too unwieldy to be loaded or unloaded by hand.  In the past we were billed for all of the volume consumed by the pallet dimensions, all the way to the top of the cargo. This resulted in hundreds of dollars in unnecessary extra charges to participants.  For clarity; If your merchandise or belongings arrive already strapped to, or shrink-wrapped to a pallet then the surcharge does not apply.  In such cases you will continue to be billed per the maximum measured outside dimensions, including the pallet.  In the end this change will save participants a lot of money and a lot of grief.
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Mar 9, 2016

COSTA RICA CUSTOMS UPDATE

Costa Rica has this week instituted new procedures for processing consolidated containers.  They are examining incoming loads much more closely as they look for unlicensed operators.  We operate under the umbrella of a licensed consolidator/broker but unfortunately the dragnet has created a horrible backlog at the port, at the warehouses and in customs itself which has resulted in weeks being added to our transit time.  We will look for every opportunity to avoid unnecessary delays but, being early in the new process as we are, patience is our only option as we learn the new ropes.


Thank you for your understanding,  Jerry

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December 2015

THANK YOU ALL FOR A GREAT YEAR

2015 was a big year for us.  We saw our volumes grow geometrically, we contracted for our own warehouse in FL, we greatly simplified the whole process, we introduced the $10 pkg, we’ve secured a permanent location in Uvita to unload and distribute packages, and we now offer delivery as well as short and long term storage.   Not bad for something from such simple beginnings -- lazily sharing a pallet or two with a couple friends.   I must admit, the full-on growth and the incumbent changes have been stressful, but not unwelcome, and overall it has been an emotionally rewarding year.  Thank you.


Fortunately the 2015 growth in volume kept pace with the the growth in operating and capital expenses and so we have been able to hold the line on pricing.  We believe the foundation has now been laid to actually be profitable in 2016, a year that will see the start of our 4th year of operation.  There’s gold in them there hills, just over the horizon :-)


And so, we push forward with aggressive new business plans.  


For starters, beginning this month we are loading our own containers.  Our volume has reached a point where combining our loads with other shippers has become overly troublesome.  Instead we will load dedicated containers in Florida and unload them ourselves in Uvita.  The upshot of this is that your cargo will be handled much less (2 times vs 8) AND we lose all of that handling time.  On the flip side we lose some predictability.  Without someone to share our containers we alone will be responsible for securing enough cargo to pay for the load.  Ergo, closing dates may be a bit more wishy washy and pickup dates will suffer even shorter notice.  For the present we continue to plan on one container per month, hopefully growing to one every 3 to 4 weeks very soon.


Also, starting this month, we are now a registered business in CR and begin paying taxes to our host country.  The upside of this is that we are now able to import commercial goods and other items for resale.  This is an exciting leap forward for us.  Please contact me if you are interested in this service.


Finally, with the business ‘official’ and our cedulas renewed we can now offer a CR bank payment option.  We hope to have this fully implemented in a matter of days so watch for the option with the Jan invoice.


If, particularly in the last couple months, you have felt that you and your questions have not received our full attention, let me please apologize.  I could bore you with all the tribulations but that wouldn’t make any difference.  What will make a difference is demonstrating that we in fact do care about you and your shipping needs -- and that IS and always has been our priority.  Test us, go ahead -- I double dare ya’.  


So, continue to send us your packages -- we're not going anywhere AND

as you can see, it is only getting better and better and better.....


Thank you for everything and a happy 2016,

jerry and Susanne


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