USEFUL TIPS

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GETTING IT TO US

    • We do not post the address on this website because we do not accept shipments from unregistered shippers. Please retain the address sent to you for future reference.
    • Getting your packages to us is your responsibility. Always track your packages until you receive an email from our warehouse acknowledging that we are in possession of it. You are the only one that knows what packages you sent so make sure you get an email for each package you want forwarded to Costa Rica. If you have a delivery confirmation from your vendor or the carrier but have not received our email (please allow them one to two business days to get it to you) you can contact us with the tracking number, the date/time delivered and the contents. If it is in our warehouse we will locate it and independently confirm its receipt.
    • Don't wait until the last minute. Be aware that packages arriving at the last minute may not be received into inventory in time to make the load, particularly if there is any problem with the addressing.
    • Make sure you use the exact name we have registered for you, exactly as presented in our introductory email. If you wish to use a different name or a different email just let us know.
    • If you have pallets or large amounts of cargo to be shipped to Florida we can refer you to a freight broker that we highly recommend. Alternatively, if you prefer we can make all of those arrangements for you.

PACKING

    • Cardboard boxes are designed to 'contain' your goods and not to bear weight. There is no piece of advice I can offer that is more important. What's more, in our tropical environment, they will lose whatever weight bearing structural capacity they might have had when you packed them. This is important; it is the contents that will bear ALL weight stacked on top -- and keep in mind, your boxes will go into a container stacked to the ceiling, front to back with no guarantees as to where it will be in the stack (except that heavy boxes will go on the bottom). Sticks of wood cut to stand in the corners and plywood or extra layers of cardboard fitted in the top will go a long ways in distributing weight and protecting contents. A second box that fits inside the first is helpful but may not add as much structural or weight bearing capacity as you might hope.
    • Please keep in mind that while a cardboard box twice as big may hold double the volume it does NOT hold double the weight. In fact it may actually hold less weight.
    • Remember that the maximum outside dimensions will be used in the pricing calculations. If the box balloons outward that becomes the billed dimension.
    • Bubble wrap is a shock absorber only. It does not resist pressure nor deflect blows.
    • Wood crates are ideal but can be expensive.
    • Large crates can be built onto a pallet, incorporating the pallet as the bottom. If this is your intention make sure your plywood sides do not cover the forklift/pallet jack entrances in the pallet. It is structurally best if the sides actually set on top of the pallet. If you are building a crate please remember that pallets/crates are stacked Your crate should be structurally capable of carrying several hundred pounds on top.
    • It is also best for clearing cargo if crates are designed to be opened from the side.
    • If you build your own crate without a pallet then skids should allow 4 inches of clearance and be spread far enough apart for pallet jacks and forklifts. You can measure pallets for more specific dimensions
    • A less expensive alternative to a wood crate is a gaylord. A gaylord is a pallet sized, 3/4 inch thick corrugated box used by importers of everything from clothes to auto parts and can often be purchase used on Craigslist. They are generally stackable but most do not have tops. Plywood can be cut to outside dimensions of the gaylord and long screws run down into the corrugation holes. You do not need to secure it more than that. If you do not need the full height you can cut them off easily with a saw or score and fold over to make flaps that can be taped or shrink wrapped down, or screwed to a wood top. Even if you use a gaylord your cargo should still be packed into boxes before placing inside the gaylord. This aids the broker in clearing your cargo through Aduanas.
    • D-Containers are another pallet sized alternative and can be purchased new including pallet. They are single or double strength cardboard walls stood up in a stapled cardboard tray and fitted with an inverted matching tray as the lid, and they usually include the pallet. They do not have the weight bearing capacity or structural integrity of a gaylord but are very effective at containing your personal effects and fully utilizing shipping volume. If this is your choice I recommend that 2x2s or 2x4s be secured into the corners, and maybe stood up in the middle, for extra vertical load bearing capacity. Plywood fitted into the top and supported by your new wood corners will also help to distribute loads. Liberal use of shrinkwrap is also recommended. Again, if it bows out on the sides that will become your billed dimension.
    • Do not make boxes and crates intentionally difficult to open by inspectors. It will not deter them, only frustrate -- and a frustrated customs agent is not your friend. To this end, properly constructed crates only need a very few screws to adequately secure the lid or the side opening in place.
    • Be cognizant of weight. Very heavy boxes will always go on the bottom. If your very heavy contents cannot bear to be at the bottom of 8 feet of cargo then your packaging must be designed to bear that weight instead.
    • Freight companies use a complex formula that considers weight and volume. If you are shipping pallets across country you should use a reputable freight company or broker that can help guide you.
    • Fully Assembled Furniture can be particularly voluminous. Please remember, the maximum outside dimensions will be considered in the final pricing. "Flat packed" furniture such as Ikea or disassembled furniture is frequently more cost effective.
    • Items that are strapped or shrink-wrapped to a pallet will include the pallet in the billed dimensions. For example; a 200 lb BBQ box that measures 34x38x24 tall, if fastened to a pallet, will use 40x48x30 tall in the pricing.