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shanghai container load - shopping tourisim
Old 11-29-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
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shanghai container load - shopping tourisim

I am in the planning stages for a new home build. Since I am acting as general contractor I am very intimate with material costs. I understand the risks of Chinese toxic drywall, but I am very interested in the sources listed on alibaba.com for my “minimalist contemporary” build.

Recent news has medical tourism… but what I envision is a 2 week shopping trip to find the stainless steel/glass/structural steel designer items which are often in excess of 500% markup when sourced from USA resellers.

Has anyone heard of doing this? The travel and wire transfers don’t scare me as much as the logistics/customs. It would be great to get a container set aside from a freight consolidator.. and fill it with handpicked inventory.

Thought’s? Travel/Container partners?
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Buy the containers and build from there.

container house - Google Images
Building a Container House


or just do the google thing Google
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Sorry... plan was to fill a continer with goodies , not to build a container based house. (ok by me but my sig other has different opinion)
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Fascinating idea. I will try to remember where I saw an article about a couple who did what you suggest for a to-the-studs house remodel.

As I recall, they went to Asia for high-end lighting and plumbing fixtures, flooring, cabinetry, stone counters and some other goods. I believe they had a head start in terms of knowledge, because one or both had experience with the import business.

The gist of the story was that they got a got a very sophisticated look for a material cost that fell somewhere between the Lowes / Home Depot builder-grade stuff and the middle range of what might be found at a "designer" showroom.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:57 PM   #5
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Only thing I read about it was people moving from the US to NZ - this was several years ago and the cost was $4-5k as i recall. Seems like there were two main shippers that would do a container to NZ. The big bugaboo was shipping time and time in customs/quarantine in NZ. Want to say it was something like 4-6 months. Also the containers got gassed with something as NZ is very sensitive about importing any bugs or extra wildlife. How the US is about containers coming in I don't know. Since you are probably looking for China to AZ that probably isn't much help.

Visiting that group again i find these links:www.accordx.com (maritime shippers)
Yahoo group freightshippers(no idea, a group about martime container shippers to Asia?)
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
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Freight forwarder?:

Freight forwarder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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Matson Navigation has a service from Shanghai - will arrange deliver just about anywhere including probably your driveway. Since you're a small/one-time shipper they may refer you to a third party that they work with there or if they don't want your business they can direct you to someone that does. In any case, it's a starting point. They may be able to give you informative reliable answers to your questions.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:55 AM   #8
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A couple thoughts based on experiences of friends and relatives:

- when you are over there, you will need to figure out how to keep what you buy secure. Ports in most places have big issues with theft, and Shanghai is likely no exception.

- find a service provider/forwarder who can help you deal with customs. This can be a major problem if you are not familiar with the rules of the game (including the unwritten ones).

If nothing else, this will be an interesting exercise. As for the cost of shipping, there are dozens or hundreds of containerships parked because nobody needs them, so shipping costs should be reasonable, assuming you do not get ripped off as a small fry.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
....

- find a service provider/forwarder who can help you deal with customs. This can be a major problem if you are not familiar with the rules of the game (including the unwritten ones)....
I worked for an export division back in the '70s that shipped perishables to Hong Kong and Teipei mainly, of course the Mainland is more recent. We had a freight forwarder on this side and reliable people on the other side to take care of problems like the time a written rule was changed when a load of oranges was halfway to Hong Kong; additional paperwork was needed. Someone had to get the paper to them, with my original signature on it, ASAP, before the oranges could rot on the dock. That situation was taken care of by unwritten procedures that were wide-spread in the Far East at the time; and no one forged my signature.

btw, those transactions were done through long-established business friendships, those Chinese businessmen were very big on knowing who they were dealing with.

I would be very interested to hear about your adventures; yes, as Brewer says, "...it will be an interesting exercise."
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:05 PM   #10
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Coincidentally DH and I were talking about this very issue yesterday. A couple of years ago there was an episode of Property Ladder on TLC where a couple from Las Vegas were renovating a property and they went to China to purchase everything they needed for the renovation. That included bathroom fittings through to granite slabs to lay for the flooring. It was all packed in a container and delivered to their driveway in LV. They saved an absolute fortune by doing so. They just wandered around really big warehouses making their selections and the sellers had it packed into the containers and shipped.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:00 AM   #11
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Expect a delay in customs. You will be flagged for an examination and depending on the workload of the port in can sit a few hours or days. I also suggest going to a freight forwarder. There is a lot of paperwork and requirements that can be tough to navigate unless you are familiar with the process. The freight forwarder should be able to help you get everything completed, but your stuff will still sit in customs for a couple days. Also keep a detailed list of everything you put in the container to place on the manifest. If the container is opened and something is not properly listed, it can and probably will be seized. The freight forwarder should be able to assist you in how to list you possessions on the paperwork.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #12
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Thank's Danny , Matson sure looks like they could handle the deal. That's one element of the master plan....
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