Container Shipping US to Belize

Curious as to what recent experiences folks may have had shipping a container to Belize. Our experience thus far has been a nightmare. We're shipping a 40' container with auto and household goods. Cost went from initial estimate of $3K to $20K and loading dates have slipped time and time again.

Just moved to Belize in October. Due to our location, we brought two 20' shipping containers instead of one 40'. I will say the company you choose will make a huge difference! The company we went with sounded like the most knowledgeable and promised door-to-door service and many other things they said they would handle. We ended up having to do most thing our selves on both ends! They lied to us repeatedly! They made a difficult more a nightmare by adding more problems than solutions! If I had it to do over I would definitely go with another freight company! Best of luck with your move!

Do you mind sharing which company this was? I'd like to keep a pros /cons list for each company

Your experience is all too common unfortunately. A decent broker and knowing decent people in general here makes a world of a difference. We shipped a 40ft container in 2019, went smooth. Wer in the north & the clearing agent lives in the same town. She handled everything & we had our container arrive at our door. If you need her name and number please inbox me. Good luck with your move! Let me know if there's anything else you need help.

Thank You for your kind offer. Unfortunately our goods are enroute. Least that's what we've been told for the fourth time and I've yet to have an issue with the Belizean broker this firm has engaged.

Somehow this went south … we are in the container shipping business here in Belize and assume st people all the time and never have had a story like this… I hope it got resolved for you

Thanks! Unfortunately that was just the tip of the iceberg dealing with the freight company. 😡 But we survived in spite of them and are happy o be here. 😊

Love to get some info from you….we are still ordering a few things and shipping them down. 😊

I was expecting goods to arrive 04/2 ... when I just queried the broker as to what vessel my goods were on I discovered the're still in Houston, with a new sailing date of 4/5 .. this is getting f'in ridiculous and I have no recourse but to wait. 

I was expecting goods to arrive 04/2 ... when I just queried the broker as to what vessel my goods were on I discovered the're still in Houston, with a new sailing date of 4/5 .. this is getting f'in ridiculous and I have no recourse but to wait. 

- @davidsbrenchley
 I am not making excuses for anyone, but remember Ports all over the USA have been, and are still backed up, with it taking weeks to do what used to take a couple of days. Ships are waiting long times off shore before getting a dockside spot to offload and reload. Sounds like your stuff got caught in this mess.

@Aerodex I've expected as much and truthfully don't have issues with the logistics. It's the misinformation that has me riled. Don't give me a delivery date if the container has yet to be loaded.

Totally understand, bad info is often worse and always frustrating, often worse than no info at all. If one does not know the information chain, you don't even know for sure who to be frustrated with. 

Suggestion: If you can find out the name of the vessel, you can track the location of that vessel via several different websites. Here is one I used a couple of years ago.

[link under review]
@Nomadic Soul 
Hi can your share your transfer petson. Was this san pedro by any chance
Well things finally made it. While I won't mention the company I had grief with at this time, I can most highly recommend the Belize receiver I dealt with. Miguel Pariente of MB PARIENTE. 501 223 7833 [email protected] He and his son Michael were stellar. I can't not praise them enough.
Well things finally made it. While I won't mention the company I had grief with at this time, I can most highly recommend the Belize receiver I dealt with. Miguel Pariente of MB PARIENTE. 501 223 7833 [email protected] He and his son Michael were stellar. I can't not praise them enough.
- @davidsbrenchley
I am glad your things finally  arrived!

Would you give us a summery of how long it took? 

And perhaps a list of the things the Belize receiver did for you?
How many different entities you had to pay and how much each cost?
From discussions with folks here in Belize, the $20K I paid for door to door service was ridiculously high. 
My understanding the service we paid for included packing at our home ...shipping ... unpacking at our new home. We packed and will unpack ourselves due situations of our own creation.

I dropped our goods/vehicle off at a Houston terminal storage facility Jan 11th. Our goods were packed in internationally certified wood crates. RoadRunner the subcontractor the US broker engaged unpacked the crates and  wrapped and repacked EVERY individual item we packed, boxed them and loose loaded into a 40' container. I appreciate their efforts, though I don't understand why it was deemed necessary by the broker who ordered it. Another subcontractor dealt with customs & shipper on the US side. The container was suppose to be loaded on a vessel Feb 21st. That didn't happen. It was loaded Apr 12th, and arrived in Belize Apr 21st. 
The receiver here cleared the goods through customs, paid all associated fees (landing, custom's inspection) $325.00 US, arranged a means to offload our vehicle out of the container (they backed a flatbed wrecker up to the container which was on a semi trailer), delivered (from Belize City to Santa Elena, Cayo) and unloaded a portion of goods to a storage unit we rented  and the remaining items at our build site. They went beyond the call to insure our satisfaction. But as those who come to Belize will discover, that's the norm with Belizeans. Though they only have one shirt, they'll give it to you, and if you refuse, they'll be hurt. I love these people.
Bottom line ..
Though I found the whole process frustrating, as you've pointed out, the shipping industry is a mess right now. My complaint is largely due the origination broker not keeping us properly informed through the process. This here is somewhat understandable as we are not their only customer and they are up to their necks with issues due the mess with the industry. I'm a pretty astute individual regarding tech and data resources and even I had difficulties clearly determining status of our container.  They should be more sensitive to the fact that their customers entire lives (materially) are loaded in the boxes they pack. This too though comes down to the individual I was dealing with and not necessarily the company they work for. Seems everyone they interacted with was not happy with their performance. But hey .. we're here. 
One other note .. I'd highly recommend folks interested reach out to Miguel (see contact info above) before committing to anyone regarding shipping to Belize. He has 40 years experience and is well abreast of matters and well connected with those you'll need to interact with.
Sorry one last note .. we took advantage of the Belize Tourism Boards' Qualified Retirement Persons (QRP) program which allows you to bring qualifying goods into country duty free, so the figures I noted on the receiving end would be significantly higher (add duty, 12.5% GST) if one were not to take advantage of the program.
Excellent description! I'm glad it all worked out for you in the end.
Thanks for the details.
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