Shipping to the Caribbean for many, means sending household goods back to friends and family.  Many commercial companies also depend on US Imports to sustain there businesses.

Is shipping to the Caribbean a complicated process?

It doesn't have to be.  Like a alot of things, if prepared for properly, it does not have to be a headache.  You will definitely want to ask all your questions before your goods ever hit the high seas. Here a few questions you might want to ask the shipping company.

1. How do you charge? (By volume or weight?)
2. What is the frequency of your shipments?
3. What are the departure days and when does it arrive?
4. Do you have an agent at destination? (get contact details)
5. Do you offer cargo insurance? If so, what is the cost?
6. Can you assist me with obtaining a customs broker at destination? (they will make things alot easier but for a cost ofcourse!)

Shipping to the Caribbean - Household items:  When deciding to ship your household items, you will first need to determine what size container you will use to transport your goods.  The 3 main container sizes are below:

1. 20' container (holds approx. 975 cft)
2. 40' standard container (holds approx 2100 cft)
3. 40' High Cube Dry Container (holds approx. 2280 cft)

12 x 12 x 12 = 1728 cubic inches.  So  by measuring all three dimensions of an item you want to load in inches, and then dividing that number by 1728, you will arrive at the cubic foot measuremeant. If you are not sure which container to use, it is always best to get the advice of a shipping professional.
In many cases, you will not have sufficient goods to fill a container.  That is called less-than-container load (LCL).  A qualified NVOCC will be able to handle this ocean freight efficiently and safely.

Shipping to the Caribbean - Commercial goods:  When shipping commercial goods to the Caribbean, it always best to inquire with your local government to get the details of the import duties and taxes before shipping.
Since most Caribbean Countries depend on the income from import duties, they tend to scrutinize the commercial invoices for the goods entering the country.  It is very important that each shipment has all corresponding original invoices.  A qualified customs broker is suggested to prepare all your import documents to make things go smoothly..
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