Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ports losing business.

It is not often that I hear of someone else's problems and my mood is elevated to an annoyingly cheerful disposition, but a report on NPR (National Public Radio) this morning about Ports losing business because of the downturn in the economy had me feeling pretty chipper. I recently had some personal items shipped from the UK, about 3 boxes full. Nothing expensive, just some old clothes I couldn't bare to part with and some old LPs, photos, books and other personal stuff. I chose door to port, as I live near Seattle and I thought, mistakenly as it turns out, it would be a cheaper option. When it came to collect my belongings, I had to pay an "extra" fee to cover customs etc, but the etc turned out to be a WHOLE lot more than I bargained for. Of the itemized fees, I had to pay $50 for their use of a fork lift truck!! They even charged me for "storage" but failed to let me know the stuff was sitting there to be picked up DESPITE me calling them every day to find out where it was.
What the F***K I hear you say, or was that what I said?
Never mind the details, you get my drift. The issue here is that there was nothing I could do about it. Zero. Zip. Nada. I tried, but the shipping company I sent it with said, "It is daylight robbery, but nothing to do with us". The Agency on this end said, "Look, do you want this shit or not"? So folks, in future, pay door to door, it is cheaper by far, and you get to stiff the thieving bastards at the US ports.
I'm so sorry they are losing business.
I really am.


  1. yeah what goes around......personally i can't even say UPS without have a tourettes meltdown and don't get me started on Fedex!! Hope you're feeling fit again...

  2. Even door to door you must get written estimates. The shipping companies are still pirates at heart. I can order a container shipped from the exact same supplier by the exact same shipper and have companies I deal with regularly adding significant charges, just in case I'm not paying attention.
    Don't get me started on using the Stevedore union workers port-side. They charge $1,200 for unloading for customs or Ag. Dept. inspections and it is quite clear nothing has been unloaded. Protectionism is a dirty little secret.

  3. Where's my comment about the asbestos on Tertarus's ship?! Have the intertubes swallowed it?

    Tertarus is in the merchant navy and suspected that his ancient barque had its exhausts lagged with asbestos. Specialists were summoned and a report submitted to his company. The company have now asked for the engineers to repair the exhaustand, after much wheedling and blatant threats, Tertarus has discovered that the company has been sitting on the asbestos report for WEEKS. The lagging is asbestos and the company - in full knowledge that it was a hazardous substance - was asking these men to do a VERY dangerous job.

    So my heart also bleeds for the shipping industry. Not.

    This comment better post!

  4. Crikey! Have no idea what they are like here in the UK but having a container dropped so to speak door to door next week...will report back to see if it was daylight robbery this side of the pond!


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