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Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Old Dec 29th 2013, 10:00 pm
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Angry Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

In 9 days time I will be in the USA, moving into a rental with the family.

We are shipping a 20' container over with household stuff in.
We went with Pickfords as people seemed to think they are good and we liked the estimator guy. The office co-ordinator is good too.

However the packers are a different story. Words like inept, lazy, and clueless keep jumping into my mind...

On the first day of packing we had:
- permanent marker pen on our master bedroom carpet
- blue ink stains all over a door frame
- stuff packed when we told them not to
- stuff not packed when we told them to
- mud all over the house (no overshoes, dust sheets or shoes off)
- packing of heavy items on top of light items
- really poor packing density in boxes
- no separate list of essential boxes vs nice-if-they-fit boxes

- and the Inventory consists of a sheet of paper which says:
Box 1 - toys
Box 2 - clothes
Box 3 - books
etc etc

I read that US customs want a thorough Inventory, not a single word?
Is this the case? Their unprofessional ways are troubling me...

Pickfords are shut at the w/e so there is no way to progress this stuff. We just have to wait until tomorrow to see how they propose to clean/replace my carpet.
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Old Dec 29th 2013, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

We wrote our inventory, not our packers. Yes, it was very thorough. Ours was also used to claim back any damaged items on the insurance. Our packers were lazy, but they put protective mats everywhere and didn't damage anything.
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Old Dec 29th 2013, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

We used Pickfords. While our packers were much better than yours appear to be, they also didn't put detailed descriptions on the boxes. The descriptions on the inventory were quite generic. We had no problems with customs.

Last edited by lansbury; Dec 29th 2013 at 10:55 pm.
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Old Dec 29th 2013, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

We used Pickfords. They were very thorough...they must have been because they noticed a gold antique broach pinned to a coat. Needless to say the coat made it to the US...the broach didn't.
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Interesting
We used Pickford's for our move to canada
Some DVD boxes arrived minus the DVDs and the service at the Canada end was pretty crappy
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Originally Posted by Marc_ely View Post
- mud all over the house (no overshoes, dust sheets or shoes off)
- packing of heavy items on top of light items
- really poor p - and the Inventory consists of a sheet of paper which says:
Box 1 - toys
Box 2 - clothes
Box 3 - books
etc etc

I read that US customs want a thorough Inventory, not a single word?
Is this the case?
Pickfords are shut at the w/e so there is no way to progress this stuff. We just have to wait until tomorrow to see.
If the contents of the box is "books", then what would you expect the inventory to be? .... A list of the titles of every book in the box, complete with the authors' names and ISBNs?

The inventory is supposed to detail the types of goods in each box so it can be considered for detailed searching, determined as being "household goods" or not, and assessed for duty if applicable. It does NOT need to be a list of every individual item that you're shipping!

Last edited by Pulaski; Dec 30th 2013 at 3:14 am.
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
If the contents of the box is "books", then what would you expect the inventory to be? .... A list of the titles of every book in the box, complete with the authors' names and ISBNs?

The inventory is supposed to detail the types of goods in each box so it can be considered for detailed searching, determined as being "household goods" or not, and assessed for duty if applicable. It does NOT need to be a list of every individual item that you're shipping!
Pulaski, if you're making a claim for damages, it helps to know that the box is full of "signed Golden Age comic books, fourth year law student books, and back issues of Threads magazine" at least, rather than, say, "the encyclopedia we had when the kids were in primary school". The replacement cost can be astronomical. I have well over two thousand books in a two-bedroom apartment and I would absolutely know if any went missing, but it would be hard to reconstruct exactly which ones. My parents, veterans of too many moves, actually hired a temp to help do the inventory while the packers were packing.
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Originally Posted by Speedwell View Post
Pulaski, if you're making a claim for damages, it helps to know that the box is full of "signed Golden Age comic books, fourth year law student books, and back issues of Threads magazine" at least, rather than, say, "the encyclopedia we had when the kids were in primary school". The replacement cost can be astronomical. I have well over two thousand books in a two-bedroom apartment and I would absolutely know if any went missing, but it would be hard to reconstruct exactly which ones. My parents, veterans of too many moves, actually hired a temp to help do the inventory while the packers were packing.
Agreed, but I still wouldn't expect the packers to inventory to that level of detail, and obviously your parents didn't either if they hired a clerk to perform detailed inventory services. If you have something of that value you should take pictures, and l probably ship it/them separately, or carry them in your luggage.

In any case the OP's question was about what US Customs expects/requires.
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Agreed, but I still wouldn't expect the packers to inventory to that level of detail, and obviously your parents didn't either if they hired a clerk to perform detailed inventory services. If you have something of that value you should take pictures, and l probably ship it/them separately, or carry them in your luggage.

In any case the OP's question was about what US Customs expects/requires.
OK, I understand. That'll all be useful to sort out in my mind when we make the trip ourselves. Thanks.
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Old Dec 30th 2013, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

I remember filling in the customs form when returning to the UK in 1999 ... didn't write the title and author of each book, but I did write how many books in each box, and listed items separately when it was something like "household ornaments", but mainly for my own records (so I'd know if anything particular went missing).

As someone else said, you write "enough" detail so they have an idea what's in there and if you are concerned about documenting details for purposes of insurance ("Painting" is different from "Mona Lisa" when it gets stolen and you need to claim), then you list whatever is sufficient detail for your needs.

But in general, I think customs on both sides just wants to know, in general, "What's in the box?"
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Old Dec 31st 2013, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

I had pickfords, had one excellent packer and two crap ones. The crap one packed my kitchen rubbish and a couple of boxes looked like they just got bored and threw stuff in there. Overall though I didn't lose anything and only had a couple of breakages of cheap kitchen bowls.
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Old Dec 31st 2013, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

As others have mentioned, due to insurance replacement, I went very detailed on our moves to/from US/Scotland. I knew exactly what was in each box, to a pretty detailed level - I was able to do this because I actually packed them myself. I've watched packers before, and know just how clueless they are (we also had once pack up what was clearly garbage).

I also wanted to know exactly what was in each box, that way if customs did have a problem with an item, and wanted to inspect closer, they would know exactly what box it was in. On a move to the UK, the inspector wanted to know if our painted ostrich egg was a real egg or a painted ornament, and he/she knew exactly which box it was in in case they wanted to look at it themselves. And I awanted to know what was in each box because I'm just anal like that, don't trust anyone else with my stuff, and wanted to make sure everything arrived and didn't disappear.
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Old Dec 31st 2013, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Shipping Inventory detail level (pickfords)

Thanks for all the comments. The rest of the packing was OK and we're now waiting around in a near empty house. Pickfords have agreed to get the carpet cleaned/replaced.
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