Logistics is everything: Our carton of personal possessions left our house in Atlanta on August 30th, arrived in Rotterdam on September 26th, and the second week of October we received a call that our shipment would be arriving at our apartment in Porto on Monday, October 16th. That comes out to just shy of 7 weeks.
At our old house in the suburbs we had a wide street, a mildly sloping driveway, and a big garage. No surprise, the apartment in Porto had none of those things.
Once we’d packed our household goods, and the 100-cubic foot carton had been collected by the local freight company, we waved it goodbye. Early the next day (August 31st) we received an e-mail that our carton was already at the shipping terminal in Charlestown, South Carolina. At this point, the shipping company had contracted for space in a container, would put our carton inside with other peoples’ goods, and when that container was full, assign it to a ship for the journey across the Atlantic.
When we were packing for our overseas adventure, we were faced with the cold reality that not all the things that we wanted in our new home were going to fit into our suitcases. In addition to clothes, computer equipment and such, we wanted to also include personal items so that our apartment wouldn’t resemble one of those IKEA showrooms.
So how do you ship your possessions across the Atlantic? The next few blog posts will discuss the process involved, including the documentation needed and the unexpected complications that arose during our shipment.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.