My Recent Experience of moving my household goods from Michigan USA to Lucknow India
There are following main steps involved in the moving process:
1. Pre-move steps
2. Actual moving process
3. Receiving goods at the destination.
a. Customs clearance process
b. Receiving items at the ‘Door’
1. Pre-move Steps
I searched the web for companies that handle international moving and after receiving replies from a few companies I chose INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING (ISAS) based in Elmont, New York. I found that their quote was quite complete and they seem to understand my requirement. Other companies were asking me about how many bedrooms I have in the house to estimate the volume to be shipped. But ISAS quoted me the “Container Option” right from the start. After talking with the very knowledgeable sales person, I decided on a 20-ft container with full-packing and door-to-door option.
We fixed on a pick up day. I had some concerns about how much stuff I can take in a 20-ft container (20x8x8). I had made an Excel sheet of the major items with dimensions and sent it to the ISAS sales person. They got back to me quickly with their feedback.
2. Actual Moving Process
2.1 Good job done by the packers
The packers were very courteous and did a nice job of packing most of the things carefully. It took them from 9AM to 4PM to finish the packing. Then they started loading the items on the container. The loading took another three hours.
2.2 Things packers could have done better
The packers did not do a good job of packing the large items like sofa, dining table, chairs, and other furniture items. They just wrapped these items with papers. At Delhi Customs facility when they unloaded the items from the container to the warehouse, the sofa was fully exposed with no paper around it; the main big seat cushions were also open…. These items were visible when I went to inspect the items with the local agent. When the final delivery took place at our flat in Lucknow, we found scratches on the dining table surface, dirty sofa and cushions, scratches in the other wooden furniture items, some tears on the sofa arms etc. I am not filing any insurance claim for these items as I don’t want the hassle of dealing with it. I am happy that my household items did arrive at my house. When I was walking in the New Delhi Customs facility, I saw many other shipments piled up there like mine. But some of them did have larger furniture items (including mattresses) that were fully covered by plastic. I WILL ADVISE ANY CLIENT THAT WILL USE INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING for move to India to insist on covering their furniture items properly. If you have to pay more for it, it is worth it.
So, as far as INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING is concerned, I am happy with their service except for the furniture packing issue. I do recommend them for move to India from USA.
3. Receiving goods in India
3.1 Customs Clearance Process
INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING (ISAS) had assigned “LinkIndia Removals” as their local India agent for my shipment. The expected date of shipment arrival in New Delhi was October 6, 2013. Before I left USA, I had a nice email from Mr. Narender Singh of LinkIndia that he will be handling our shipment. It was very comforting to know this. I met Mr. Singh at my friend’s place in New Delhi on Oct 5 and he had all the necessary papers with him for me to sign and he explained to me the process of getting the goods cleared through the Customs. He explained to me the “Transfer of Residence” rule. One must not have been in India more than six months in the last two years to qualify for this. I had to pay some duty on my shipment. Fortunately, most of my stuff was old and I had no electronic items and major appliances. So, my duty was reasonable. The Customs inspector opened approximately 10 boxes and saw their contents personally and he sent another 15 boxes through the X-Ray machine to see their contents. All this was supervised by Mr. Sing and another staff from LinkIndia. Later they re-taped the boxes which were opened for inspection.
The warehouse is very large with a solid roof, but the doors are open and so dust goes in as the trucks are coming and going outside. Our open sofas and seats arrived in dusty and dirty condition. I was thankful that I did not ship any mattresses. They would really have gotten spoiled, unless covered properly.
3.2 Receiving items in Lucknow
LinkIndia handled all of the paperwork. Once the duty was paid, they also arranged for the truck to take the items to Lucknow. They sent one of their staff members with the truck to Lucknow and when the truck arrived in Lucknow, they found some local labor to unload the items and deliver to our flat. The whole process went very smoothly. We told them where each box and furniture items go and they were very helpful in following our instructions. We did not have them unpack all of the items. The whole unloading process took about 4-5 hours. All of the items arrived safely except for some minor damages noted above.
I was very happy and satisfied with LinkIndia’s support in India and highly recommend them for any such work. I am glad that INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING chose them for handling the shipment at destination.
The move from Michigan, USA to Lucknow, India went smoothly and successfully. I thank the staff of INTERNATIONAL SEA AND AIR SHIPPING and LINKINDIA REMOVALS to make it a trouble free experience.
If any NRI reads this and has any questions about moving to India, he/she can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 29, 2013