Maple Syrup in Israel

A couple years ago we helped some great olim (and personal friends) launch their dream of selling Maple Syrup in Israel.  (add more)

 

Here’s a few pictures from today’s delivery.

Two super-protected pallets of delicious maple syrup.

Since the delivery truck didn’t come with a pallet jack and lift-gate all the boxes had to be hand unloaded.

And all this took place under the watchful eye of this handsome fellow.

 

Bonus!  Bonus! Bonus!

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for Real Maple Syrup.

Sauteed Maple Syrup Apples

The tart apples and sweet, rich maple flavor are a great combination – what a treat!

Chuppah & Aliyah

We are very excited to present our second awesome couple in the Chuppah & Aliyah program — Zachary & Stefanie Leighton.

wedding-zl

Our experience with Aliyah Lift shippers, especially with Yitzhak Sasson, was great.  He was available to answer all of our questions and address our concerns on the phone and even through WhatsApp, anytime.

Moving anything, especially new wedding gifts overseas can be a bit nerve racking but we were well taken care of and knew we would be in good hands with the company.

We had a last minute add on to our shipment which almost doubled the size and Yitzhak took care of the details without any hesitation.
Overall a great experience, thank you for getting our belongings here safely.
It was a pleasure and honor to work with the Leightons, and to be part of their aliyah.  Hatzlacha rabba!
wedding-zla

Untanneh Tokef & Shipping

untenneh-tokef

You might wonder…

What does the famous prayer Untanneh Tokef  have to do with shipping?

 

The idea struck me earlier this year, that shipping is a lot like the very moving part of Untanneh Tokef.  Just like in Untanneh Tokef  there’s a list of circumstances effecting man and his future, shipping too can have other-then-anticipated results.

So, with this in mind, I thought to myself, “who will have damages and who will not, who will have issues with timing and who will not, who will have delivery problems (like long haul carry / goods that can’t fit in an elevator) and who will not, and who will have completely unforeseen experiences while others have a smooth move from door to door.

The painful part about this speculation was that all our customers are really great people and I want them to have only the best experience.  I understand that G-d is in complete control of our shipments, and that everything is for the best, but still….

The good news is, since the beginning of the year we shipped about 37,000 cubic feet of goods with very, very minimal damages.  Summer shipments went out weekly or biweekly and the little bumps in the road were smoothed out as they came along.

Overall, we are very, very happy and grateful for this years shipments and to be part of so many wonderful people’s lives.

May we all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life!

 

 

Damages & Marine Insurance

broken-chair

No doubt.

Many years ago during a delivery, one of the crew members opened up the cardboard wrappings around a leather office chair and he accidentally made a long cut in the leather with his box-cutter knife.

There was no dispute or doubt — he cut the chair with his knife.  It was clear as day and everybody knew it — but in the end, he was not responsible for his carelessness.

Thank God this incident didn’t happen to one of our customers, but it did happen, and it was the first dose of ‘cold water in the face’ that I encountered in the shipping industry.

Not only that…

Not only is the delivery agent was not responsible for their actions/mistakes, but the packing agent and port workers too are 100% exempt from restitution for any damages that occur by their actions.

It’s for this reason, and others, that marine insurance is available.

If a client elects to pass on marine insurance and there are damages, then there is nothing to be done — there is no recourse or compensation.

The Bright Side

On the bright side, these stories of carelessness are vary, vary rare, but damages do occur.

What’s items are most commonly damaged?

Since I only know what I’ve been told the list might be skewed, but it seems wood furniture has the highest rate of damage, and glass items – but less then you might expect.

Of the reported damages, most often it’s large or long pieces of furniture that are very heavy or difficult to maneuver and IKEA / ready-to-assemble furniture.   Most damages are relatively insignificant like rubs, scrapes or scratches and it’s very rare that a solid, hearty piece of furniture gets broken.

 

US Customs Inspections

US Customs

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection workers are busy beavers these days, working to keep the US safe from shipments to and from Israel….

US Imports.

Almost all shipments arriving in the US are currently being inspected.  The inspection could be as simple as an x-ray or as  elaborate as a box-by-box review.  The charges are the shippers obligation – not the shipping company, nor is it paid for by the US govt.

For a consolidated shipment (a container filled with partial shipments), the cost of the inspection is prorated and the receiving agent collects from the shipper directly.

When a person has their own container shipment, obviously they are responsible for the complete cost of the inspection.

Our experience has shown small partial shipments inspections can be as low as $135 and a container as much as $2500.

US Exports.

On the West Coast, and more specifically the Los Angeles port, the rate of inspecting an outbound container has increased dramatically and I was told to expect inspections to increase.

Again, inspection charges for consolidated shipments are prorated and added to the shipper’s invoice and full container inspections are 100% the shipper’s obligation.

Due to export logistic requirement the inspections tend to be much more — in the $3000 range — again, all depending on the extent of the inspection.

 

PS.  I found the following at JOC.com

Another Los Angeles broker who asked not to be identified said Customs has confirmed to him that it is targeting export containers containing household goods, computers and peripherals, and used vehicles. “They are looking for illegal arms exports,” he said. Customs also may be targeting containers bound for Africa and the Middle East; containers bound for these markets handled by other Houston forwarders also have been picked routinely for inspection.

 

The Depth of a Simple Question

man-talking-on-tin-can-phone

The Simple Question

There are questions in shipping that have more depth then what could ever be expected.  One such questions is, “Are there any other fees?”

If you’ve seen our proposal then you know it’s very well detailed — to the extent that we even include “tips” in the “Optional Charges” section.  (We believe it’s important to help the customer budget properly for the evolution.)

When this ‘other fees’ question is asked it indicates to me any/all of the following;

  • They are comparing quotes from different companies and want assurance that our pricing is, indeed, complete.
  • They didn’t read their proposal.  (Our online proposal tracking system allows us to see 1) what content was viewed, 2) for how long, 3) how many times and 4) the last time it was viewed.  These results have proven to me what I suspected for a long time — most people spend very little time reviewing the details of their move.
  • For the trust-based person, it’s a trust-based question.
  • They are getting their finances in order.
Email vs. Phone Call

If the question is asked in an email, it gives me time to respond accordingly – plus it’s documented.   However, if the question is asked over the phone, along with a volley of other questions, then it’s possible the answer might not be complete — and it’s not documented.

Any information withheld is not because of guile or deceit, it’s because my answer is based on the question and the context it was asked in.  Or, it was a simple omission — and that’s exactly what contracts are for.

The Answers

Now that you know the multiple nuances of the question, here’s the answers:

  • If the volume exceeds the quoted volume.
  • If a second pick up is requested.
  • If custom crated is required.
  • If a piano or other excessively heavy item is being shipped.
  • If storage is needed beyond what’s allotted at either the origin or destination.
  • If insurance is requested.
  • If tips are given.
  • If additional insurance is needed to cover the additional storage.
  • If port fees are not included.
  • If customs duties are not included.
  • If customs inspects the shipment.
  • If payment is made by credit card, wire transfer, cashiers check/money order, or if payment is sent UPS or FedEx….all these forms of payment involve fees.
  • If the delivery truck or container cannot be parked within X amount of meters from the door.
  • If the delivery is above the second floor without an elevator.
  • If the piano or excessively heavy item is being delivered above the first floor.
  • If a shuttle truck is needed for a container delivery.
  • If there is a second delivery.
  • If complete unpacking is requested.
  • If one needs to sort through their goods at the warehouse.
The Conclusion

Now you see what goes on through my head when I’m asked, “Are they any additional fees?”

It’s not a simple question when you want to give an honest answer.

 

Gross Volume 101

The industry standard in partial shipment billing  is based on the gross volume – the outside measurements (length x width x height) of a pallet or crate.

The gross volume is always more then the sum of it’s parts because 1) the pallet that the items are stacked on takes up space and 2) most often the stacked boxes do not form a complete cube.

Consider the two LEGO shipments below.

Imagine the pallet on the left is 48″ x 40″ and the boxes are stacked 48″ high – that would make the gross volume to be about 54 cubic feet or 1.54 cubic meters.

If you add just ONE book box (which is only 1.5 cubic feet) to the top of the stack, then the whole gross volume increases to 66 cubic feet or 1.88 cubic meters.

The amount of “wasted space” from the pallet and the unused space at the top amounts to 27% — that’s a considerable amount of space to be paying for but not actually using.   (The pallet itself is only 6 inches tall but it’s about 7 cubic feet.)

From surveying websites, it seems the accepted “wasted space” with regular household goods is 10% to 20% of the packed volume.   That means a stacked/palletized 300 cubic foot shipment would have a gross volume of 330 to 360 cubic feet.

 

A Great Example.

Often young people want to ship their bed and a dozen boxes.  When calculating the volume of each item it might come out to 100 cubic feet, but from the way it gets stacked on the pallet the gross volume could be much, much more.

Why?

Because the bed is long and the gross volume is based on the outside measurements.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at AliyahLift@gmail.com.

Getting Married & Making Aliyah

marriedaliyah

Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov!

Over the years we’ve helped newly-married couples with generous discounts, but this year we’ve done much, much more — shipping at cost.

Why?

Young folks getting married and making aliyah have hearts filled with goals, ideals and dreams, and they need all the help they can get.

We, at Aliyah Lift Shipping, are doing what we can by offering our awesome shipping services at our cost.

It’s our wedding present to them.

So far, here’s the first couple we’ve had the honor to work with — the young and energetic Wind family — and here’s what they had to say.

We were really overwhelmed by the task of sending a lift, but as soon as we got in touch with Aliyah Lift, everything was surprisingly easy. Yitzhak was extremely responsive, helpful, and honest through every step of the process.  Both the packers and the delivery guys were exceptional, and well worth the price.  Yitzhak even gave us a generous discount because we’re newlyweds!

If you need to send a lift for your aliyah, there’s no question in my mind who to use.

 

So, If you know of couples up to age 28 years and getting married within 8 months of their aliyah date, send them our way!

Let us help them live the dream.

living

Shuttle Delivery

Here is a photo-story of a 40′ container delivery to a wonderful family in their first lovely home in Israel, but due to the location of the home, we needed to use a shuttle to complete the delivery.

 

zdriveway

The home is pleasantly situated midway down a picturesque steep & narrow hill.

 

zTry

The driver attempted 3 or 4 times to back up from the bottom, but was unable to.   (Coming from the top seemed like a better option but the chassis would have bottomed out on the sidewalk.)

 

zparked

Plan B was to park in a close and open location.

 

zshuttle

And unload from the container into the trailer.

 

zfinished

And make multiple deliveries to the home with the trailer.

 

Soon all the paper and boxes will be gone and the aliyah dream will commence!

 

 

Container Loading = Playing Tetris

tetris

If you haven’t heard of it before, Tetris is an old video game where buttons are used to guide falling tetrominoes (colored block packages) so they stack together and the spaces are completely filled in.

We’ve been told many times this is how our customer’s containers were loaded – like the Tetris game.

Our crews are Tetris masters

How did they get so good?  Simple, our crews have years of experience packing & loading containers.  They really know how to load ’em snug and with minimal wasted space.

Tetris-style loaded containers keep goods from shifting about during transit – reducing potential damages, and with maximized space, more can be included.

Other factors our crews keep in mind is weight distribution throughout the container and the nature of what’s being loaded – keeping fragile goods safe!

 

Self-Pack & Self-Loaded Containers.

Often families on a budget will opt for self-packing and self-loading their own container.   If this is on your agenda, the we suggest the following tips:

  • Solid boxes should be used for packing.
  • Small boxes are for books & heavy items and larger boxes for lighter items.
  • Double-walled “dishpack boxes” should be used for dishes and all fragile items.
  • Put FRAGILE stickers on goods needing special handling.
  • Do not skimp on the packing/wrapping materials.
  • Use linens or clothes whenever possible for additional padding.
  • Arrange your boxes and furniture in the order that they will be loaded.
  • Load first non-fragile, large items — furniture, boxes of books, etc.
  • Sofas and mattress should be loaded on-end.
  • Load last, but securely, rugs, fragile items or other items of special interest – like a child’s box of favorite toys.  (Rugs can quickly be laid down before furniture is unloaded and fragile boxes can be put in a safe place right after being unloaded.)

 

Whether you chose a self-pack or full-service shipment, we here to help you every step of the way.