PBO – Packed By Owner

boxes of booksThere is  a lot of discussion about self-packed boxes & shipments.  Are they red flags for an inspection?  Are they covered by insurance?

So, without further ado, here’s the scoop on PBO boxes…

Verifiable.  First, if you chose to pack your own boxes, don’t tape them shut – the contents need to be verified for the inventory.

Responsibility & Coverage.  Also, the inventory will list the box/item as PBO because 1) it is, 2) it may effect insurance coverage and 3) if there would be a security problem then the owner would be responsible and not the packing crew or agent.

Insurance.  The insurance company may cover PBO boxes of non-fragile goods, like clothes, linens or books, since there is very little chance they will get broken.  Obviously, PBO boxes of china, glass, and the like are not covered in an All Risk policy.

Inspection.  In our 8 years for shipping we’ve had 3 container inspections at the Haifa port (none at Ashdod) and I believe they were all self-packed and self-loaded containers.  Two were more of a random selections and the third, well, that made the headlines due to reasonable suspicion.   (We know the details of this shipment very well and it was one big ugly misunderstanding/mistake.)

If you have any questions about PBO boxe, please send us an email at AliyahLift@gmail.com

 

Mobile, Sitemap, Zopim and Search

zopim

I love to improve things.  Mostly, I love to improve systems.  I guess that’s one good reason why Aliyah Lift Shipping is here – I wanted to improve the shipping system.  Well, that and because I love to help people.

This post is a little self-indulgent as it’s about what we’ve done over the years to make AliyahLift.com a great source of shipping information, giving our customers confidence and security – and that’s OK, right?

Since we started in 2008 our website has gone through two major reworkings and a fine-tuning just about every year during the slow season.  

Why all the work?  

Because we want to provide clear information in an ascetically pleasing format.   In fact, I think we have done more to provide the best in website information then other in our market.

Here’s a list of our internet improvements:

Zopim.  Our first technological jump that we did before anybody else was Zopim – that little orange, “click to chat” balloon in the lower right corner.

Mobile.  A couple years ago we made a mobile website.  It wasn’t fancy but I heard it was important as mobile internet was gaining in popularity, plus search engines like them (or so I have been told).

WordPress.  About two years ago we switched to a WordPress platform website and, although it was hard work to start with, we think the change was positive and are loving the client functionality.

Cloud-Based Operations Software.  Although not website-based, we shifted more of our operations to the cloud.  We have cloud based accounting software which allows clients to pay with credit card directly, plus it looks great on a tablet or phone.  Also, we use Tinderbox for our online proposal software, allowing us to provide more great information to our customers, clearly and professionally.

Blog.  There is a lot of great information I want to share but cannot find a way to put it in the website, so our blog is the solution.

WP Plugins.  Taking the advice of my good friend in the SEO industry, we installed a “Request a Quote” hovering tab on the right side of the screen.  Plus, we are always looking at other intuitive plugins to make your time on our website all the more productive and enjoyable.

Sitemap.  The latest in our website advancements is for the vision impaired, and that’s a Sitemap webpage.  I recently learned the blind/vision impaired rely upon the Sitemap page for website navigation.  It’s not likely we’ll have many vision impaired people on our website, but at least if they come, it will be easy for them to learn about shipping.

If you have any suggestions on how to better improve our website or our operations, please let us know.

Here’s something really fun – the progressions of AliyahLift.com over the years.

From oldest to newest : January 2009 (http://bit.ly/254OO6H), January 2012 (http://bit.ly/1pMdL6K), August 2014 (http://bit.ly/22n5LH8).

You can look at other websites in recent history at the Wayback Machine website > http://archive.org/web/

manyboxes4

Our beloved boxes from our previous website.

Pie Chart for Pi Day

Since it’s Pi Day (March 14th — 3.14, get it?) it only seems appropriate to post a shipping pie chart, right?

This pie chart is for a 20′ container with a residential live load in a local NY neighborhood.  (A “live load” is when the driver waits in the truck while the container is being loaded.)

Even though I have been in the business for years now it never seems to amaze me how much of the pie is for trucking.

Why is trucking so expensive?  

Well, it’s not always and it depends on the area.  For example, recently we did a live load in Dallas and it was cheaper then this proposed live load in NY.  Remember, Dallas is HOURS away from the port in Houston…

Here’s how the trucking rates add up — base rate x fuel surcharge + residential charge* ($100-$175) + chassis split ($75-$100) + chassis rental ($30 per day) + 2 additional hours of driver detention ($60-$80 per hour) + any other toll roads or potential port congestion charges.

PieChart

 

* Trucking companies have increasingly eliminated residential work since the risks can out weight the profits.   In some cities there’s only one or two trucking companies to work with.

Finding Gratitude in Shipping

CaptureThere is a general rule — if you want to hide something special or important, put it in a place where nobody will look.  This is the relationship between gratitude and shipping!

People dread going through their homes deciding what to take, and, what not to take.  For an older family it can take weeks and even months to get ready for their packing day.

Why not take this time and utilize it to its fullest?

When going through your home and figuring out what to ship, take note of an item and think about how you got it & how it’s helped you.  Once you’ve come to a higher-level of realization and appreciation for the item, thank G-d with words because — He gave it to you.

If Perkei Avot tells us that a “wise person” is somebody who is “happy with what he has“, then you will be a super-genius at the end of your aliyah preparations!

Security with Sanity

SurveyThe general consensus with our customers is that doing the insurance is the worst thing about shipping.  Think about it — you have to record, as accurately as possible, everything in your home, and assign replacement values!

We at Aliyah Lift Shipping suggest the following approach to get maximum security while maintaining your sanity.  We call it the “Large-Medium-Small Attack Plan“.

  1. Large.  Start with large items like furniture/appliances and high valued items in each room.  On your application, record the quantity of each item and the value per item.  Do this room-by-room, but remember, focus on large and valuable first.
  2. Medium.  Once you have all the large and high-value items accounted for, start on smaller, lower-valued goods – like lamps, rugs, folding chairs, etc.   Again, going room-by-room, record the quantity of each item and the value per item.
  3. Small.  Next, going room-by-room, work on the smaller and more voluminous items in your home — books, clothes, lines, dishes, etc.   This is definitely the most tedious part, so you might want to spread it out over a few days.

IMPORTANT : If you have similar items but with very different values like paperbacks & hardcover or Lennox & melamine or crystal wine goblets & simple glass cups — insure these separately because the values are different.

The general rule is – the more detailed and exact your inventory, the better your coverage is.

 

 

 

 

You never know….

Rocket-Man-Werner-Von-Braun1-479x369In the shipping business you never know who you are working with — until they tell you a little bit about themselves.

Over the years we’ve had the honor or working with a wide variety of amazing personality. (Out of respect, I will not include their names.)

Two of my favorites were refuseniks.  One was a mathematician who compiled advanced math calculations for treating cancer patients and the other worked in the Bell Labs years ago developing the mobile phone! Their stories and their passion for Israel were amazing and would make great biographies (hint, hint).

One person who I am really relieved that we didn’t ship was an investment/market specialist – a TV personality too! We sensed trouble and withdrew our proposal. He had a “staff of X number of lawyers”, and threaten to sue us for not shipping his stuff… Eeeck, what a mess! I believe G-d gives us “gut instincts” for a reason.

We’ve shipped a rocket scientist, an arak craftsman/manufacturer, a top level US Govt internet security professional, rabbis and a gadol (twice) and lots and lots of good, brave people/families, motivated by a strong sense of idealism and, maybe even a touch of craziness.

Seriously though, it’s great working with singles and families with this part of their aliyah. Shipping is a daunting experience for almost everybody, but we do what we can to walk them through it with confidence, security and peace of mind.