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!

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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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.)

 

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

 

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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!

 

 

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.