On April 9th, a 20-foot container arrived at Tim’s home in Florida, ready to be loaded. He hired a couple of guys to load it and secure the load for transit, which took about four hours. They were very efficient, and from what I could see on the videos Tim sent, they did a great job!
The container went by truck from Tim’s house to the port of Miami, and was loaded on a cargo ship bound for Panama on Friday, April 12. It arrived at the Atlantic side of Panama (the port of Manzanillo) around April 19. That being Easter weekend, not much progress was made until the following Monday or Tuesday. After it spent a couple of days in customs, it was released for transport to Boquete by truck. It arrived in our driveway on Saturday morning, April 27.
The two guys on this end of the trip worked very hard to unload the container. It took them about three hours. Tim had created a spreadsheet and numbered each of the approximately 250 boxes and individual items being shipped. The inventory list included the box number, the contents of each box, and the room it should go in. My job was to check the items off the list as they came off the truck and give Tim a quick idea of the contents, so he could tell the guys where to put them. This system worked pretty well, although it did get a little hectic at times.
The entire door-to-door service went very smoothly, considering all the steps involved. We used DAC Transport, Inc., based on the recommendation of a friend of ours who had used their services about six months earlier. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, too – they did a great job!
The next step is to get the appliances hooked up. The portable dishwasher and washing machine were relatively easy to hook up, but the stove and clothes dryer are proving to be a bit trickier, since they need to have the correctly sized fittings in order to connect to the gas supply.
And the boxes – so many boxes! It’ll take a bit of time to find places for all the “stuff”, but at least it’s here.
There are more boxes in the dining room, the master bedroom and bath, and about a dozen more in my office. But actually, the volume of the boxes takes up a bit less space than I imagined it would. At least we can still get from room to room without climbing over them!
So far, we haven’t found any damage or breakage, except for a slight rip in the fabric of the little swivel rocker that came from the thrift store, which can likely be fixed quite handily. We’ve heard horror stories about lots of items getting broken in transit, but this container was packed very tightly and strapped in securely, so it didn’t have an opportunity to move around during its journey. Good job on everyone’s part!