What little stuff we brought originally to California we could easily fit in a rented van. We’ve been living
on it for 3 months, and as I said to a close friend, we weren’t that attached to it. In fact I suspect that were the van stolen, it would save us a lot of hassle. Secretly I wished to return from lunch with my friend Stasi and find the van missing, relieving us of the burden of unloading it.
But I had no such luck. I unloaded the van and we slept on an air mattress for two nights while waiting for the majority of our belongings to arrive in the shipping pods Sarah researched, from DoorToDoor.com.
Barring any major disaster with either the piano or the television during unpacking, I’m a big fan of these things now. For one, it avoids the whole problem of the unscrupulous moving guy. Generally house moving appears to be a commodity market with layers of subcontractors that makes it impossible for anyone to promise any level of quality. Think you can trust your moving company? Nope, they just contract the work out to a long haul trucker. Think you can trust the trucker? Sorry, he just hires random guys on each end of the move to do the loading and unloading. Sarah’s had some literal crackheads in her home on a previous move, because they were cheap, and the driver didn’t care.
So the better way of doing it is to hire the pieces yourself. You need to hire two crews to do the packing and unpacking, one for each end of the move, and then a storage container company to rent and store your shipping containers.
You get a tremendous amount of control this way and remove the crapshoot of the moving industry which is rife with scam artists. What’s great is that the shipping container companies have a required amount of infrastructure that makes it less likely they will be unscrupulous or fly by night. An established container shipping firm is going to have warehouses and a sizable amount of assets in place that will make it not profitable to screw you.
However with a cellphone, some flyers, and a U-Haul I can become a moving company. These shipping companies probably wouldn’t exist in the size that they do if there was satisfaction in the moving industry…but there isn’t.
Amazing how fraud and poor customer service can kill an entire business model. In particular it’s nice to see the market punish fraud. It doesn’t have to put these companies out of business to show that the market works, it merely has to provide a sizable alternative.