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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:03 PM
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Import Story

Back in September I was contacted by a fellow in Texas about importing 2 110's he had bought.
He initially asked if I would handle the entry of a 40ft container for him.

I responded that I typically don't do that because stepping in @ the end and handling the entry only is usually a nightmare if the front of the process is not handled correctly so I typically decline the business.

Response was "I'm working with a UK seller who has sent many trucks stateside".

I respond that there is quite a bit more to it than getting a truck to the US docks.

Response "well I have already paid for the container and we are just waiting for some parts to send it".

I advised why this route is a really bad idea, ie made him aware of Operation Atlantic and told him that US Customs Advance Targeting would have the container tagged for an intensive exam before it was halfway across the Atlantic, and again suggested that he send the two trucks ro/ro and ship parts separately.

His response was that he's already paid for it and the trucks are legal and he's not worried about anything. @ this point that demonic Scottish gene in me surfaced and I took the "alright I'll handle it for you" stance because I wanted to see it happen as I foretold. Cant explain it but the guy pushed a button somewhere.

For some reason I relented and agreed to handle the "entry only" something I never do anymore, maybe because I wanted to be a fly on he wall for this one.

Nearly three months go by and I get a draft bill of lading from a UK freight agent whom I know. His piece of the US security filing is far less detailed than what I have to file so I ask a a bunch of questions. I find out the business that actually loaded the container is one I am familiar with and have advised against anyone here on this forum ever dealing with. This was not the same company the fellow had bought the trucks from. After days of back and forth I get what I need to file the security filing. I get the bill of lading and now we wait for a container ship to make the trip from Southampton Uk to Houston.

Dec 9th the box hits the ground @ Houston. The owner has been traveling for business and hasn't gotten me the bills of sale where he bought the trucks. Normally I get these when I make the booking but, I didn't handle the shipment or the export customs. I get the bills of sale and he makes a comment about parts. There are no parts manifested by the company that loaded the container. I flip out on him just a little asking what the hell he's thinking after I had instructed him in no uncertain terms that anything in the container needed to be itemized on the bill of lading. What he's done @ this point is smuggled anything that is not listed and I fully expect and had prepped him to expect the box to be opened by Customs. I get the invoices from him for the parts and spend days hammering on the UK agent and the not so helpful cut rate Asian shipping line to get a corrected bill of lading generated. The container line starts charging the guy appx $75 a day for the container while this is playing out. I get the Bill of Lading corrected and get the entry filed with Customs.

Customs does nothing.

In the mean time, after learning who had loaded the box I have brought the hard headed owner up to speed that the company he's chosen to load his container in the UK has had multiple (more like a multitude) of defenders seized @ US ports and that this shipper is of course on US customs "watch" list.

Customs does nothing with the container for 40 more days.

I have the broker calling weekly (this kind of a dance and you cant push hard) and then after two weeks every other day. Finally Customs gets on the phone and advises "well there is a lot going on with this one"( we take this to mean they have had the UK cops investigating all the used parts invoices for validity to insure nothing is stolen which is a primary component of Operation Atlantic). The next day they file electronically to have the container pulled and moved to their Houston exam warehouse. A quick check with NYK Line and they deny allowing the box to leave the port container stacks until $4600 in demurage (daily rent on the box) is paid. We get that paid and have a bonded trucker pick the container up and move it ($800) to the bonded exam warehouse.That was Wed a week ago. Yesterday afternoon they/Customs entered an electronic release (there is no other communication unless they have questions). The exam fee's to the warehouse were $2800. Picking up the container and moving it to the owners business loading dock was another $869, the warehouse also collected an additional $1000 to pay for the daily on the container until it is returned to the shipping line. If it is returned Monday he will get some money back.

This story isn't an import horror story, the man got his freight in the end.

It is a story about how someone contacted and hired me for my experience and expertise in an area where I have more experience than anyone else and then chose not to heed my warnings or take any of the advice I gave him. The cost to have shipped the two trucks ro/ro would have been less than the cost of the container and the trucking cost to get it to the UK port. All of the expenses I have itemized above would have been avoided.

The cost of not heeding my warnings or following my instructions on the loading and manifesting of the contents, and using a container to ship defenders to the US cost this man and additional $10,069 after the container arrived @ the port of Houston. The entire $10k was avoidable. That expense is over and above customs brokerage and duty.

Cost of being arrogant, $10k. Watching the process unfold for nearly 60 days exactly as I told him it would back in September when I told him what a bad idea it was, priceless.
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Watching the process unfold for nearly 60 days exactly as I told him it would back in September when I told him what a bad idea it was, priceless.
Agreed! It happens infrequently in my profession, but damn it feels good when it does.
Ironic when you are retained for your expert opinion, and it's your opinion that the client immediately ignores if differs from his.
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  #3  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:26 PM
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Those 2 trucks will be on eBay soon for $50k each...
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  #4  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:34 PM
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Without you it would be still sitting there or heading back across the Atlantic I am sure.
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*not legal advice*
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  #5  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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$10k would be a major check on most guys ego, but everything is bigger in Texas.

Sad thing is while all of this was playing out last week I was contacted by a PHD with an NYU email address about handling the entry of his Tithonus he's bought from PA Blanchard that he wants to put in a 20ft container. He has it worked out to the point that he's telling me the UK forwarding agent's name etc.

I refused to handle the entry of his container and instead sent a estimate to have the truck picked up and transported to Liverpool to ship ro/ro.
No response. I have to stop turning away business but I don't need my name associated with problem imports with Customs.
One of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" double edged blades of being self employed.
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  #6  
Old February 6th, 2015, 07:50 PM
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I'm amazed you still got involved.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #7  
Old February 7th, 2015, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
I'm amazed you still got involved.
The guys hubris pushed my button.
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  #8  
Old February 7th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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This could have been much worse. Fortunately, all of us on here know where to go if we're bringing trucks across the pond
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  #9  
Old February 7th, 2015, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
The guys hubris pushed my button.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #10  
Old February 7th, 2015, 12:07 PM
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That certainly changed my mind about putting my 2 110's and my classic mini in a container. That is a nightmare for all involved.

Doug,
I will be in touch as soon as I know when I am going to leave the sunny UK. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on the subject.

Cheers,

Eric
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  #11  
Old February 7th, 2015, 11:33 PM
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that demonic Scottish gene



don't be blaming me for this!!!!
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  #12  
Old February 7th, 2015, 11:42 PM
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Lol Gene ...what on earth are you talking about?? Never mind..Whatever it is I am certain it's your fault..
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  #13  
Old February 8th, 2015, 12:05 AM
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gene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbfritz_03 View Post
Lol Gene ...what on earth are you talking about?? Never mind..Whatever it is I am certain it's your fault..
Peoples always blame thier bad behavior on genes........Most of us are nice
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  #14  
Old February 8th, 2015, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
Peoples always blame thier bad behavior on genes........Most of us are nice
LOL! ...goof ball. Yes, you are one of the 'nice genes'..
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  #15  
Old February 8th, 2015, 03:11 AM
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Trust Doug on this!!!

It took a long email from Doug to prevent me from making that mistake. Car made it through with zero problems.

Parts without a bill of lading?? Really?? Isn't that shipping 101?
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  #16  
Old February 8th, 2015, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
that demonic Scottish gene



don't be blaming me for this!!!!
My family is part of the McGregor Clan who's reactionary behavior, history has recorded.
Many generations removed temperament is still somewhat predictable.
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  #17  
Old February 8th, 2015, 03:30 PM
Ignotus
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We are Clan Little, a border clan often known for being reivers on whom ever comes thru. The Brits got angry at us and in 1603 killed the Clan Chief and dispersed lots of us to the colonies and Ireland.
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  #18  
Old February 8th, 2015, 04:00 PM
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Klan Connelly from County Cork.
Don't care much for our tartan though.
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  #19  
Old February 8th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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I am doing, for some specific reasons, almost always container transport. Although I have never experienced this extreme, I know for sure this can happen.
What always surprises me is the amount of money the bounded warehouses and the containerliners are making at the moment the container is on hold.
The $ 10k Doug is talking about went to somebody, and I am sure this party didn't do much for that.

Just storage at these places is normally double to triple the costs of transporting it per day. Unloading/loading is always a flat rate of over a $ 1,000. Two cars in a container only takes 20 minutes to do so. Per hour they make more then the best lawyer.

After every container I think , I should start a bounded warehouse and stop with everything else.
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  #20  
Old February 8th, 2015, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johan View Post
i am doing, for some specific reasons, almost always container transport. Although i have never experienced this extreme, i know for sure this can happen.
What always surprises me is the amount of money the bounded warehouses and the containerliners are making at the moment the container is on hold.
The $ 10k doug is talking about went to somebody, and i am sure this party didn't do much for that.

Just storage at these places is normally double to triple the costs of transporting it per day. Unloading/loading is always a flat rate of over a $ 1,000. Two cars in a container only takes 20 minutes to do so. Per hour they make more then the best lawyer.

After every container i think , i should start a bounded warehouse and stop with everything else.
unions.
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