Many of us start by looking at forums like http://www.r2iclubforums.com/ for a shipping company. I have had a few friends who moved back to India from the U.S., and I asked them what their experiences were and what shipping companies they chose.
I personally feel it is very unlikely everyone would have a good experience with the same shipper. Everybody’s story is a little different, which makes it difficult to predict what the results will be.
I received three estimates from the following shipping companies:
1. Timothy Whybrew Allison Shipping International, Inc. Tel: 562-435-7200. Fax: 562-435-7201. www.allisonshipping.com
2. Universal Relocations. Toll free: 1-888-323-7356. Toll free fax: 1-866-624-9165. www.universalrelocations.com
3. Worldwide Ocean & Air Shipping Lines. Tel: 1-800-327-5252. www.worldwide4shipping.com
Allison Shipping gave me the lowest quote, but they did not offer door-to-door delivery and would ship the container via MSC shipping line. According to Worldwide Ocean, MSC is the worst shipping company because they take a long time and use risky routes.
My friend hired Universal Relocation, and overall his experience was not bad but got messed up in customs duty. I did not hire them because they were asking $500 more than what Worldwide Shipping had quoted me.
I hired Worldwide Shipping, and their customer service was decent, but with a lot of but’s. Rakesh Kumar from Worldwide Shipping told me that MSC is the worst shipping company. He stated:
MSC has the longest transit time. The vessel can take up to 90 days to reach India. No wonder you are getting such a low quote from the other shipping company. Ask them if they can give you the quote but use Hanjin/NYK/Hapag Loyds/OOCL/Yang Ming. Hope to have informed you in your order. Rakesh KumarSent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
And guess what? They sent my container through MSC. They hired LAC Relocations in India for customs duty and delivery to Indore. Minesh Shah from LAC is the biggest crook. I will write another post regarding my experience with LAC Relocations and customs duty. Therefore if you go with Worldwide Shipping, request them not to use LAC Relocations.
In the end, do not worry about the shipping company. Your goods will go fine in any shipping company. They are all large companies, and these people are just like travel agents. You go with the lowest quote and ask about how they will deliver your goods to India. You can ask what kind of truck they will use, how many and type (professional) of people they will send for unloading, etc., but in the end it is all the same.If I have to do all over again, I might go with Allison Company and hire someone locally in India to save money.
By the way, if anything goes wrong in your shipment, it will more than likely be in India. Also pack you items very well, because people will stand and walk on your items as if they were nothing.