Inexpensive moving of household good or commerical freight to coastal areas and exporting.Because of the tremendous quantity of goods being produced in China there are returning empty containers going back to west coast ports. Using them to ship to an area within 100s of miles of the port can be very economical although it is a little slow.
Most logistics brokers can arrange this for you. I have used C.H. Robinson in the past. They had a truck pick up a container from somewhere and take it to a printer in Indiana were it was loaded and trucked to Chicago. From there it went by train to Los Angeles Harbor. From there a truck bought it to our warehouse in Valencia, CA. Despite 100s of miles of trucking it was still about 1/2 the price of over the road trucking for the entire distance. It also took 10 days instead of 5 days.
Containers come in 20 40 and 48 foot lengths. 20s are a little hard to find but they do exist. If you do not have enough to fill a container and you can palletized or crate and put the crates on pallets it might be cheaper depending on how much you have. Standard pallets are 40 x 48 inches. Just drive around any commercial area and you will see stacks of them. Ask if you can have some.
If you are shipping overseas to a country that exports more than it imports you can also find a good rate. Again you can use Returning Empty Containers.
From a business view point using returning empty containers creates opportunities for an export business or just bringing goods in quantity from the interior to the areas around ports.
For household moving you would want to pack everything in boxes and have it ready to go and have a team of movers available to load the container when it comes. If you can load the container in a few hours it would probably be cheaper to pay for the driver's time than to have the trailer dropped off and then picked up.
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