We don't want to look like we're moving to Belize via Mexico, but would rather appear as though we're tourists on holiday, only carrying suitcases. Thus began our search for an economical shipping company to send down some "necessities" to begin our retirement.
We checked on The Belize Forums website for advice and found several shippers in Houston-which is along our planned route to Mexico. We could drag a small rental trailer the 780 miles to Houston dealing with the lower gas mileage, slower speed and spend a day to drop off our stuff at their place of business, pack everything in their barrels, return the rented trailer and then get underway to the border. Feeling this was our best option, I sent several emails and had received an estimate of $3000 (plus duty) for a 20 foot container. We don't need one that large, so I asked about consolidating the shipment and have had no further contact with them-I guess they don't consolidate?
Anyway, I googled "shipping Nashville to Belize"--lo and behold, a local company was at the top of the list! Really? Our new local Belizean friend recommends and has used them without incident. So, I called Caribbean Shipping Services. Yes, they consolidate; yes, they will pick up; yes, they will store our shipment until we're ready to receive it; yes, we can send either in a barrel or a crate-doesn't matter the weight because it's going by boat. YES! They have several locations in the southeastern US (Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia) consolidating the Nashville shipments with the Atlanta location every 2 weeks and ship out through Miami. It will take 2-3 weeks until the shipment arrives in Belize City, we just have to pick it up at the docks and go through customs/duty. I'm sure it'll be an all day adventure but (per our new mantra) "what else do we have to do?"
We've decided to build a 40 cubic foot crate and send our stuff down with them. The grand total for our shipment will be $440 plus duty. They will pick up the crate within a couple of days notice.
Here's their information: www.caribbeanshippingservice.com