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Old 27.08.2020, 13:52
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Unpacking a shipping container

Good afternoon,


I wanted to ask a few questions about unpacking a shipping container, if there are any people who have been through a similar experience...


We have a shipping container arriving next week from Australia. Our friendly transport company has not yet given us a time/date as to when it will be delivered. However, we DO know that the container will stay on the truck, and that we only have one hour to unpack the container, which is completely crazy.


Once we have the arrival details, we will need to engage a local removalist company with a ramp or forklift to help us. However, we can't do this YET as we have no details.



Has anyone been through a similar experience who could offer some advice as to how you dealt with this? For example, we don't know whether removalist companys do this type of thing, minimum # of hours hire etc. We are in Kanton Bern.



Thanks in advance
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:05
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

In our town there is a local transport/removals and hire company that is very good for this sort of thing.



In german you need I think an 'Umzugsunternehmen'. basically a moving company.



the companies I see around that also work in Bern (maybe) are Widmer, Welti-Furrer.



The handler may be able to hold the shipment for you for a short time at the border. But beyond a certain time limit, it starts to cost money for it to sit there...



I assume it's coming in on pallets ? In that case it's probably all plastic wrapped. Do you have access to a garage ? Are you sure they won't lift it out of the container with a pallet mover for you ? If so, then I would ask them to move it to the garage if they won't carry everything upstairs...
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:22
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

Have you asked the shipping company? Perhaps they work in collaboration with a local mover (Umzugsunternehmen). And after all, while this conundrum is new to you, delivering container-loads is what they do all the time.
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:37
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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In our town there is a local transport/removals and hire company that is very good for this sort of thing.



In german you need I think an 'Umzugsunternehmen'. basically a moving company.



the companies I see around that also work in Bern (maybe) are Widmer, Welti-Furrer.



The handler may be able to hold the shipment for you for a short time at the border. But beyond a certain time limit, it starts to cost money for it to sit there...



I assume it's coming in on pallets ? In that case it's probably all plastic wrapped. Do you have access to a garage ? Are you sure they won't lift it out of the container with a pallet mover for you ? If so, then I would ask them to move it to the garage if they won't carry everything upstairs...

Thanks Swisspea. It's coming as an entire container on the back of a truck (we self packed the container), and the container will stay on the truck. We need to engage a local removalist to assist us with unpacking the container as we will need a ramp and some muscles.



The problem is that Maersk (our shipping company) will probably only give us one day's notice that our container will be delivered. It's going to be challenging!!
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:38
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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Have you asked the shipping company? Perhaps they work in collaboration with a local mover (Umzugsunternehmen). And after all, while this conundrum is new to you, delivering container-loads is what they do all the time.

Good idea doropfiz, I'll send them an email.
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:38
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

Hi!

Did this a few weeks ago but the moving company organized it all. Are you shipping it independently?

It is not possible to empty a container in 1 hr. Even a 20ft one will take longer than that. The driver and truck allegedly cost 300 CHF an hour hence they want to speed you up.

We took about 4 hrs to empty a 40ft and 2 hrs a 20 ft - 3 moving men plus me and lift to higher floor.

Not sure you can organize lift etc for next week especially if requires park permits etc. I would try to get a moving company to help you with that? Ours confirmed weeks before the exact arrival time of container. It needs to be coordinated with the company that loans the truck and driver etc. I would get the firm to do it even if it is a bit expensive because they will know how to navigate.

Any other questions just ask.
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:51
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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Hi!

Did this a few weeks ago but the moving company organized it all. Are you shipping it independently?

It is not possible to empty a container in 1 hr. Even a 20ft one will take longer than that. The driver and truck allegedly cost 300 CHF an hour hence they want to speed you up.

We took about 4 hrs to empty a 40ft and 2 hrs a 20 ft - 3 moving men plus me and lift to higher floor.

Not sure you can organize lift etc for next week especially if requires park permits etc. I would try to get a moving company to help you with that? Ours confirmed weeks before the exact arrival time of container. It needs to be coordinated with the company that loans the truck and driver etc. I would get the firm to do it even if it is a bit expensive because they will know how to navigate.

Any other questions just ask.

Thanks Kri.


We have a moving company, but their responsibility was only delivery to our address. Our responsibility is unpacking the container. So now I'm dealing directly with the shipping company (Maersk) as they are the ones who are hiring the truck and driver. TBH our moving company have been hopeless.


I don't believe they will need a parking permit as it will be parked outside our house (a Doppeleinfamilienhaus). But that is a good idea - I will double check.


I've just checked with Maersk - they give us 2 hours to unpack and then they charge EU100/hour. We have a fully packed 20 ft container, but will only be unpacking to the ground level. Our plan was to hire a moving company with 2 people, and we will be 3, so 5 people alltogether.



How can you coordinate it weeks ahead, when you don't know an exact arrival time and date? Did you just line up who you would use and give them notice at the last minute?

Last edited by AussieKathryn; 27.08.2020 at 16:27.
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:20
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

Ask Swissotter (EF member)? Went through this recently as well
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:29
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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I don't believe they will need a parking permit as it will be parked outside our house (a Doppeleinfamilienhaus). But that is a good idea - I will double check.
I recommend that you check with your local municipality about the parking. Ask them about the size of the truck and its weight, and whether this needs a special permit. Be aware that in Switzerland each municipality has its own rules.

Some municipalities have a system whereby you can reserve parking spaces in the public road outside your home (that would otherwise be, say, "blue zone" or "white zone" or completely open) in advance. To do this, you reserve, and then collect stands from the municipality (you are renting them, for a fee) to put up on the road the night before, with the official municipal sign: "No parking here from 06h00 until 14h00", or some similar window (allowing for traffic delays). In that way, the space is [very likely to be] clear of other cars, the next day. Afterwards, you return those stands in the afternoon or the next day. You might have to pay a deposit, which would be refundable.

This link is from Germany, not Switzerland, so none of the text is applicable, but the photo shows the type of signs.
https://umziehen.de/umzug-transport/...parkplatz-3406

As you have a Doppeleinfamilienhaus, be sure to pop round to the neighbours some days beforehand, to inform them of what's happening. This, just in case they'd prefer to move their car, or take their dog out, etc. before everything gets going, and because it's a friendly thing to do.

I recommend not allowing the truck driver drive into/onto the premises, including the grass and driveway of the Doppeleinfamilienhaus, not even to turn the truck around. Those structures are often not built to bear the weight of such a heavy vehicle. If the vehicle causes any damage, there is likely to be a dispute about whether you or they are liable, and that's really more trouble you just don't need now.
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Old 27.08.2020, 16:38
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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Ask Swissotter (EF member)? Went through this recently as well

Was just reading this roegner thanks. We used the same movers (crown) fm singapore to zurich and they organised everything very well. We could track our shipment - and were updated every week of it's progress.(which was complicated at that time for us as covid affected docking/shipping times)
As to the unloading, this took 3 men around 2-3 hrs. We didn't need a parking permit AFAIK but we have a quiet street outside our appartment.
good luck with your shipment OP.
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Old 27.08.2020, 19:30
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

We were very lucky as we used a shipping company who had a depot in Edinburgh, they picked everything up from a storage company in our home town just north of there. They organised everything down to the parking permits (we live on the end of a very narrow street). When the guys unloaded we told them what needed to go to our basement and what needed to be in out flat and they were great. The 2 guys we had made regular trips to Switzerland so they knew all the ins and outs.
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Old 27.08.2020, 21:50
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

Since you're in Bern, maybe try contacting PackImpex? It's years since they helped us with our move but I'm pretty sure they unloaded the truck or arranged for it.
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Old 27.08.2020, 22:16
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

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Thanks Kri.


We have a moving company, but their responsibility was only delivery to our address. Our responsibility is unpacking the container. So now I'm dealing directly with the shipping company (Maersk) as they are the ones who are hiring the truck and driver. TBH our moving company have been hopeless.


I don't believe they will need a parking permit as it will be parked outside our house (a Doppeleinfamilienhaus). But that is a good idea - I will double check.


I've just checked with Maersk - they give us 2 hours to unpack and then they charge EU100/hour. We have a fully packed 20 ft container, but will only be unpacking to the ground level. Our plan was to hire a moving company with 2 people, and we will be 3, so 5 people alltogether.



How can you coordinate it weeks ahead, when you don't know an exact arrival time and date? Did you just line up who you would use and give them notice at the last minute?
Good input from all re checking weight. Out driveway had a specific limit and driver wanted to ignore it..... We had to argue with him.

I have no idea how the moving company coordinated it but they rent a driver and truck and tell them where to pick up the container. 3 people will be fine in 2 hours if it's at ground floor but will need to work fast. Do you have insurance of any sort?

I am surprised your moving company is not coordinating this - did it twice now and moving company always coordinated the container arrival. There is a lot to consider with weight/permits etc - not sure you should do it all alone especially if you paid a moving company?
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Old 10.09.2020, 03:37
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Re: Unpacking a shipping container

How're things going, AussieKathryn? Was the container delivered alright, and were you and your helpers able to empty it without mishap? Had time to get your breath back, yet, or are you still surrounded by boxes?

I'd be interested in reading about what solutions you found, and your advice to others. Thanks.
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