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Shipping personal items from Japan

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  • Shipping personal items from Japan

    Does anyone know of a moving company that will not charge an arm and a leg to ship boxes and some furniture to the U.S. I tried a few Japanese companies to get prices and nobody speaks a word of English. One company sent me an email in English, which made no sense, but from the little that did, I am certain I am not going to pay 2 months salary to ship my things across the Pacific. Isnft there a company that caters to foreigners?

  • #2
    Moving

    I had the same problem when left Japan 4 and half years ago but I came across a great moving company that shipped my things for a very reasonable price. This company was awesome, they sent me boxes, I packed and they came and picked up 50 boxes and delivered it to my home on Long Island all within a month. Youfre right, donft even bother with a Japanese moving company (been there, done that). I came back to Tokyo this Summer for another 2-year stint and I had the same company send my things from NY to Tokyo and it couldnft of been easier. The company name is Shipmates Worldwide Moving; there web address is www.shipmates.jp

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    • #3
      Originally posted by walker1357
      I had the same problem when left Japan 4 and half years ago but I came across a great moving company that shipped my things for a very reasonable price. This company was awesome, they sent me boxes, I packed and they came and picked up 50 boxes and delivered it to my home on Long Island all within a month. Youfre right, donft even bother with a Japanese moving company (been there, done that). I came back to Tokyo this Summer for another 2-year stint and I had the same company send my things from NY to Tokyo and it couldnft of been easier. The company name is Shipmates Worldwide Moving; there web address is www.shipmates.jp
      I want to add this company to my 'info. file' for the people who come and go here. One person I know who shipped from Japan to the UK using Nittsu (Pelican) shipped a huge amount of stuff for under 150,000 yen. Is that reasonable? Just to compare.
      Their estimates were high, but they came in way under their estimates.

      It seems that, yes, the English skills at Nittsu were rudimentary at best. And they were more used to people shipping to the US, UK and China because they were being moved by a Japanese company to work overseas (so they were totally unused to a customer walking in off the street).

      BTW, I couldn't get the link you gave to run. Is it possibly something else or just a server problem (somewhere).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nick Halliday
        I want to add this company to my 'info. file' for the people who come and go here. One person I know who shipped from Japan to the UK using Nittsu (Pelican) shipped a huge amount of stuff for under 150,000 yen. Is that reasonable? Just to compare.
        Their estimates were high, but they came in way under their estimates.

        It seems that, yes, the English skills at Nittsu were rudimentary at best. And they were more used to people shipping to the US, UK and China because they were being moved by a Japanese company to work overseas (so they were totally unused to a customer walking in off the street).

        BTW, I couldn't get the link you gave to run. Is it possibly something else or just a server problem (somewhere).
        Hi Nick,

        The address is correct and I just checked and it works fine. Try typing it into your browser.

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        • #5
          Shipping personal items from Japan

          Walker, I owe you big time for giving me this information. For all of you moving or shipping from Japan, I would suggest you call Shipmates Worldwide Moving. For the sake and benefit of those of you moving from Japan, here is a run down of the process. I went to www.shipmates.jp and filled out their inquiry form (name, address, etc) and filled in the number of boxes and items I plan on shipping. I submitted the form during lunch hour and received a reply in 30 minutes (NOT an auto generated reply) with prices and a Relocation Guide. I had a few questions and sent them an email and the amazing thing was that I get a reply with a detailed answer in 10 minutes! A few more emails back and forth and my mind was made, I wasnft even going to consider shopping around. I called their office and they emailed me a booking form and an inventory list, I faxed it back to them and four days from when I first contacted them, they were at my apartment at 10:00 AM collecting my shipment. I wanted some packing boxes and bubble wrap and they sent it to me the next day. What they do is give you several options for shipping so if you want to save money for example, you can do your own packing and they send you the boxes. I had already packed 25 boxes so I didnft see the need to get the packing done by them but I was worried since I have very fragile and expensive music equipment if I should get the things repacked. They said in that case, they are able to put all of my things in my own crate so everything will travel together and nothing will get tossed around inside the container. I had my shipment crated for a very modest price of 5,000 Yen. One other thing is I went with the door to port option and when my shipment arrives in Seattle, I clear customs and pick up the shipment at a bonded warehouse at the port. They gave me a good price to get it customs cleared and delivered to my house in Seattle but since my cousin has a pick up truck, I figured I would do that part on my own.
          All this for 1/4th the price I was quoted by a Japanese moving company. More amazing is the level of service they provided me with. I mean talking to these guys was more like dealing with a moving consultant. It was nothing like efHere is the price, take it or leaveff. They really work with you from the get-go and give a lot of useful information and tips. I was in a mad rush because I had to get my apartment cleared out and I explained to them my situation and so they were able to book me in with such short notice. Usually, they want like 2 weeks advance notice and if you book a month in advance, you get special deals. The English customer service number 03- 5403-8810 and they have a lot of useful information and tips online at www.shipmates.jp

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          • #6
            I still couldn't get it to run--clicked on or typed. Makes me wonder how many other sites I'm missing out on here because they don't run. I've really got to figure this one out.

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            • #7
              Shipmates is terrible

              I've moved internationally 4 times and they have the worst service by far of anyone I've used. They are slow to respond to email (you must call on the phone to get a reply) and if you use the pro-pack service (the one where they pack and pick up) they don't even send someone out to estimate the amount of items you have. This is important because they charge on volume of things shipped.

              In my case, I sent in the form, Jeremy (who replied to my email) guessed I had 1.5 cubic meters, said if I had electronics I should use the pro-pack and we figured I'd be in around 200,000 yen. However, when the Japanese crew came by to pick stuff they were unprepared for the volume of things I had and needed a second truck and 3 extra people since the main office never bothered to estimate anything in person.

              Then, I'm told I have 3.5 cubic meters on the bill (better than the 4-5 the local Japanese crew estimated) which means an extra 90,000 yen.

              I also never received things from Jeremy that I asked for, like estimates on what they had (before the final bill).

              That being said, the local Japanese company that Shipmates hired seemed very nice and prompt, it's just the poor professionalism and lack of in-person estimates that ruined everything (from Shipmates). I got a surprise 300,000+ yen bill that I couldn't back out of (since I was moving and had no apartment, I just can't cancel and take things back) which soured my mood.

              To make matters worse, Jeremy said in his email (from the very start, at 1.5 cubic meter guess-time) that the packing service was 35,000 yen. When I went in to sign things, he said he discounted the 55,000 yen packing service to 35,000 yen for me (which I never knew it was to start with) even though I wasn't shipping 5+ cubic meters. Sketchy.

              I wouldn't trust these guys and recommend not using them.

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              • #8
                That's strange. I just talked to this Jeremy at Shipmates and I was quoted a price of 64,000 yen for the minimum which is 1 cubic meter. He also said that depending on weight and volume I might do better through the post office.
                I find it shady that there's absolutely no mention of price on the website.

                Moving is no fun.

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                • #9
                  Shipmates

                  I had an excellent service from Shipmates when moving July 2006 from Minamai Aoyama to London. They transported 3 antique tansus, 1 antique chair and about 12 boxes of personal effects - mostly expensive china. I got them to pack it and it has arrived in London on time and with no damage. The guys packed quicjkly and professionally - and have taken the same care with my belongings as I would have done myself.

                  Shipmates did not come to asses my shipment before - but I gave them accurate details of my furniture - including measurements - and had a good idea how many boxes my personal belongings would use - so no shocks on price. Jeremy answered every question promptly and I ended up with a very smooth service and one less hassle to worry about.

                  Highly recommended.

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                  • #10
                    We are using Shipmates right now and so far so good. They pick up on Friday this week and have been extremely helpful with everything. The boxes arrived quickly, as we are packing ourselves, and I had an email to acknowledge my packing list fax today almost before I got back to my flat after sending the fax.

                    We do have a small problem in that due to extra security in the UK our stuff has to clear customs in England at port of entry and not in Glasgow, as originally, planned, so this means more money but this is not Shipmates fault.

                    We are dealing with Lisa and she is really polite, fast and efficient with her email replies and I have no complaints at all.

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                    • #11
                      To move internationally four times is extraordinary, you must have good experience with moving companies, thanks for sharing it with us. I have a lot to learn here...

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                      • #12
                        Helpful thread~

                        I know it's an old thread but it helped me out a lot. I have a lot of PC equipment to ship over to Kameari, Tokyo. I was a bit worried that I would have to sell it all off due to the hefty price but my belongings are not even over 1 cubic meter. I was worried about my Shoei helmets too, hehe.

                        ‚ ‚肪‚Æ‚¤@‚²‚´‚¢‚Ü ·@

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                        • #13
                          Cost at port for Japan-USA move?

                          I've shipped my stuff from Japan, it's in transit for a door-to-port move. I have to work with a customs broker because of some new law. The broker knows how much we've shipped, knows where it's coming in (it's still on the boat I guess) but won't give me an estimate on costs. She was the only broker I contacted who was willing to work with us on this move and I contacted upwards of 20. Any recent movers who can give me any info on costs at port (cost and # of cubic meters of stuff) please let me know.

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