SHIPPING IN THE WINTER & WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW- A message from our owner, Jim

Winter weather shipping presents various challenges. Dealing with the logistics of moving your life to Hawaii is daunting. We hope that the straight forward information provided below will help you make a smart decision.

What Do You Need to Know?

  • A company specifically experienced in Northeast Pacific ocean container shipping during the winter and early spring months.
  • Material cost for a properly packed household goods container scheduled for shipment during the winter or spring is about 20% more than summer and fall.
  • The additional labor cost for “tight loading” your goods for ocean shipment during the same period is about 25% more.
  • The most important/joyous moment of your move isn’t when your container doors are shut at your current residence and the container pulls away heading for the port.
  • The real most joyous/important moment happens when your container is delivered at your Hawaii residence. That’s when doors are swung open and your valuables are unbroken, on time, and on budget. No surprises. Now it’s time for smiles all around and pop that bubbly!
  • Terminology. Packing is everything done inside the home and or around your property. Loading is everything done inside the container.
  • Some other companies have the word Hawaii in their name, like Hawaii trucking, Hawaii freight, or Hawaii shipping, but in reality they’re a Florida, Washington, or California company. Don’t be fooled by the word Hawaii in a company’s name.
  • Contacting the Hawaii BBB to obtain a reference is always a good idea. Upon request, any good service provider should furnish you a copy of their current BBB ranking and history.

What Does “Tight Loading” Mean?

No two household goods container shipments are the same. Cookie cutter approaches used by most companies can be less expensive. The downside is the results can be inconsistent. Usually only 30% of household goods will square up and or be stackable. Simply put, there’s usually space between and under items. Empty space is not good. A tight load, provided by a professional, will minimize that empty space. The results are less shifting while sailing and a significantly reduced risk of winter transit damage. Maybe your lucky enough to have a retired military or airline loadmaster in your family.

If not, hire a professional.

The right company will have a dedicated in house, tight pack, and load/unload supervisor on site at your job. It will be his or her only job; they’ve been doin it for a long time and they love what they do.

What Does “Properly Packed” Mean?

Packing is a lot more time consuming but doesn’t require the skill set professional loading requires. But it does require a lot of patience and time.

Total Man Hour Time Estimates Are Based on 16 Years of Data-

  • An average 20′ container will require about 25 total hours of boxing and wrapping time for goods coming out of the residence.
  • 50 total man hours for an average 40′
  • 75 total man hours for a 45′

Material Totals Including Blanket Cost Are Based on 16 Years of Data

Information is provided for 2019 winter container shipping when buying materials yourself from a big box store. Current cost is about $1,500 for an average 20′, $2,300 for an average 40′, and $3,000 for an average 45′. Just in blankets you’ll need 30-40 top grade blankets for a 20′ container, 50-70 for a 40′ container and 70-90 for a 45′ container. During winter and early spring, you should buy only double corrugated packing boxes and top grade tape. If you’re a do-it-yourself (DIY) customer, a good service provider should provide you, upon request, a custom packing materials list based on your manifest. This list should help you save time and money by purchasing only what you need, in the quantity you need. Additionally, they should be able to help you complete a preorder. Material preorders allow your requested materials to be gathered and waiting for you at check out. Packing is sort of like big wave surfing- if you even ask yourself should I go out; the answer is NO! In packing if you even ask yourself should I use more material in this box; the answer is YES!

Any company providing service to and from Hawaii should be versed in analyzing ocean conditions. They should have a professional working knowledge of anticipated wave set, swell, direction, length, and wind speed during the time your goods are on the water.  Preferably, your service provider has a dedicated team member who possesses a skill set learned by the first hand and local knowledge of sailing the Northeast Pacific. What Hawaiians refer to as a “waterman.”

If you ask your provider if they check the Pacific Marine Ocean Predictive Center or the WX daily briefing package and they have no idea as to what you are referring, you’re talking to the wrong people.


There are no short cuts to successful winter transits. 

You can do this Right, you can do this Fast, or you can do this Cheap. 

Pick One.

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