Sunday, July 3, 2011

Relocating to the St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Means Getting Your Things There.

Relocating to St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, requires getting your belonging to your new home. Because it is often an extreme change in weather and accommodations, some choose to only bring clothing and very personal items. Others want to bring as much as possible with them.

If you want to ship a household of furnishings you will want to start with a moving company to do the packing as well as the shipping. We used Viking . Our home was packed, loaded into a container on a truck at our home on the mainland, delivered to a port and loaded on a ship. Then shipped to St. Thomas, loaded on a truck and unpacked at our new home. The only thing that did not make the trip was a tissue holder that I was probably better off without.

If your have less to ship, you can pack it yourself and have it put on a pallet or a number of pallets and shipped as a portion of a  container. Tropical Shipping is a company I have used to import supplies. Contact them in advance, give them the weight and dimensions of what you are shipping and they will let you know what it will cost. Do this close to the time you will ship, as rates change with the cost of fuel. You will be notified when your shipment arrives. You then  go to the dock, clear it through customs and make arrangements to get your belongings where you want them on island. This is more labor intensive but a lot less expensive.

For a more gradual, small move, you can send boxes to yourself by the United States Post Office. As an American territory the USPS does deliver mail to the island. For the most part, they do not deliver to private homes, most of us receive our mail via  mail boxes. There are many mail box rental facilities on island. You will want to pay for first class mail as parcel post is put on a ship and will take  4-6 weeks to arrive, unless you have the time.

FedEx does ship here, but don't expect  it to arrive overnight, they can be reached at 1-877-838-7834. They may even accept your money to deliver it overnight but the reason it often does not make it, is Customs may hold it. Your money will not be refunded if the delay is due to Customs. This is true of Express mail too.

UPS or Big Brown, also ships here. I believe they treat us as an overseas destination. The local number to reach UPS is (340) 776-1700. The cost of calling numbers in St. Thomas from the mainland, is no more than calling from state to state on the mainland.

I provide the local numbers because I have been told in the States, they don't ship to the U.S. Virgin Islands or they want to send it to Puerto Rico, which is only part of the way here. You may have to provide a State side location with the numbers of the local offices. I have also received calls from some bewildered delivery person wandering in Virginia trying to get a package to me, in the VI.

When ordering online, you will often find there is no "U.S. Virgin Islands" in the drop down menu or they won't mail to a mail box.  You can get around this by having shipments sent to your work place or having a good friend or family member who will forward things to you from their address on the mainland.

I found it most interesting when I saw a UPS truck parked at the U.S. Post Office in Sugar Estates today, which inspired this blog. When I questioned the driver, he told me they deliver everywhere!

No comments:

Post a Comment