Step Three: How to Select a Shipping Company for Moving back to India

Tag: india shipping container

Many of us start by looking at forums like for a shipping company. I have had a few friends who moved back to India from the U.S., and I asked them what their experiences were and what shipping companies they chose.

I personally feel it is very unlikely everyone would have a good experience with the same shipper. Everybody’s story is a little different, which makes it difficult to predict what the results will be.

I received three estimates from the following shipping companies:

1. Timothy Whybrew Allison Shipping International, Inc. Tel: 562-435-7200. Fax: 562-435-7201.

2. Universal Relocations. Toll free: 1-888-323-7356. Toll free fax: 1-866-624-9165.

3. Worldwide Ocean & Air Shipping Lines. Tel: 1-800-327-5252.

Allison Shipping gave me the lowest quote, but they did not offer door-to-door delivery and would ship the container via MSC shipping line. According to Worldwide Ocean, MSC is the worst shipping company because they take a long time and use risky routes.

My friend hired Universal Relocation,  and overall his experience was not bad but got messed up in customs duty. I did not hire them because they were asking $500 more than what Worldwide Shipping had quoted me.

I hired Worldwide Shipping, and their customer service was decent, but with a lot of but’s. Rakesh Kumar from Worldwide Shipping told me that MSC is the worst shipping company.  He stated:

MSC has the longest transit time. The vessel can take up to 90 days to reach India. No wonder you are getting such a low quote from the other shipping company. Ask them if they can give you the quote but use Hanjin/NYK/Hapag Loyds/OOCL/Yang Ming. Hope to have informed you in your order. Rakesh KumarSent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

And guess what? They sent my container through MSC. They hired LAC Relocations in India for customs duty and delivery to Indore. Minesh Shah from LAC is the biggest crook. I will write another post regarding  my experience with LAC Relocations and customs duty. Therefore if you go with Worldwide Shipping, request them not to use LAC Relocations.

In the end, do not worry about the shipping company. Your goods will go fine in any shipping company. They are all large companies, and these people are just like travel agents. You go with the lowest quote and ask about how they will deliver your goods to India. You can ask what kind of truck they will use, how many and type (professional) of people they will send for unloading, etc., but in the end it is all the same.If I have to do all over again, I might go with Allison Company and hire someone locally in India to save money.

By the way, if anything goes wrong in your shipment, it will more than likely  be  in India. Also pack you items very well, because people will stand and walk on your items as if they were nothing.

Previous Posts:

1. Step One in the Process of Returning to India

2. Step Two: Is a Shipping Container Worth It for Moving back to India?


Tag: india shipping container

It will cost around $5,000-$7,000 for a shipping container from the U.S. to India. This includes loading, unloading, insurance and around $1,000 for customs duty.

What I concluded is that unless you can make up that cost in saving, it is not worth it to ship a container. We have purchased a lot of new furniture, two big HDTVs (including a 55″ 3D HDTV), a music systems (including 7.1 speakers), and many other items. We thought a lot about not  shipping a container, but once we decided that it would be worth it, we made a list of what we would need to take versus what we would buy once back in India. By doing this, we were able to save $3,000-$4,000 in electronics alone when compared to the cost of buying them in India.

We had been in the U.S. for 12 years so instead of taking our old furniture from U.S.,  we bought almost all new furniture including 4 Italian leather sofas, queen and king size bed, mattresses, dresser, night stands, center tables, computer table, entertainment center etc.  We are going to live in Indore, and it would have been possible to have gotten the furniture we wanted in the big cities, but it would have been a lot of hassle. We would have had to see in which big city we could buy our furniture, then where in that city to buy our furniture, and then we probably would not have been able to find what we wanted. I am pretty sure that the deal we got from Macy’s in the U.S. was better than any deal we could have found in India. In addition, already having the furniture would save us a lot of time and hassle, not to mention that we had gotten what we wanted and had grown accustomed to it too.

Here are the main item we shipped in our container:



1. 55″ Samsung 3D HDTV

2. 40″ Samsung HDTV

3. Onkyo TX-NR808 Home Theater Receiver

4. 7.1 Speakers ( 2 Polk II Monitor70, 1 Polk CS 2, 1 BIC 12″ subwoofer and 4 BOSE 161 speakers)

5. 1 New Lenovo laptop and 2 Dell netbooks

6. 4 2000 watts transformers and 1 3000 watts step up/down transformer

7. Toys and cloths for our 2 year-old son

8. PS3 and Xbox 360 with lots of games

9. Dinnerware (for formal and daily use)

10. Wireless security systems

11. HP wireless printer

12. 4-5 beds in a bag

13. Picture frames from michaels

14. Sony hi-fi shelf system

15. Exercise/boot camp DVDS

16. Speaker cables, ethernet cables, bannana plugs, etc from

17 Shark steam pocket mop

18. Rice Cooker, Cusinart griddle, KitchenAid oven

19. 2-3 digital picture frames

20. Bathroom and cleaning supplies for a few months

21. Professional fabric steamer from costco

22. 2 Area rugs from Costco

23.  Above-mentioned furniture

24. 2 wireless N routers, one to be used as a wireless bridge

25. 2 Spike protectors

26. PAL HDMI-NTSC converter ( depends on if you need it)

I hope this post and list of items will help you in deciding whether it is worth shipping a container.

Previous Post:

1. Step One in the Process of Returning to India


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