TT Talk - Household Goods (from US FMC press release 4 Jan 2011)

Typical complaints allege failure to deliver the cargo and refusal to return the pre-paid ocean freight; loss of the cargo; significant delay in delivery; charges to the shipper for marine insurance that was never obtained; misinformation as to the whereabouts of the cargo; significantly inflated charges after the cargo was tendered and threats to withhold the shipment unless the increased freight was paid; or failure to pay the common carrier engaged by the company as another intermediary. In many cases, a shipper has been forced to pay another carrier or warehouse a second time in order to have the cargo released.

It is recommended that those who ship household goods ensure all documentation is correct with pick up locations, freight charges and estimated time of arrival all clearly stated on documentation.


  • that claims for damage are investigated and handled fairly
  • subcontractors are not billing charges that were not agreed at the time of the booking
  • arrival notices are sent to the property owners so that  cargo is picked up in a timely fashion, avoiding storage charges
  • the cargo is always stored in a way that protects it from  water damage and theft
  • where significant delay to the cargo becomes likely,  that notification of the delay is sent to the property owner and updated arrival date given.<//strong><//strong><//strong><//strong>

Each year, the Federal Maritime Commission in the US receives a substantial number of complaints from individuals who have experienced various problems with their international household goods shipment. Between 2005 and 2009, the Commission received over 2,500 such consumer complaints related to companies moving household goods and vehicles between various locations in the United States and foreign destinations. <//strong>

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