I need to ship a lot of stuff to a Caribbean island, maybe half a container full of stuff. I realize that I can call a freight forwarder on the island and have them tell me what to do, but I would like to understand the process better.

Presumably container ships only go to the island once in a while, so I need to find out which ships are going at what times and what ports of call they have in the US before going there.

For example, if there is a ship loading up in Miami and then delivering to various islands, then I just need to make sure that my container is in Miami and gets loaded onto that ship. How do I find out which ships are viable?

Also, lets say that I am not shipping my own container, but only a lift van. Then, in that case, I need to ship my lift van to Miami, get it loaded into somebody else's container that is destined for my island.

How does the system work? I assume freight forwarders use some kind of database to find out all the relevant information. Is that a database that I can use?

  • I’m going vote to close this question as it is blatantly off topic. – Jacob Horbulyk Oct 2 '17 at 20:00
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    @JacobHorbulyk Transporting belongings is an essential part of travel. I realize you might not have any belongings, so you personally may not care about transporting belongings, but some people who travel have to transport their belongings as well as their persons. There is a shipping tag already used by the site for this exact type of question. – Lemuel Gulliver Oct 2 '17 at 20:03
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    What island? I would think that some islands handle things differently, have different traffic patterns, accept different kinds of ships, have different customs regimes, etc. How can I apply for grad school in a European country? How can I find a doctor in Asia? – Robert Columbia Oct 2 '17 at 20:11
  • @Calchas Uh, you answered a question about shipping a car (travel.stackexchange.com/questions/882/…) – Lemuel Gulliver Oct 2 '17 at 20:26
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    I think what @Calchas is trying to say is that even if this is on topic here, you're far more likely to reach users who've had practical experience with this problem by asking at Expatriates. Regardless of whether this is on or off topic here, it is definitely a better fit there. – phoog Oct 2 '17 at 20:39

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