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?