We are moving from SF Bay area to Izmir, Turkey…
We had never done this before, and needless to say, were worried about shipping. I contacted many many companies, and received many quotes. Some were very low (beware!) and some were very high, and then I did some research and came to this excellent website! I contacted Southern Winds, specifically Michael Gilbert, and he gave us a middle of the road quote. Going on the good reviews from this site, I decided to trust them and gave them the deal.
Mr. Gilbert was very courteous, very helpful with all the repeated questions by me, then again with my husband, and never got frustrated. He did not send anyone, however, to see the shipment beforehand, which I wish he had done, but we relied on the many previous on site estimates of our things. I have seen other people mention this is a must, but I think we were good with that. There was a small glitch when we realized that the inside of the lift van was not 200 cu ft, but smaller, and that we had to reevaluate the things we planned to take, but that passed and we set a date for the movers to come. Mr. Gilbert sent two gentlemen from a local company affiliate, Excel, and they came on time and ready to load!
The Excel guys, Daniel and Ken, were fantastic. They knew what they were doing and put everything into the lift van, Tetris style! I should mention that my husband had arranged the boxes into an autocad program on his computer, to see how to fit them best, which turned out to be helpful, but not necessary. Daniel and Ken were professionals and left not even a hair space open.
Since we are planning a short trip to the east coast to see family for christmas, we were worried about the shipment getting there too soon. Mr. Gilbert was kind enough to offer a short delay to the next ship coming, so that we would get there just before it was scheduled to come. He did this without charging us a penny extra.
So far, Southern Winds International and Excel both get 5 stars and a big thank you from us… I will keep you posted!