I’m pacing more these days…waiting for the coffee. It left Manzanillo, Mexico yesterday, and it should be in Long Beach on Friday morning. Then the fun begins…
Sounded good at the time
I really didn’t know what to expect, the import business had always sounded so romantic. After years of saying “what if,” we decided it would be a good idea to at least give it a try. We were green as green could be, but determined not to fail.
One can read until your head spins, between FDA & Customs regulations it is quite a lot to know. Even with an agent to help, it can be a bewildering experience. Several early inquiries to customs agents went unanswered. I imagined that we weren’t the big customer, so we were on our own. We did finally find someone knowledgeable & helpful (but also busy.)
So we jumped in, and bought what seemed a large quantity of coffee (3,600 lbs.) It really isn’t that much; today one should aim to fill a 42,000 lb container for optimal shipping costs. One other advantage to being bigger (which we have yet to experience) is that you aren’t “LCL” that is, “less than container load,” which means the possibility of extra time in customs as each individual cargo is separated from the container & inspected (including ours.)
So it’s our first time, our baby, the chance for something new to flourish and grow. It’s more than just green coffee beans, it’s the hope that gee, maybe we really could do that after all. That import thing. I can already see great things in my mind, but I’m waiting.
We knew back in July that the dockworkers contract had expired, so there was always the risk of a strike. Our customs agent told us that the work seems to have slowed (as in a worker slowdown.) Plus it’s a busier time anyway as the parade from China of Christmas goodies begins to arrive. How long will we wait in customs? A week we’re told…
The time is soon, and documents have been sent here and there, all the machinations that happens to everything that enters the great Port of Long Beach are in motion, now just the waiting.
I’m pacing more these days…waiting for the coffee. It left Manzanillo, Mexico yesterday, and it should be in Long Beach on Friday morning. Waiting…
Still waiting…Received this from our customs agent yesterday:
Apparently, things are backed up in the Port of Long Beach, but the good news yesterday was that the FDA has approved our cargo for entry. Now, we just wait on Customs. I’m feeling better about all of this. Can’t wait until our coffee gets here!
Update 11/13/14 9:59 am
We’re still waiting. I haven’t heard from either our export agent in Peru, nor here in the States. I hate to keep nagging them, and we’ve already been “high maintenance” with all the questions that a beginner has, so another day of patiently waiting…
Update 11/13/14 10:04
Found an online source that indicates that the ship will leave on the 14th from LA. So, now I’m confused, did the ship arrive on the 8th or the 11th? Either way, it’s probably passing through Customs as of this writing. Hopefully, some news today.
Update 11/13/14 11:02 am
Received an email requesting funds for the expeditor. Things are happening…
Update 11/15/14 8:53 pm
Ship has cleared the port. There’s an x-ray hold. No firm time for release yet…
Update 11/29/14 09:22 am
Still waiting two weeks later…Customs is holding for inspection all the items in the container (ours is just one small part.) Gee, who would have thought it would take so long? Frustration…
Update 12/05/14 10:00 am
Just received word that we cleared customs! Yes, finally…
The coffee is leaving the customs area today and being shipped to our warehouse. Mission accomplished. We did it!
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