Which method you choose will depend partly on the amount and weight of the goods you are shipping and partly on how fast you need them to get to their destination. Whatever you are shipping, it pays to obtain the services of a recognised shipping company, and preferably one with long experience of shipping to the country.
One thing you will have to consider is whether you wish to take your car with you. Public transport is not expensive in Jamaica and there is an extensive public transport system which links virtually every village and town. However, on the buses there is no set timetable. The bus leaves when the driver considers it is full, and passengers are crammed in. The fares are around 60p per 50 km. There are also route taxis which reach every part of the country on set routes, and you flag them down when you want to get on and tell the driver where you want to get off. There are also private minibuses known as coasters which cover the whole country.
If you do want to take your car it is worth considering the cost. It could actually be cheaper to sell it and buy a new one at the other end. If you are going to take it with you it can be shipped along with your other goods, or alternatively you can use Ro-Ro services where you drive your car on to the ship and drive it off at the other end. Your shipping company should be able to advise you of the latest import regulations at the other end regarding customs clearance.
Of course, most household items are not very bulky, but if you have something that is very large or heavy that will not fit in a container you will need to use break bulk shipping. Break bulk cargo is shipped individually, often on a skid or pallet, or in a crate. Examples of break bulk items are oversized vehicles, boats, generators, manufacturing materials, large engines, etc. However, break bulk shipping is time-intensive because each item has to be loaded and unloaded separately and may often require special equipment. This means that it is more expensive than shipping in containers which are of uniform size and can be loaded and unloaded quickly. Furthermore, break bulk items often take up more space in the ship or cargo hold.
However, with that said, break bulk shipping can be cost-saving in the case of items which would otherwise have to be dismantled in order to ship them and then reassembled at the other end.
Of course, many shipping companies offer a consolidation service when goods can be sent to their warehouse and then packed into a shipping container to Jamaica. Containers come in various sizes from 10 feet to 40 feet and there are also some non-standard sizes. Your goods can be despatched to the warehouse and then sorted into cartons or on pallets and can be stored for future shipping.
Some shipping companies also offer refrigerated services which are ideal for shipping cargoes that are perishable. Goods can be shipped to a dedicated cold store in the UK and then loaded into a chilled/frozen reefer container for onward shipment to Jamaica or any other of the Caribbean islands. The same companies will also ship goods back from the Caribbean to the UK, in particular catering for the banana industries of the Dominican Republic and the Windward Islands. Some offer a fixed day weekly service for shipping bananas to the UK.
Naturally, all shipping companies that ship to Jamaica and the Caribbean will ship from there to the UK, so if you are going to Jamaica for an assignment that takes, say, two years, you may be going to return to the UK at the end of it, so your chosen shipping company can bring you back home again. However, it is always possible that you will so love the weather and the laid-back way of life that you will choose to stay there.
If you are moving to Jamaica, W. I. Freight can store all your belongings in its’ East London warehouse for consolidation and onward shipping when ready.