Guitar and Music Gears Relocation: From France to Thailand
June 14, 2021
Finally, the wait is over
I started working on this relocation at the end of January. I contacted many if not all, the moving companies I could find online. Unfortunately, almost none of them answered.
Finally, after relaunching them several times, I could talk to three of them seriously. Two were answering and were professional, and the third one was always answering with weeks of delay.
Lastly, I opted for SEA FLY SERVICES. The total cost is 4390€, everything included. And by everything, I meancustoms officer bribe, taxes, shipping, packaging, door-to-door delivery, and insurance.
They contacted a transporter in France who went to my dad’s house to pack my guitars, amps, and various gears and build a box. Then, finally, they shipped the whole lot by boat.
Problems started to happened. The boat was involved in the Suez canal incident and got blocked there for few weeks. Later, the ship got into a collision with another supertanker around Singapore. Another few extra weeks of delay.
Finally, my guitars arrived in Bangkok a little over two months late. I am glad I took insurance because you can see on the picks the moving company’s agent just sent me. Unfortunately, one of the boxes got damaged.
I cant wait to see the massacre
They are supposed to deliver them tomorrow. I must take pictures of all the damaged content before opening a claim. I hope they are not severely degraded.
The problem with insurance, in my case, is: I lowered the value of the guitars a lot to pay less taxes. But if they are severely damaged, they will use the prices I declared to reimburse me. So, I might lose a lot, according to how the damaged case looks. It can be severe.
I spent the entire afternoon unpacking guitars, and I was finally able to finish my pedalboard with all the pedals I was waiting for. I’m close to finishing. I need longer cables to connect to the sound card et voila.
I finally managed to cram in all the guitars in my small music room. I am just waiting for the guitar Hangers I ordered to hang all the mandolins and ukuleles on the walls.
I have to get rid of the boxes. It’s difficult here in Thailand because Garbage trucks only collect regular household waste.
Finally, everything is fine despite the boat crash
The strange thing is many guitars broke strings when I tried to tune them. I didn’t play them all since they arrived yesterday, but FOUR out of 8 guitars broke a string before I finished tuning them.
I also noticed humidity spots on the inside of the guitars, and many fretboards are dehydrated.
The long months spent at sea is surely the cause. They need a while to acclimate to the new weather.
Besides that, I find the guitars in perfect conditions. Given that they spent over a year in an attic in the south of France. Two months at sea and after enduring a massive collision of two supertankers. A lot of them are still in tune. Amazing.
I will now be able to review all my instruments and effect! Stay tuned
One fact to note is that customs did not open the boxes to check their contents. Is it due to the massive delay and that the port of Bangkok was overwhelmed by arrivals? I don’t know, but interestingly, I could have imported new items and declared them old and worthless without any problem. Moreover, the movers who went to my father to collect my packages did not open the already packed boxes too.
I imagine they scan the whole thing, and dogs are sniffing the consignments for drugs. But it’s still interesting to know that you can pass a few products on time and avoid taxes.
I am Hervé Senni, a pro musician and performer for quite some time.
My main musical instrument is unquestionably the electric guitar. Nevertheless, I also perform bass guitar, mandolin, Ukulele, and invented string instruments. I am also a composer as well as an arranger. Over the years, repairing and trying to further improve electric guitars that a majority of times did not have to be upgraded converted me right into a self-taught luthier.