Friday, July 6, 2007

A Matson containers endorsement (the Hawaii to San Bernardino cat story)

Matson claims the following about their ocean shipping containers:

Shipping your household goods in fully protected steel-constructed ocean containers is the proven method to safeguard your valued belongings during ocean transit.

Now when Matson talks about "valued belongings," they mean to talk about the inanimate kind. But Jeff Pope shared a story on KGGI this morning that extends the concept of "valued belongings" to the extreme.

Here's how Joe Nelson of the Daily Bulletin tells the tale.

Pamela Escamilla didn't intend to ship [her cat] Spice from Hawaii to [San Bernardino] in a 20-foot Matson storage container....

Sometime while Escamilla was packing the huge container with household goods, the curious cat ventured in to explore. Before she could come out, the container was sealed for the voyage from Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, to San Bernardino. The container shipped out June 15.

Spice's disappearance was noted, but flight schedules forced the Escamillas to depart - without their cat, they thought....

Meanwhile, Spice spent 18 days in the pitch-black container without food or water as it crossed the Pacific before docking at the Port of Long Beach on Friday [June 29].

On Tuesday, the container arrived at the San Bernardino home of Escamilla's parents, Edward and Helen Gardner, on West 39th Street.

Flanked by her husband, Tony, children, nephew and parents, Escamilla opened the container. Everyone immediately noticed fluffs of cat hair on the floor....

Pamela Escamilla climbed into the container and made her way to the back, searching frantically.

Then, "I saw (Spice) poke her head out from behind some bicycles, and I started to scream," said Escamilla....

Surprisingly, the feline's prognosis is good....

"It's always a good day when the cat's alive," said Escamilla on Tuesday, flanked by her 13-year-old son, Ryan; 9-year-old daughter, Brooke; and nephew Jacob Gardner, 9. "We didn't know what we would find."

Escamilla's father, Ed Gardner added, "It was a happy ending. We recommend the Matson containers."

You would think that a shipping company wouldn't even touch the idea of putting live animals in an ocean container for a week or two. Surprisingly enough, Matson accepts live animals as shipment in its containers, but with no guarantees:

24. LIVE ANIMALS. Live animals, including but not limited to birds, reptiles and fish, are received and carried at the Shipper's and Consignee's risk of accident or mortality, and Carrier shall not be liable for any loss or damage thereto or in connection with the transportation thereof arising or resulting from any matters mentioned in section 4, subsections 2(a) through (p) of COGSA, or from any cause whatsoever not due to the fault of Carrier and/or its agents, servants, and subcontractors. In any event, Carrier shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the limitations set forth in the transportation agreement, in this bill of lading or in Carrier's tariff.

Regardless, the story is amazing, because this one could have ended up as a calico ghost town. (My non-California readers should be informed that my California readers are currently throwing things at their computers after reading that last line.)

This could have been a cat scandal. (Now the punkers are throwing stuff also.)

If you're tired of reading my take on the story, you may want to consult these other bloggers:


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