Welcome to the Garden State
This was a journey for the memory books! Neither of us had ever been to New Jersey. We know about Bruce Springsteen, Governor Chris Christie and that housewives show, but we really didn’t know what to expect. What we saw was absolutely spectacular!
We have been importers of antiques and collectibles from all over the world for many years now, but we never had a chance to go down to the docks where the ships come in. What a truly awesome experience! The ships are enormous with hundreds of 40 foot containers (storage units) piled high. We were able to watch the containers being unloaded and moved throughout the docks with incredible equipment. You will get to see this place where the average person never goes in this episode!
And then….the auction! It was a US Customs and Border Protection auction. The items available were pallets of unclaimed imports … clothing, building material, motorized vehicles, personal items and more. When we previewed the merchandise, most of it was wrapped up on a pallet or crated, so what was inside may have only been slightly visible if at all. The pallets go unclaimed because people don’t pay their import duties in a timely manner. When that happens a fee is charged, demurrage, for the days the cargo is detained at the docks. Inevitably the value of the unpaid duties and demurrage exceed the value of the import and the importer abandons the goods. The US Customs and Border Protection conducts auctions of this type on both coasts a couple of times a year. Such a different auction for us, but wait until you see what we unpacked!
- – Sally and Laurence Martin