It's really no surprise at this point.. My car and HHE are now being held up by a financial argument between the Russian company that packed everything and the U.S. contracting agency that organized the shipping. A foul-up by the U.S. company caused additional fees to be incurred during the UAB air shipment. The U.S. rep for the company offer the Russian a "you pay 1/2, we'll pay half" deal. The Russian company, rightfully so, said "We told you so and you didn't listen, so you pay all the fees". To the Russians credit, they admitted the mud left on the car was their fault and paid all the cleaning fees to have it ready for USDA's re-inspection. Here's the fun part, the U.S contractor can't release the rest of my stuff from Seattle until someone pays the additional bill and the paperwork is cleared. Basically, they're holding it because they don't want to eat the extra fee they created.
My technician for the U.S shipping contractor quit in the middle of all this. I suspected something was up before she gave her two weeks notice, mainly due to her lack of following up with the packers queries and requests. So it's back to making phone calls again to make sure this doesn't get hung up for the 3rd time.
For any new FSO reading this, normally shipments between old and new posts go fairly smoothly. This is the fourth one I've done and only the first time things have gone so horrible wrong. I threw up red flags before my packout and asked for this U.S company to be removed from the equation. It made no sense having two companies trying to coordinate what one company can do better by itself. I was told the Dept has to go with the most reasonable quote, even if it will cost more money and time in the long run. My advice, even though your powerless at times, keep a close tab on where everything is at all times. Keep communications open and ask to be given updates frequently. When something happens you'll at least be able to work with the shippers on a faster solution. I've seen shipments sit in a loading dock for weeks because no one answered an email and said the owner has arrived at post you can release and ship it now. And it could easily been avoided by the owner sending an email to ask for a status update.