I mean, I had no idea. A company could've told me 2 thousand, 4 thousand or 6 thousand dollars - without asking several I would've had no idea what the actual "market price" for a move like that was. (It was 3 thousand.)
The unintended consequence of asking is that now, after earthquakes in Kaikoura have wiped out several major transport routes (including the only rail-link), I have received update e-mails from several companies explaining how the logistics industry has been affected by it all.
And, I mean, I did contact them all to let them know that I've used another company so they wouldn't have to hang around waiting for my service, but I guess different departments have different e-mail lists, so long story short: I've received several e-mails explaining that if I was still thinking of moving, it could be, how we say... a bit different than anticipated.
And I thought you might be interested in having a read, too.
We wish to update all customers and those who are considering a move between the North and South Islands soon.
The Wellington Port remains closed to Container Ships and Rail cannot move between Blenheim and Christchurch.
This leaves freight operators with only limited choices. Uplift containers by road between Christchurch and Blenheim which will add a huge cost or coastal ship between the islands which is much slower and has limited capacity.
Other issues are fast coming to the surface such as the container hire companies do not carry many containers that are certified for shipping on coastal vessels. Road transport operators normally only carry a small percentage of the total freight volume are being swamped as are the coastal shipping providers.
We have been advised that some providers have already increased their rates from 14-22% effective immediately. Shipping is adding several days to transit times but with backlogs building , this could build as the Logistics Industry heads into its normal busy season of November to December.
I would urge you to talk to your local office and get clarification around what we can do for you right now. We have made a number of alternative arrangements for moving the inter Island consignments.
If you have decided to use another company , I would also urge you to seek clarification on any additional costs."
It's interesting to think about the inter-connectedness of it all. The fact that many rental car companies ended up with their vehicles "stranded" in Kaikoura, unable to be driven out, or that goods that were moved between islands now either got more expensive, or took a longer time to get to shops - or both - and that ferries that used to go between Picton and Wellington suddenly had an option of moving between Wellington and Christchurch instead (which would've meant that they could do way fewer trips each day given how much longer the journey took) - all these things I could semi-foresee, but it never occurred to me that there was even a difference between containers that are "seaworthy" versus "railworthy" and how that affects transport.
I mean, in addition to all the other thousand factors that do :)
Which is interesting, because it gives a feel for what it may be like when the Alpine Fault ruptures and very likely all three major routes across the South Island - Arthurs Pass, Haast Pass, Lewis Pass - are out.
In our family, right by the front door in the bottom of the wardrobe, is a three-day emergency supplies box. 24 litres of water, tinned and dried food, nappies, wipes, medicines, torches.
I think I am starting to get used to living in earthquake country, and the topic fascinates me to no end!